Thursday, August 29, 2013

Thursday Quote

"....On August 28th, 1963, the nation's capital was in a state of emergency. Thousands of troops surrounded the city. Workers was told to stay home that day, liquor stores were closed, but the march was so orderly, so peaceful, it was filled with dignity and self-respect because we believe in the way of peace, the way of love, the way of nonviolence. People came that day to that march just like they were on their way to religious service. As Mahalia Jackson sang, how we got over, how we got over, she drew thousands of us together in a strange sense. It seemed like the whole place started rocking.

"We truly believe that in every human being, even those who -- violent -- who were violent toward us, there was a spark of the divine.

"And no person had the right to scar or destroy that spark. Martin Luther King, Jr. taught us the way of peace, the way of love, the way of nonviolence. He taught us to have the power to forgive, the capacity to be reconciled. He taught us to stand up, to speak up, to speak out, to find a way to get in the way....

"People were inspired by that vision of justice and equality, and they were willing to put their bodies on the line for a greater cause greater than themselves. Not one incident of violence was reported that day. A spirit had engulfed the leadership of the movement and all of its participants.

"The spirit of Dr. King's words captured the hearts of people not just around America but around the world. On that day, Martin Luther King, Jr. made a speech, but he also delivered a sermon. He transformed these marble steps of the Lincoln Memorial into a modern day pulpit. He changed us forever....

"Fifty years later we can ride anywhere we want to ride, we can stay where we want to stay. Those signs that said "white" and "colored" are gone. And you won't see them anymore -- (cheers, applause) -- except in a museum, in a book, on a video.

"But there are still invisible signs buried in the hearts in humankind that form a gulf between us. Too many of us still believe our differences define us instead of the divine spark that runs through all of human creation.

"The scars and stains of racism still remain deeply embedded in American society, whether it is stop and frisk in New York or injustice in Trayvon Martin case in Florida, the mass incarceration of millions of Americans, immigrants hiding in fear in the shadow of our society, unemployment, homelessness, poverty, hunger or the renewed struggle for voting rights....

"And the dean of the civil rights movement once said, we may have come here on different ships, but we all are in the same boat now. So it doesn't matter whether they're black or white, Latino, Asian- American or Native American, whether we or gay or straight -- we are one people, we are one family, we are all living in the same house -- not just the American house, but the the world house.

"And when we finally accept these truths, then we will be able to fulfill Dr. King's dream to build a beloved community, a nation and a world at peace with itself."

-Rep. John Lewis, from his speech yesterday marking the 50th anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King's march on Washington.

Read the complete transcript here.

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