Complacency can kill dreams

Published 12:00 am Sunday, August 31, 2003

A mere 300 people in Atlanta, Ga. walked arm in arm Thursday to commemorate the 40th anniversary of Martin Luther King’s historic, &uot;I Have a Dream&uot; speech. Remember? He said he looks to that day when his children &uot;will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.”

Delivered with a thousand people standing around him on the steps of the Lincoln Monument – never mind those gathered before him – that oratory stirred people black and white to work toward achieving basic civil rights for blacks and opportunities for personal daily success in life.

So why so few people yesterday in Atlanta? Complacency could be given as one answer.


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While some people might say that there has been some fulfillment of King’s dream, many more would certainly agree that much can still be done, for example, to improve race relations in America. Speaking to the National Press Club in Washington, D.C., Martin Luther King III called for universal health care and eradicating what he called the &uot;state-sponsored terrorism” of capital punishment.

You might think that this is only &uot;a black problem.&uot; Think again. While King made that speech with fellow blacks in mind, he knew that wherever there’s social injustice, everybody is affected one way or another.