Happy Martin Luther King Jr. day! I’d like to share some dreams of my own. I hope this isn’t pretentious, but rather in memory of the dreams of a great man. I share my dreams to honor his.
I have a dream.
I have a dream where I understand what White Privilege means, because being a middle class American white man I’m often blind to it. I have a dream where White Privilege isn’t something that we need to concern ourselves with.
I have a dream where politics in America is a dialogue, not a division; where people can take forward ideas without fear and anger from their neighbors or their government.
I have a dream where the government is of the people, by the people and for the people; not of the political action committees, by the lobbyists and for the corporate interests.
I have a dream where people are involved with their government and not cynical or apathetic about it; where involvement makes positive change for all, not the privileged or majority.
I have a dream where America helps its neighbors: Mexico, Cuba and Haiti, along with the people of those nations. Where we recognize and respect the indigenous people of North America, the Native Americans who are the only ones who aren’t immigrants to this country.
I have a dream that no matter the color of your skin, the name of your religion or your sex, people are able to see you as a person and respect you for who you are. I have a dream where people aren’t judged by their religion, and religions aren’t known by those who shout extreme views.
I have a dream where people aren’t considered stupid because we don’t agree with their opinion, their background or the struggles and disadvantages they’ve had to face in an unjust system.
I have a dream where it’s safe to go out at night and walk down the street anyplace in America from Detroit to New Orleans, New York City to Los Angeles. I have a dream where people in all places take back American from anger, violence, hatred and oppression.
I have a dream where being a warrior, being a soldier is fighting for what’s good and what’s right through peaceful means. In that vein, they have the strength to work tirelessly for peace and justice.
I have a dream where we don’t go to war to suit the economic interests of a few, but do have the courage to go to war to stop genocide and other gross injustices against our fellow humans. I have a dream where we lead by example, not bending definitions of torture or the practice of rendition to places that allow it.
I have a dream where secret wiretaps and gag orders against fellow Americans vanish. I have a dream that freedom of speech is a reality for all. I dream of not having to worry about these words I write.
I have a dream of a world where the ACLU, Amnesty International and the Southern Poverty Law Center no longer need to exist.
I have a dream where financial health is seen by all and not just the wealthy. I have a dream where people fight for those less fortunate them themselves, not just speak of fighting for those less fortunate.
I have a dream where all people can marry who they choose and realize the benefits of marriage: health care, inheritance, adoption and all other rights.
I have a dream where domestic violence is eliminated and people aren’t afraid of those close to them.
I have a dream that food, clean water, housing, health care and education are human rights. I have a dream of a world that recognizes the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
I have a dream where businesses aren’t equal to or greater than people. Where inventors can make money, but life and abstract ideas can’t be owned, patented or copyrighted.
I have a dream of a world not focused on growth but balance and sustainability. I dream of a world where we don’t need to concern ourselves with global warming (or whether it even exists).
I have a dream of an exit strategy.
I have a dream of nirvana, enlightenment, song, dance, elation, life and love.
I believe the world is what we make of it. That it can be shaped by us. That our struggles do make an impact, sometimes small, sometimes large, but rarely seen by us.
I realize it isn’t easy to realize all of my dreams. I acknowledge that violence exists, hatred is bred, and injustice creeps. It’s not easy to change the world, it’s hard to see the difference each one of us makes, but we must try. Every little bit helps, each effort.
I am not a perfect man. I get angry; I do bad things. There are things I wish I could take back, a past I wish I could change. I struggle to improve. I want the world to be a better place, to improve life for all of those around me. I believe it can be done.
And I have dreams.