The enduring 'Dream' | August 23, 2013 | Palo Alto Weekly | Palo Alto Online |

Palo Alto Weekly

Cover Story - August 23, 2013

The enduring 'Dream'

Martin Luther King Jr.'s speech still inspires on the 50th anniversary

by Sue Dremann

On Aug. 28, 1963, when Martin Luther King Jr. stood on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial, he challenged the United States to make good on its promise of equality and freedom. Black Americans had come to Washington, D.C., to redeem a promissory note the nation had issued when Lincoln freed the slaves, he said.

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Staff Writer Sue Dremann can be emailed at


Posted by j
a resident of Mayfield
on Aug 23, 2013 at 10:33 am

[Post removed.]

Posted by the_punnisher
a resident of Mountain View
on Aug 23, 2013 at 12:41 pm

the_punnisher is a registered user.

The real problem today:

Demanding UNEQUAL RIGHTS to the people who actually pay the countrie's bills: HARD WORKING TAXPAYERS OF THE UNITED ( now not so UNITED ) STATES OF AMERICA!
The time for hyphenated descriptions: I'm ____-American has been over for some time, no more " white guilt " or " payback " is needed or necessary.

" The content of their character " is what citizens see now and is what should be driving discussions, not the race master debaters ( pun intended ).

Look at the Boondocks episode " The Return of the King " to start seeing where the public should focus, not give Sharpie or Jackson the continued playing the race card to justify illegal behavior by OTHER AMERICANS.

When many Muslims see the MLK quote, they think " I have a Dream, that all Countries will be forced to abide by SHARIA LAW and JOIN ISLAM OR DIE "

Look it up in their holy book and not the edited version CAIR provides.

Heck, they can't stand other sects of the same religion; Sunni Muslin vs Shiite Muslim for example.

Posted by lazlo
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Aug 23, 2013 at 2:44 pm

How sad that the City of Palo Alto does not recognize the third Monday of January as an official federal and state holiday allowing their employees to take time from work to recognize Mr. King's accomplishments. What a pity that city leaders ignorantly march on with their own agenda and continue to ignore and misinterpret Mr. King's message.

Posted by punish them
a resident of Stanford
on Aug 23, 2013 at 3:33 pm

[Post removed due to copyright infringement.]

Posted by Not an issue
a resident of Community Center
on Aug 23, 2013 at 4:03 pm

[Post removed.]

Posted by Not an issue
a resident of Community Center
on Aug 23, 2013 at 6:33 pm

[Post removed.]

Posted by the_punnisher
a resident of Mountain View
on Aug 23, 2013 at 6:50 pm

[Post removed.]

Posted by Not an issue
a resident of Community Center
on Aug 23, 2013 at 6:57 pm

[Post removed.]

Posted by the_punnisher
a resident of Mountain View
on Aug 23, 2013 at 8:10 pm

the_punnisher is a registered user.

[Post removed.]

Posted by the_punnisher
a resident of Mountain View
on Aug 23, 2013 at 8:53 pm

the_punnisher is a registered user.

I was also responding to comments that are now deleted. At the time, they replied to some very divisive comments and now it's more like " What does the Dream Speech mean to me and how is it relevant today? "

I note that the lawyer didn't bring up East Palo Alto which was certainly news that affected the SFBA. Anyone who has access to the different newspaper " morgues " covering that time will know what was happening and why E.P.A. made the news...some of which I saw first hand.

Watch " The Return of the King " on Boondocks ( CC ) for a sober look at what " could have been " for Dr. King today.

The saying " Never Forget " means much more than The Holocaust. It also applies to EVERY form of racist behavior we see today. Including the killings that M$M DOESN'T talk about. Or " The Knockout Game " and " We do this for Trevon Martin " violence.

That is the real injustice today. Just as blind.

Posted by maguro_01
a resident of Mountain View
on Aug 25, 2013 at 4:44 am

maguro_01 is a registered user.

Jim Crow, American Apartheid, existed in a context, still important, that can't be ignored. That context was the core Confederate culture area. That part of the US is and always has been more distinct than Mediterranean Greece is from Northern Europe and less developed.

Except for Texas which has it's own history, the whole South is economically on welfare from Texas and the Blue States. The US spends billions around the world in the name of development and business development. Yet the state of Mississippi has not developed all that much in the 148 years since the US Civil War yet it has fewer than three million people. One county there, Holmes, in 2010 had a male life expectancy between 66 and 67 - down in developing country territory. The states surrounding Mississippi are not much better off.

The politics of the South continue as they have been for so many generations. Black and White lower income people in the South as everywhere else have the very same interests but are kept divided and adversarial while the real players clean the table. The ideal still is to get a job in the Big House, but now it looks like a car factory.

No one has any real idea how to do basic culture change. Reconstruction after the Civil War was actually Construction and that's still true. Southerner Lyndon Johnson's War On Poverty was the last likely attempt at Reconstruction for the South and its diaspora. He was politician enough to know that he had to spend broadly, often wastefully to prevent the South and the US from bitterly dividing on the old lines. But it all tragically ran aground on the Vietnam War.

Seeing the March On Washington was a privilege. I went down in a bus from the State College, PA Quaker Meeting. However, the overwhelming majority of the crowd were Black Americans from all over the US. It was an historic American day. People petitioned the government for grievances as they were empowered as Americans to do. Black American soldiers could fight and be wounded for their country in forsaken mud holes halfway around the world, yet come home to Jim Crow.

But the mood of the crowd, from my worm's eye view, was to Testify as churchy people use the word. They had to have some belief in the dream and the United States to be there. They had a confidence that many others didn't understand. In '64, '65, and '68 with the passage of Civil Rights legislation and federal enforcement they won the foundation for change.

But the core Confederate culture area persists 50 years later. The present gridlock in Washington can be seen in many respects as backlash as Confederates have captured a dominant voice in the Republican Party, especially in the House, and driven out nearly all traditional Conservatives. They may win, then the US may have to divide to continue and progress. The Confederate culture area descended from the slave territories is the deadly crack in our foundation as it has been from the beginning.

Posted by the_punnisher
a resident of Mountain View
on Aug 26, 2013 at 1:51 pm

the_punnisher is a registered user.

Since the important stuff was deleted, maybe I should post the same comments in another on-line venue. I'll also add the comments I made privately to the Staff as they are very relevant to the history of YOUR history and the rest of the SFBA.

I expected an open, true examination of the meaning of the " I have a Dream " speech, however P.A. appears to want to stay in the same form that existed back in the 50's, 60's and 70's.

Maybe your secret past needs the light shined on it before a TRUE conversation can start. Otherwise, nothing has changed. AND the staff knows exactly what I have been talking about.

Remember, karma can have a payback and it will not be pretty is the Palo Alto case.

Posted by Leland
a resident of East Palo Alto
on Aug 26, 2013 at 7:03 pm

Leland is a registered user.

Please help to support our African American Community History Survey
c/o Free at Last Gardening Club, Ravenswood Industrial Park, EPA
(650) 461 0276

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