Monday, May 2, 2011

A Dream Deferred...

It's the aftermath of Bin Laden's death, I am on a plane out of DCA and the airline pilot reminds us that the security alert is high. He implies that anyone acting out of line will be reprimanded, by any means necessary.

Later on that day, I touch down in Atlanta, Georgia, the stomping grounds for the American Civil Rights movement.

I am sitting in Ebenezer Baptist Church, the same church pew as Coretta Scott King as she heard her husband Dr. Martin Luther King belt out divine words of non-violent rebellion and preserverance.

Coincidentally in the same pew, she sat with her children as they listened to King's eulogy. Mahalia Jackson's voice echoes of watchful spiritual eyes.

I walk to Dr. Rev Martin Luther King's Eternal Flame.

I am emotional and decide to update my facebook and I see posts like "Fuck Yeah Merica, put his head on a stick". I look at the King's tomb and whisper, "don't turn over yet."

While crossing the street to view the American-tax payer funded museum, a man asks me for money. Oh the irony. There is a poster on the museum door reminding me not to give my money to panhandlers. So I distract myself and gaze at an amazing 15 foot mural of Dr. King's journey. A white family walks by and I think, "isn't this the DREAM that you died for?"

By now, I am just overanyalizing everything. It's time to see the inside of the museum. While watching the short movie vignette, I notice a group of Asian tourists. They react emotionally as the film compares the civil rights movement to Tiananmen Square. The tour also reminds us of King's global quest for insight by visiting Ghandi.

I whisper to myself, "FUCK YEAH,'MERICA, we are good people who do good things around the world, right?"

I close out the tour with Letters from the Birmingham jail, the mobilizing of sanitation workers and his meetings with Kennedy.

Yet, tokens of his life, his words, and his legacy haunt me.

Back at my hotel, the tv screens and the background conversations are celebrating, debating, and contemplating a victory for America. Fuck, America?

What's happened to the dream?

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