Recently, many in America commemorated the observation of the federal holiday Martin Luther King, Jr. Day. Some contributing to service day community projects or attending ceremonies. Honoring Dr. King had a much different tone and harmony this year considering America has a new Commander in Chief, Donald Trump. Despite the denial of Donald Trump being President, he did honor the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. by signing H.R. 267 into law on January 8, “Martin Luther King, Jr. National Historic Park Act.” The law re-designates a national historic site in Georgia- as the Martin Luther King, Jr. National Historical Park.
President Trump says “The Reverend’s devoting to fighting the injustice of segregation and discrimination ignited the American spirit of fraternity and reminded us of our higher purpose.” Not sure if Dr. King saw Donald Trump becoming President of the US in his dream, but much has changed from those dark days of despair in Montgomery Alabama. We still must discover a 21st century method for Voting Rights considering the Civil War ended in 1865, but we shall overcome.
During Dr. King’s “Prayer Pilgrimage” to the Lincoln Memorial in Washington DC did he have vision from God of the DREAM Act? “I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up to live out the true meaning of its creed: We hold these truths to be self evident, that all men are created equal.” This is only one excerpt from his dream. But it is this one phrase from his dream, which has a distorted view for many in America now.
Dr. King’s legacy can be linked to an instrumental civil rights movement in America’s history. In 1956, Martin lead the Montgomery Bus Boycott. Which ended in victory, when the Supreme Court rules segregation on buses illegal. The civil rights movement challenged the Declaration of Independence through organizing marches. Demonstrating their use of civil rights which lead to over 250,000 people gathering to listen to his famous 1963 “I have a Dream Speech.”
Roughly, 55 years ago the conditions in America for one sub-group of the population were less than civilized and deemed illegal in most cases. Colored Americans, or the Negro as many were called, were beaten, denied the right to vote and not many education opportunities. Moreover, the living wage was far from obtaining since colored Americans and white Americans had separate water fountains, bathrooms, and couldn’t even dine together. This particular ideology was conflicting with the creed of the nation, so therefore much change needed to take place.
Many white Americans believed that colored Americans were not recognized as civilized and decent humans. Many still considered the color American to be a slave although the slavery ended in 1865. Luckily for the creed which holds the fabric of the nation together known as the Declaration of Independence all Americans can dream again. “We hold these truths to be self evident that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of happiness.”
Much different from Martin Luther King’s 1963 “I Have a Dream” speech, the Development Relief and Education for Alien Minors Act was introduced in 2001 by Republican Senator Orrin Hatch from Utah. S. 1291- DREAM Act amends the illegal immigration reform and immigrant responsibility Act of 1996 to repeal the denial of an unlawful alien’s eligibility for higher education benefits based on State residence unless a U.S national is similarly eligible without regard to such state residence. The Act directs the Attorney General to establish a procedure permitting an alien to apply for cancellation and adjustment without being placed in removal proceedings, provides for (1) expedited application processing without additional fees, (2) Confidentiality of application information.
DACA prohibits the removal of an alien who has not yet received a high school diploma or equivalent but has a reasonable opportunity of meeting the requirements under this Act. Permits such an alien to work. The Act also directs the Attorney General to report annually on the number, status, and disposition of applications under this Act.
Caught between the dreams, or wishful thinking for dreaming -but it is the dreamer who is faced with a fantasy or reality that they too will be able to enjoy -Life, Liberty and the pursuit of happiness here in America.