Have a Dream- Casper Youth on What Martin Luther King Jr.’s Speech and Message Means to Them
He had a dream. Actually, he had a lot of dreams. But, perhaps, his biggest dream was that this nation, the very same nation that we all still live in today, would rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: that all men (and women) are created equal.
So far, it hasn’t happened. Not all the way. There have been steps forward, sometimes even giant leaps, but we’re not there yet. Some might say we’re at least a little bit further along than we were in the time of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., when he delivered his famed speech on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial on August 28, 1963.
But, 59 years later, those very same steps were only 8 miles away from what has been described as a “terrorist attack” that left five people dead, when the State Capitol was attacked by far-right extremists who descended upon congress as they were counting the electoral votes that were to decide and declare Joe Biden as the next President of the United States.
Before that, earlier in 2020, there were the deaths of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor; two unarmed African Americans who were proven to be unjustifiably killed by police officers. In the case of Taylor, she was in her bed, in her own apartment when she was shot 6 times during a botched raid.
Floyd was held under the knee of a police officer. The officer, Derek Chauvin, kept his knee planted on Floyd’s neck for 8 minutes and 46 seconds, as he ignored the continuous pleas from Floyd that he couldn’t breathe.
Going back even further, there was the shooting of Oscar Grant who was killed at the Fruitvale BART Train Station in Oakland, California. There was the wrongful conviction of the ‘Central Park Five.’ There were the riots in Los Angeles after the police beating of Rodney King.
And so on.
A lot has changed since the days of the Civil Rights Movement. But a lot hasn’t changed, either. Still, the dream of Martin Luther King Jr. is one that is shared by many Americans, no matter their race. And on Martin Luther King Jr. Day, which typically falls in the 3rd week in January of every year, we revisit the iconic words of Dr. King and discuss what those words mean to us.
That is exactly what young people in Natrona County have done. They were asked what ‘I Have a Dream,’ and its message means to them, especially considering the state of the world right now. This is what they said: