Watch this speech one more time! “I have a dream.” Watch as Martin Luther King Jr, stands and speaks peacefully to the masses. The speech, broadcast during a time of civil disobedience, a time of upheaval and inequality, not only by color but by creed and gender. Look into the crowd of people who stand and listen peacefully. “Let freedom ring,” he says. He is a man who had a message. He got his message across by peacefully speaking to the masses. Of course, in earlier times he was arrested in his protesting efforts however it was when he gathered peacefully in our Nation’s Capitol to share his vision for our country that he was heard!
He had a dream rooted in the American dream. “One day this nation will rise and live out the true meaning of its dream ‘we hold these truths to be self-evident that all men are created equal.’” He stood in front of the monument of President Lincoln that only days ago was defiled for what it represents, I’m sure he chose that spot because of the message President Lincoln tried to communicate many years earlier one of which he quoted. He had a dream that people would be judged by the content of their character not the color of their skin. Today people protest and defile the monuments and statues; our history to deny all that our forefathers suffered to grow into the country that we were so close to becoming before this mass of disrespect for one another. What does that say about the character of those that spread such hate?
We are living in a time of great disrespect not only for one another but our history as well. You can’t erase history by removing evidence of what occurred. In removing and defiling and denying we only prolong the inevitable. Turn your back on what was, and it will be again. Hate and descension will rear its ugly head. It will fester and infect our society and cause the dis-ease of what we are trying to eradicate. People protest in the name of peace and equality, yet they project and infect the country with hate. Hate does not encourage dialog; it causes the human mind to shut down to reason; it breeds more hate.
If people think that by removing our countries monuments it will cause people to change their views, I believe they are nieve. Here is an example. I use it because it has been in our faces for weeks. If we remove Confederate monuments, does that change history? Does that negate the struggle? Does it remove the lesson learned? Removing the statue does not change the story. Did the Romans remove the Colosseum because of what it represented, the inhumane treatment of both man and animal? No. They left it as a reminder of what went on. They left it so that generations to come could tell the story and remember what not to do or how to behave. By removing the monuments in the South, does it remove the Confederate struggle, if so it must also remove the struggle experienced by the slave? Do we so want to disrespect the suffering on both sides?
In this lesson, I think we are failing to remember something. Behind the monuments are men, women, children, families, and communities. Each one suffered in their way. Each one had an experience that was not conducive to love or kindness or fairness. They continued to live. They erected monuments to remember what happened and to facilitate healing. Just because a man fought for slavery, doesn’t mean he believed in it. Men fight for their State or country. When they go to war, they go because they are called. They go because they respect their State and want to be obedient. It isn’t always a personal preference. By erecting monuments, they are offering respect for those that fought and died as human beings. They are mourning the loss of human life. Remember… All lives matter. Take it down to a personal level. Every human being suffers and deserves to heal. I Believe we need to come together as a country as one people. The world is watching us. We who once were a great example to the world have become a joke. We no longer deserve the respect we once had. If we can’t play nice in the sand, how can we expect the rest of the world to do so?