Let us for today, remember all the work that Martin Luther King did. It was so much more than this speech. He worked to end poverty, to improve labor conditions to end the war. When he was murdered in 1968, he was in Memphis, supporting labour. He was calling for a radical redistribution of wealth in this country. he told the striking sanitation workers '"All labor has dignity, but you're doing another thing. You are reminding not only Memphis, but the nation that it is a crime for people to live in this rich nation and receive starvation wages."
Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly. Never again can we afford to live with the narrow, provincial "outside agitator" idea. Anyone who lives inside the United States can never be considered an outsider anywhere within its bounds.
HE spoke out against the war... From Riverside Church in NYC, he said
"As I have walked among the desperate, rejected and angry young men I have told them that Molotov cocktails and rifles would not solve their problems. I have tried to offer them my deepest compassion while maintaining my conviction that social change comes most meaningfully through nonviolent action.
But they asked, and rightly so, what about Vietnam? They asked if our own nation wasn't using massive doses of violence to solve its problems, to bring about the changes it wanted. Their questions hit home, and I knew that I could never again raise my voice against the violence of the oppressed in the ghettos without having first spoken clearly to the greatest purveyor of violence in the world today, my own government. For the sake of those boys, for the sake of this government, for the sake of the hundreds of thousands trembling under our violence, I cannot be silent."
His house had been firebombed, he had been wiretapped, he constantly recieved death threats to him and his family, he had been thrown in jail, threatened by our government, labeled as a dangerouss radical element to our nation's security, he still carried on his work.
And the night before he was killed, right after another bomb threat, after his flight was delayed, he gave to the world these hallowed words...
Well, I don't know what will happen now. We've got some difficult days ahead. But it doesn't matter with me now. Because I've been to the mountaintop. And I don't mind. Like anybody, I would like to live a long life. Longevity has its place. But I'm not concerned about that now. I just want to do God's will. And He's allowed me to go up to the mountain. And I've looked over. And I've seen the promised land. I may not get there with you. But I want you to know tonight, that we, as a people, will get to the promised land. And I'm happy, tonight. I'm not worried about anything. I'm not fearing any man. Mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord.
So Today, let us not just remember his dream, let us honour and carry on the work he did for all Americans. We must recognize that this man was more than just his I have a dream speech. It is time that we go beyond his dream and start doing. Don't just dream, but rather just do. We have so far to go.