By Dylan Flint
Who benefits from a country divided? Where citizen is pitted against citizen? What happened to the red hills of Georgia? To the table of brotherhood? Have we forgotten the Dream? I haven’t.
I have been reminded once more amidst the BLM protests and murders by those sworn to protect and serve that we do not live in an ideal world. While I thank you for your astute observations, I must ask, do you need me to stare at it? Do you need me to rub my skin with their blood? Forcing it into my pores until I am pink, like a weak little babe? Do not lecture me on the pain of this world. There is nothing new under the sun. I do not intend to diminish, but I also know that I do not need to apologize. I understand there are problems, there are issues, and that we can do better. But who profits from the proliferation of race tensions? The pouring of fuel onto a fire? It is not the black man, or the white man, who stand to gain. You say I cannot speak on this issue, because of the color of my skin, and of my limited experience. Is that not the issue? The world will be engulfed in flames by the time I learn that lesson. You have been spun round and round, and now you cannot tell right from left, but it is I who am detached? Fortifying oppression with my every breath? Nonsense!
Can we not learn from another’s experience? Is there no grace at all? I know what injustice looks like, what it feels like. Do you deny this ability to the Israelites? Can no-one who reads the Book understand this lesson, unless they stood witness to the plagues of Moses themselves? You fool! Are we so distant from one another? What message are you purporting? In the guise of “social justice” it is you who segregates. It is you who pits brother upon brother, and for what?! I claim a soul knows no color, and you cry that I uphold privilege. But these are not my words. They are the message of a sovereign—a king. A man more noble than I, who dared to believe in a better day. A man who dared to Dream.
It was a dream not of justice only for the black man, but of “justice for all of God’s children.” It was a reminder to “not satisfy our thirst for freedom by drinking from the cup of bitterness and hatred.” It was instruction to reach out for ideals such as “the majestic height of meeting physical force with soul force.” It was the understanding that the destiny of “white brother’s” is a part of the destiny of black brothers, and that “their freedom is inextricably bound to our freedom.” It was the resolution to “never be satisfied as long as the negro is victim of the unspeakable horrors of police brutality.” It was a doctrine of not being judged by the color of our skin but by the content of our character. A time and place when “black boys and black girls will be able to hold hands with white boys and white girls as sisters and brothers.” And it was a belief that with faith we will “be able to hew out of a mountain of despair a stone of hope” and “a beautiful symphony of brotherhood.” This is the dream I remember, and a dream I still dream.
You can call me a romantic, but the great redeemers of humanity have been lovers and dreamers. They did not call it like it was, instead they called it as it ought to be. They were the ones brave enough to strive for ideals that stretched beyond the possible; who elevated our minds away from the problems of this world and towards its solutions. This is not an ignoring, an undervaluing, but a re-alignment. Ideals re-focus our power away from the spectacle of those who long for it and towards the thought of what each and every one of us can do, each and every day, when we have awoken from our slumber and our feet hit the floor. Go forth in the sphere of your influence, and infect it with good. Turn off the news. Study history. Shut out the spin doctors, the witch hunters, those who let no tragedy go to waste. They are not there to help you but to help themselves. Learn how to be a better human. Learn how to be a King. The bank of justice is not bankrupt. Redemption is all around you.