Saturday, August 28, 2021

58th Anniversary of "I Have a Dream"

Fifty-eight years ago today, Martin Luther King Jr. delivered his "I Have a Dream" speech in Washington, D.C.

While Dr. King was talking about civil rights, with a focus on the experience of Black America, his words echo in my head as I think about immigration.

Take Afghanistan. I've written a number of posts about America's shameful treatment of its Afghani interpreters. Dr. King's exhortations seem so on point: "We have also come to this hallowed spot to remind America of the fierce urgency of Now. This is no time to engage in the luxury of cooling off or to take the tranquilizing drug of gradualism. Now is the time to make real the promises of democracy." We owe that to our Afghani partners.

And when I hear, once more, Dr. King's impassioned "We can never be satisfied as long as..." lines, I think of all the things that must change with regard to our nation's treatment of immigrants: Title 42, MPP, the separation of families, prosecutions under 18 U.S.C. § 1325, the detention of children and families, black-box terrorism vetting, and more.

Still, Dr. King ends with hope. The hope of a dream "deeply rooted in the American dream," that "this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: 'We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal.'"

We continue to hope. And dream.


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