WASHINGTON — Tens of thousands gathered today on the nation’s “front yard,” the National Mall near the Lincoln Memorial, yearning for a bit of the transcendent sense of racial unity heralded on this spot by Martin Luther King 50 years ago in his “I Have a Dream” speech.
From steps where King spoke, orators highlighted what they said was the unfinished business of achieving a broader sense of equality in America, while also offering hope that much has and will change.
“We cannot give up. We cannot give out. And we cannot give in,” Rep. John Lewis (D-Ga.), the only surviving speaker from the 1963 March, said to cheering throngs. While he acknowledged that the brutal days of civil right struggles are now gone, the push for a more perfect America remains. “We must get out there and push and pull.”
Phi Beta Iota: US Attorney General Eric Holder has no business speaking to anyone about civil rights. He is a disgrace to his race, to his profession, and to his country. The US Government assassinated Martin Luther King, and while a court has found this to be the case, the sum total of recompense was — as the King family wished – a mere dolllar. Nelson Mandela, today lying in a hospital fighting for his life, has taught us all that truth and reconciliation are essential. Truth must come before reconciliation. Others, such as Edgard Morin, have pointed out that forgiveness breaks the cycle of violence. There is a great deal to forgive, not least being the total betrayal of the public trust across all mission areas these past fifty years.