Talkin' about my generation - what use are dreams ?

Jurriaan Bendien bendien at
Thu Jul 17 16:09:41 MDT 2003

Hi Louis,

you wrote:

Well, [Domhoff] is a dream expert. Maybe he can explain why I keep having
these dreams about being back in high school clad only in my underwear.

The explanation is that you and I are having a psychic, telepathic symbiosis
via the Internet caused by sitting too long behind the computer, in my case,
sometimes scantily clad (which is okay since I am at home). :) Don't worry,
this is completely healthy and natural, and will vanish on its own accord as
we go on to better things :).

By the way, here's an example of the use of dreams in politics:

I Have a Dream, speech by Martin Luther King, August 23, 1963

I am happy to join with you today in what will go down in history as the
greatest demonstration for freedom in the history of our nation.
Five score years ago, a great American, in whose symbolic shadow we stand,
signed the Emancipation Proclamation. The momentous decree came as a great
beacon light of hope to millions of Negro slaves who had been seared in the
flames of withering injustice. It came as a joyous daybreak to end the long
night of captivity.

But one hundred years later, we must face the tragic fact that the Negro is
still not free. On hundred years later, the life of the Negro is still sadly
crippled by the manacles of segregation and the chains of discrimination.
One hundred years later, the Negro lives on a lonely island of poverty in
the midst of a vast ocean of material prosperity. One hundred years later
the Negro is still languishing in the corners of American society and finds
himself an exile in his own land. So we have come here today to dramatize an
appalling condition.

In a sense we have come to our nation's capital to cash a check. When the
architects of our republic wrote the magnificent words of the Constitution
and the Declaration of Independence, they were signing a promissory note to
which every American was to fall heir. This note was a promise that all men
would be guaranteed the unalienable rights of life, liberty, and the pursuit
of happiness.

It is obvious today that America has defaulted on this promissory note
insofar as her citizens of color are concerned. Instead of honoring this
sacred obligation, America has given the Negro people a bad check; a check
which has come back marked "insufficient funds." But we refuse to believe
that the bank of justice is bankrupt. We refuse to believe that there are
insufficient funds in the great vaults of opportunity of this nation.

So we have come to cash this check--a check that will give us upon demand
the rights of freedom and the security of justice. We have also come to this
hallowed spot to remind America of the fierce urgency of now. This is no
time to engage in the luxury of cooling off or to take the tranquilizing
drug of gradualism. Now is the time to make real the promises of democracy.
Now is the time to rise from the dark and desolate valley of segregation to
the sunlit path of racial justice. Now is the time to open the doors of
opportunity to all of God's children. Now is the time to lift our nation
from the quicksands of racial injustice to the solid rock of brotherhood.

It would be fatal for the nation to overlook the urgency of the moment and
to underestimate the determination of the Negro. This sweltering summer of
the Negro's legitimate discontent will not pass until there is an
invigorating autumn of freedom and equality. Nineteen sixty-three is not an
end, but a beginning. Those who hope that the Negro needed to blow off steam
and will now be content will have a rude awakening if the nation returns to
business as usual. There will be neither rest nor tranquility in America
until the Negro is granted his citizenship rights. The whirlwinds of revolt
will continue to shake the foundations of our nation until the bright day of
justice emerges.

But there is something that I must say to my people who stand on the warm
threshold which leads into the palace of justice. In the process of gaining
our rightful place, we must not be guilty of wrongful deeds. Let us not seek
to satisfy our thirst for freedom by drinking from the cup of bitterness and
hatred. We must forever conduct our struggle on the high plane of dignity
and discipline. We must not allow our creative protest to degenerate into
physical violence. Again and again we must rise to the majestic heights of
meeting physical force with soul force. The marvelous new militancy which
has engulfed the Negro community must not lead us to a distrust of all white
people, for many of our white brothers, as evidenced by their presence here
today, have come to realize that their destiny is tied up with our destiny
and their freedom is inextricably bound to our freedom. We cannot walk

And as we walk, we must make the pledge that we shall march ahead. We cannot
turn back. There are those who are asking the devotees of civil rights,
"When will you be satisfied?" We can never be satisfied as long as the Negro
is the victim of the unspeakable horrors of police brutality. We can never
be satisfied as long as our bodies, heavy with the fatigue of travel, cannot
gain lodging in the motels of the highways and the hotels of the cities. We
can never be satisfied as long as the Negro's basic mobility is from a
smaller ghetto to a larger one. We can never be satisfied as long as a Negro
in Mississippi cannot vote and a Negro in New York believes he has nothing
for which to vote. No, no, we are not satisfied, and we will not be
satisfied until justice rolls down like waters and righteousness like a
mighty stream.

I am not unmindful that some of you have come here out of great trials and
tribulations. Some of you have come fresh from narrow jail cells. Some of
you have come from areas where your quest for freedom left you battered by
the storms of persecution and staggered by the winds of police brutality.
You have been the veterans of creative suffering. Continue to work with the
faith that unearned suffering is redemptive.

Go back to Mississippi, go back to Alabama, go back to South Carolina, go
back to Georgia, go back to Louisiana, go back to the slums and ghettos of
our modern cities, knowing that somehow this situation can and will be
changed. Let us not wallow in the valley of despair.

I say to you today, my friends, that in spite of the difficulties and
frustrations of the moment I still have a dream. It is a dream deeply rooted
in the American dream.

I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true
meaning of its creed: "We hold these truths to be self-evident; that all men
are created equal."

I have a dream that one day on the red hills of Georgia the sons of former
slaves and the sons of former slave owners will be able to sit down together
at the table of brotherhood.

I have a dream that one day even the state of Mississippi, a desert state
sweltering the heat of injustice and oppression, will be transformed into an
oasis of freedom and justice.

I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation
where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content
of their character.

I have a dream today.

I have a dream that one day the state of Alabama, whose governor's lips are
presently dripping with the words of interposition and nullification, will
be transformed into a situation where little black boys and black girls will
be able to join hands with little white boys and white girls and walk
together as sisters and brothers.

I have a dream today.

I have a dream that one day every valley shall be exalted, every hill and
mountain shall be made low, the rough places will be made plains, and the
crooked places will be made straight, and the glory of the Lord shall be
revealed, and all flesh see it together.

This is our hope. This is the faith with which I return to the South. With
this faith we will be able to hew out of the mountain of despair a stone of
hope. With this faith we will be able to transform the jangling discords of
our nation into a beautiful symphony of brotherhood. With this faith we will
be able to work together, to pray together, to struggle together, to go to
jail together, to stand up for freedom together, knowing that we will be
free one day.

This will be the day when all of God's children will be able to sing with
new meaning "My country 'tis of thee, sweet land of liberty, of thee I sing.
Land where my fathers died, land of the pilgrim's pride, from every
mountainside, let freedom ring."

And if America is to be a great nation this must become true.
So let freedom ring from the prodigious hilltops of New Hampshire.
Let freedom ring from the mighty mountains of New York.
Let freedom ring from the heightening Alleghenies of Pennsylvania!
Let freedom ring from the snowcapped Rockies of Colorado!
Let freedom ring from the curvaceous peaks of California!
But not only that; let freedom ring from Stone Mountain of Georgia!
Let freedom ring from Lookout Mountain of Tennessee!
Let freedom ring from every hill and molehill of Mississippi. From every
mountainside, let freedom ring.

When we let freedom ring, when we let it ring from every village and every
hamlet, from every state and every city, we will be able to speed up that
day when all of God's children, black men and white men, Jews and Gentiles,
Protestants and Catholics, will be able to join hands and sing in the words
of the old Negro spiritual, "Free at last! Free at last! Thank God Almighty,
we are free at last!"


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