The rally on the US Capitol today to mark the 40th anniversary of Martin Luther King's "I have a dream" speech was broadcast live on C-SPAN. The event was attended by Democratic presidential contenders Howard Dean, Carol Moseley Braun and Al Sharpton. The following are my personal observations, facts hidden from you by puff-pieces appearing on the wire services. The most stunning aspect of this rally was the almost complete, seemingly choreographed absence of the Old Glory throughout the vast crowd, estimated by organizers to number 50,000. The fact that not a single black person thought it proper to show appreciation to a country that freed his forefathers from the clutches of slavery by proudly flying her flag, seemed almost offensive to me. Seen among the crowd were various pro-Palestinian banners and others denigrating America, one calling it "The greatest purveyor of violence in the world".
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.
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 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.
I have a dream that my four 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.