This poster by Mr. Furious is available here.
The March On Washington For Jobs and Freedom was 50 years ago today.
It was at this event Martin Luther King, Jr. made one of the most famous speeches (“I Have A Dream”) in the history of our country.
What does it say about our country today that people are still denied the dignity of good paying jobs and the right to freedoms the country was founded on? What image do we project to the world when our workers strike as unions are dissolved and corporations seize rights that once belonged to the people?
Just how far have we come as a nation and as humans? For the privileged the last five decades have been a rocket ride through the stratosphere of technological and financial advancement. For the greater majority of us it is as if we were not standing still but moving backward.
What of slavery? The chains that bind are invisible but deeply entrenched in our culture.
What of bigotry? It is a standard that is frequently met by the very people elected to represent those who have not in this society.
What of jobs? The only increase in jobs in America since the beginning of the Great Recession are in low paying benefits-free positions in retail and fast food filled by the uneducated youth and poor. Jobs with wages that are impossible to live on.
What of freedom? Many of our prisons are corporate-owned businesses overcrowded with young people of color whose major crime was being in the wrong place and being the wrong color. Millions have been incarcerated for having a minor connection with cannabis. We incarcerate more of our population than any country in the world using heinous mandatory sentencing that punishes people extremely for minor crimes and educates them to be criminals while in the system. When your life can be destroyed for merely lighting a pipe why wouldn’t you choose to fight the lot you are forced to take? For too many of us freedom and gainful employment are as big illusions as honest politicians and benevolent bankers are.
Martin Luther King, Jr. had a dream of a different America. Unfortunately, he was murdered before he could see what was to come. Yes, it is a different America, but not one of bold and vigorous growth towards equality and justice. For a significant part of this country’s citizenry the dream has become an unrelenting nightmare.