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I had a Dream!

  • July, 2020
  • 313
  • Editorial

Fifty seven years ago at the footsteps of Lincoln Memorial, Martin Luther King Jr. delivered a speech in the ‘symbolic shadow’ of the ‘great American’ Abraham Lincoln.

While recalling the ‘Emancipation Proclamation’ Dr. King gave his clarion call ‘I have a Dream.’ The dream was to liberate the Negro from the ‘manacles of segregation and the chains of discrimination.’ It was a dream rooted in the American Dream. Furthermore, it was a dream to rekindle the extinguishing ‘beacon light of hope’ for millions of coloured Americans. Though it seemed that half a century later his dream would be realized, yet the Negro flounders in the bog and has been choked to utter, “I can’t breathe.”

The challenges of survival have become even more difficult to address owing to the ‘pandemic of racism’, which continues to haunt humanity like a viral misery. Lawyer Benjamin Crump said it was "not the coronavirus pandemic that killed George Floyd”. “It was that other pandemic," he said, "The pandemic of racism and discrimination." The year 2020 had been tumultuous, chaotic and catastrophic. The year witnessed a viral invasion treating all and sundry equally, but men themselves fail to recognize the principle of equality. Deprivation and segregation have continued to aggravate the appalling condition of mankind.

It is a bitter truth that Mr. Floyd's tale had reverberated the tale of black people in America. It is a tale of broken promises, indifferent brutality and callous racism. What happened to Floyd occurs every day, in education, in health services and in every sphere of life. Thousands of coloured men and women try to get the knee of racism off their neck. The choking voice of George Floyd was nothing more but the echo of a choking race. The same police brutality which Martin Luther criticized half a century ago, continues to haunt the lives of the coloured community in America. They live on an ‘island of poverty’ in midst of an ‘ocean of prosperity.’

The ‘whirlwinds of revolt’ are shaking the foundations of the mightiest nation. With the closing of the second decade of the 21st century, the world is witnessing increasing creative protests. The tectonic plates of the class and racial balance are shifting and ushering an age of social earthquakes. Even the vibrant Emancipation Proclamation remained dormant for a century; the clarion of call of Martin Luther remained unheard. The freedom that had to ring from every nook and corner of America has taken refuge in oblivion. The ‘molehills of Mississippi’ are lamenting the death of Floyd, the ‘Mountains of Tennessee’ are somber at his demise and the ‘curvaceous peaks of California’ are mourning the departure of the son of a soil. The ‘snowcapped Rockies of Colorado,’ ‘heightening Alleghenies of Pennsylvania, the prodigious hilltops of New Hampshire and the ‘mighty mountains of New York’ echo with the choking voice of Floyd “I can’t breathe.’ The faith has been shaken to the core. Floyd is no more, and his soul mourns, ‘I had a Dream!’

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