August 28, 2012 marked the anniversary of the March on Washington where Dr. Martin Luther King gave his I have a dream speech in 1963. Over 250,000 people turned out on the Washington mall for a march for jobs and equality for blacks. The massiveness of the march could not be ignored and ultimately led to the banning of poll taxes, the passage of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 and the Civil Rights Act of 1964 ending segregation in public accommodations.
President Obama’s dream for hope and change is just as real as Martin Luther King’s dream speech in 1963. Today with the divisiveness in politics, the dream seems just as deferred as the hope and change ideals of President Obama’s campaign. The Martin Luther King monument opened a year ago commemorating the works of Dr. Martin Luther King. But has much really changed since the March on Washington?
Today, the state of black America has the highest foreclosure, incarceration and unemployment rates. Ward 8 of the nation’s capital, home for many African Americans, is also home to the highest unemployment in the country. Our education system is failing many of our youth. America still faces hatred and bigotry, war, poverty and elimination of unions and social programs.
The GOP takes pride in dismantling labor unions which provide a decent job with decent pay and benefits for many in the work force. Despite our economic woes and high unemployment, the Republican controlled Congress has done nothing to help our economic situation. Much like the Jim Crow southern whites, the modern day GOP led Congress has turned its back on helping improve the economic and jobs front.
The Republican leaders during their convention have repeatedly talked about leadership. And leadership is needed to bring about the type of massive change that occurred in the 1960’s following the March on Washington. That change did not occur merely because President Lyndon Johnson waved a magic wand. It occurred because Congress and the Senate worked together with the President to bring about the change. Until we get our leaders in Congress to act like leaders and lead, the dream will continue but it may be deferred.
The dream will be deferred until we can get true leadership in the Congress again. Most people cannot wait forever for a change. This November is our opportunity to vote not only for the President but for many Congressional and Senate seats. If change is to come, we must support those who work for change. That includes President Obama and excludes the destructive Republican controlled Congress.
This election is not just about the presidential race. We must race to the polls to vote out the non-working, non-leading Republican Congress. On this the 49th anniversary of the March on Washington, We must continue to work towards Dr. King’s dream.