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September 4th, 2013

50 years later, Dr. King’s dream is still not a reality

Lillie Howard

This past Wednesday while sitting and watching the celebration of the 50th anniversary of the March On Washington and also listening to Dr. King’s "I Have A Dream" speech made me once again realize the significance and importance of why we can no longer wait for his Dream to be realized. Dr. King didn’t intend for us to keep dreaming for all of these years but instead he intended for us to have kept striving towards bringing his dream into a reality. Yes, we have quite a few elected African-American officials throughout the nation and we finally have an African-American President in the White House but the conditions for the masses of the poor throughout this country are deplorable. Why has this not changed? The Bible tells us that the poor will be with us always but it also says that they’re supposed to be looked out for in a decent and fair way. So what is this really all about and why do things remain the same for the masses throughout the country. I say that the love of money is the real root of all of this madness. Wow! Let’s go back on a journey so we can realize the significance and importance of the making of Dr. King’s dream.

Dr. King’s first involvement in the movement that eventually led to the March on Washington started in 1955 when he was elected to lead the city-wide bus boycott in Montgomery, Alabama due to the arrest of Rosa Parks for not being willing to give up her seat on the bus. In his first speech as the group’s president, Dr. King declared "We have no alternative but to protest. For many years we have shown an amazing patience. We have sometimes given our white brothers the feeling that we liked the way we were being treated. But we come here tonight to be saved from that patience that makes us patient with anything less than freedom and justice." As the result of that 382 days city-wide bus boycott which entailed their walking to work, harassment, violence and intimidation for the Montgomery’s African-American community, both Dr. King’s and E.D. Nixon’s homes being attacked, the city of Montgomery finally lifted the law mandating segregated public transportation.

Wow! In 382 days this was accomplished and here we are 50 years later, after Dr. King’s "I Have A Dream" speech, still being looked upon as being less than. Back then African-American civil rights leaders recognized the need for a national organization to help coordinate their efforts. In January 1957, Martin Luther King Jr., Ralph Abernathy, and 60 ministers and civil rights activists founded the Southern Christian Leadership Conference to harness the moral authority and organizing power of black churches. They would help conduct non-violent protests to promote civil rights reform. The organization felt the best place to start to give African Americans a voice was to enfranchise them in the voting process. Wow! What has happened to that voice these 50 years later? Now I must bring this home to our community. Why has the churches been so silent in the midst of the atrocities that are existent in our own city right here in Newburgh? Can’t they see what is or is not going on as it pertains to the conditions in our city. No jobs, not much decent housing, police brutality and the lack of all of the things that leads to a better quality of life which Dr. King gave his life for. Dr. King was in the midst of organizing a poor people’s march on Washington prior to his life being snatched away.

On September 10th a primary election is being held and the city of Newburgh’s destiny will be nailed in that election. Which candidates will the churches and the community be supporting? Will they be those whose plans are to sweep clean the mess which includes poor people out of this community or will they be those that are concerned about the least of those which are primarily the poor. Never forget that poverty breeds crime and all of the ills that are existent in the city of Newburgh is because a majority of its citizens are living in poverty. Is a closed heart and closed ears to this going to be the result of this election or is a new direction ,which will benefit all of this city, going to be waged. If not, stop talking about Dr. King’s Dream being realized, because it never will if those without a conscious keep being elected. The power is in your hands and once again remember that the love of money and greed are the real reasons that this community is in the condition that it’s in. Seriously think on that!

This city’s future is in your hands therefore think very seriously on September 10th whose names are you going to select in this Primary election. Last, but definitely not least, stop dreaming and wake up for if not once again you’ll only have yourselves to blame. This is Lillie’s Point of View!

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