In his famous poem Harlem, African American poet Langston Hughes asks,”What happens to a dream deferred?” In response we were given Hansberry’s A Raisin in the Sun and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s momentous I have a dream speech on August 28, 1963.
This year marks the fiftieth anniversary of Dr. Kings speech, yet for almost 90% of us, both black and white, the dream is no longer deferred it is denied. More and more of America’s middle class could be described as Rev. Jesse Jackson once did, “That we may have come over on different boats but we are all in the same boat now.”
It can only be with the bitterest of irony that it is an African American and white president Barack Obama, who is presiding over the greatest destruction of our cherished rights, contained in the Bill of Rights, in our history.
Nearly gone are our rights of free speech, the right to demand a redress of grievances, freedom of association, assembly, peaceful dissent, freedom from unreasonable searches and seizures, Habeas Corpus, trial by jury, the right to a speedy trial and the whole concept of participatory democracy lost in the Supreme Court decision Citizens United. Americans sense being a just nation was lost with Viet Nam, Watergate, and the presidency of Ronald Reagan.
Today we know every president since Reagan, regardless of party, has moved us in the direction of corporate dictatorship. We don’t fight wars for justice but for oil and corporate greed. We have been plotting how to best utilize torture since the MKUltra mind control experiments of the 1950’s. We are evolving at an alarming rate into a police state where the government, the army, and police are used to defend the rich against the just demands of “We the People.” We now know the law applies to only some of us.
At the end of his speech Hughes asks if deferred dreams lead to an explosion. This fear is clearly in the minds of corporate America and is the rationale for spying on Americans in violation of our privacy rights. Most of us believe in peaceful dissent and that is our fervent hope for protest.
Anonymous asks all of us to,” Remember Remember the 5th of November the gun powder treason plot,” Guy Fawkes Day from the movie V. As more of us discover our dreams are being denied because it isn’t profitable for the 1% we lose our fear of standing up to the police state and demanding justice. We have little left to lose. The Time for peaceful dissent seems to be coming.