“I still have a dream; deeply routed in the American dream”, is a quote from the famous “I have a dream” speech by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. on August 28, 1963. This race relation speech is a staple of words that can be used as a measuring tool of sorts to gage in 2016 if we have advanced within our race war from the 60s to now. Unfortunately, things seem to have digressed oppose to getting better. As I watched “The View” today on my given day off to celebrate Martin Luther King Jr., it was reported in 2010, 76% of Americans felt as if race relations were becoming more equal in America and in 2016 only 34% found that statement to be true. How sad is it, that as time evolves, we as a people, American people, have reverted back to a slave mentality. Where did we go wrong? Why are things going backwards opposed to forward?
Of course as a mother I am more concerned for the dreams of my son. Where will we be as a society in 2032, 16 years from now when he turns 18 and is looking for a college to go to, someone to hire him for a job, or hanging out with friends who are not the same race? Will he still have to be concerned of not being accepted or not receiving a specific job offer because of the color of his skin? Some act oblivious to the fact that movements like “black lives matter” aren’t necessary in a time in which black people are losing a fight and have been losing the fight in many areas for a long time. We chuckle at the thought that “white privilege” exists, but every video that shows racial disparities, only validates that it is indeed factual. When it comes to wages and hitting a glass ceiling at certain professions and in specific occupations in which they are dominated by the opposing race, we still have a long way to go. It is draining in 2016 when you hear the first black anything. Like the first black president or the first black woman to win an Emmy for Lead Drama or how ridiculous the upcoming Oscars are with no African American films nominated. Are we even considered? Is this playing fair? Are we relevant? It’s disheartening.
So, as I look into my son’s eyes as we watch the I have a dream speech, I can only hope he holds true to knowing that legally we are free and he can be anything he wants to be, he has the right to and no one should tell him otherwise. I would like my son’s dreams to be bigger than anything I’ve ever dreamt. Coming from two immigrants parents from Jamaica W.I. I am sure my parents never dreamed of me becoming a designer/ architect. Now my son has the option to keep dreaming. I hope all mother’s can instill in their children to keep fighting and keep making Dr. King’s vision a reality. The more we fight to break into underrepresented fields, the more it will become a norm and maybe… just maybe… more African Americans can be accepted.
Thank you Dr. King, for giving us the opportunity to dream of something better; till then, I will continue to still have a dream, deep routed somewhere in the American dream.