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My 'I Have a Dream' Speech

I HAVE A DREAM

I do have a dream today. I dream of a nation awakening from a dream.

I am dreaming of an American people awakened to action to restore a republic. A people awakened to the danger of an alien empire that has captured the United States government -- that was not a dream after all. I dream of us waking up from a nightmare to find that the nightmare has come true, that the nightmare could even become worse. Perhaps the nightmare has only just begun. Or maybe we find ourselves not at the very beginning but actually at the beginning of the middle, like the generation of Luke Skywalker in the visions of George Lucas. Or like Cassius and Brutus facing Julius Caesar. Or like Rosa Parks, a minister named King, and a small committee in Montgomery against a racist power structure that had governed for centuries. I dream of an epic drama in the making; a political blockbuster reality show that's on the air today.

I have a dream of an American people rising up to save the nation from destroying itself and destroying life on Earth. We are rising up nonviolently to steer us back on course. We are rising to take the cockpit back from a suicidally deranged group that has hijacked the plane. 

In my dream, we have all awakened to the clarion call of justice, peace, and nonviolence that is embodied in the life and words of Martin Luther King, Jr. We know, as he knew, that prejudice, poverty, and war are all one mighty evil, and all arise from a fundamental lack of justice. And in my dream, we are rising up to put an end to this endless war that has been declared. In my dream, we are rising to halt and reverse the construction of a police state in the United States of America. In my dream, we are rising to protect the rights of human beings from torture by government agencies, not the rights of government agencies to torture human beings.

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In my dream, we are rising to make our society sane and just. We demand a nation that protects its people from storms and catastrophes, all of its people equally. We will not have anything less. We demand a nation that operates by laws and honors its treaties and agreements. We will not tolerate leaders who think they can tap the phone and violate the rights of whoever they please, arrest whoever they please and lock them up for years without charge. We demand a nation that's governed democratically, that conducts fair elections without corrupt officials or dystopian technologies to fix the vote. We demand a nation that is not ruled by dollar bills alone.

In my dream, we are rising to speak calmly and civilly about why violence takes place in our world, even about the root causes of terrorist violence. We know that terrorism arises from a long legacy of injustice, from the demagoguery of leaders, and from a sad and tragic misinterpretation of religious ideas and scripture. I have a dream in which the American people declare that from now on we will protect our nation from the threat of terrorist attack without provoking aggressive wars against other nations, but instead by pursuing justice, pursuing peace, pursuing human rights, and cooperating to uphold and enforce the rule of law against violent acts of organized crime such as the September 11 attacks.

I have a dream that across the land, the people have woken up, in an unshakable, unmistakable electoral majority, and we are speaking with a thunderous cry. A thunderous cry that echoes, Hear us: This is we the people talking; do not forget that we run this place. And we are beginning to win. We are beginning to win. And sanity is beginning to flow again into our land, trickling down from the mountaintop like a great spring thaw growing to a cascade, flooding over the levees and bursting the dams of deception and oppression. 

For years the people with a passion for social justice have sung lonely anthems to small crowds. We have been called aimless because our aims were far too many, and our aims were far too steep, and far too many people couldn't see them. Now, in my dream, we are all coming together, we have all shown up, and not a moment too soon. For when the flowing waters of justice surge forth, what a reckoning we shall see. Awesome and wonderful changes will be upon us all at once. At last, we will be able to set to work healing our body politic, and protecting this planet's shaken life support systems, for ourselves and our posterity. There is so much to do to reverse our society's course, so many struggles to be waged, so many nonviolent transformations waiting to erupt. In my dream, we are all rising up from our slumber to make our contribution.

Roger Kimmel Smith

Roger Kimmel Smith

Roger Kimmel Smith is a freelance wordsmith based in Ithaca, New York. He has written for The Progressive, Ithaca Times, National Geographic, Propaganda Review, Disarmament Times, Syncopated Times, Common Dreams, and Global Issues in Context.

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