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I once had a dream

21/01/2014

(With apologies to Martin Luther King and his family)

I am disappointed to be here with you today in what will go down in history as the greatest demonstration for stupidity of the entire history of our species.

One hundred and fifty years ago, a great American, in whose symbolic shadow we tremble still today, signed the Emancipation Proclamation. This 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 their captivity. But it seems, like everything mankind does, it was just words.

For one hundred and fifty years later, mankind is still not free. One hundred and fifty years later, mankind continues still to sadly cripple others of his species by the manacles of bigotry and the intolerance of religious beliefs. One hundred and fifty years later, eighty five human beings control the collective wealth of half the world. The divide between poverty and those who enjoy material prosperity grows daily. One hundred and fifty years later, some human beings find themselves exiles on their own planet. Forever marked as an unwanted scourge by their own kind. And so we’ve come here today to dramatize a shameful condition.

In a sense humanity has decided that everything comes down to a check. When the architect of our species created us, it was with a promissory note to which every human being was to fall heir. This note was a promise that all men, yes, black men as well as white men, would be guaranteed unalienable Rights of Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. It is obvious today that humanity has defaulted on this promissory note. Instead of honoring this sacred obligation, Humanity has given its own species a bad check, a check which has come back marked insufficient funds.

And as much as I tried to believe that the bank of justice is not bankrupt, it seems our species is. While once I refused to believe that there are insufficient funds in the great vaults of opportunity of this planet, I now see that those who hold the purse strings intend to make those who do not, suffer. And so, I no longer come to demand the riches of freedom and the security of justice be given to all because there is something in our very soul that will deny a man dying of thirst a drink despite ourselves having more water than we will ever need in a thousand lifetimes.

Once we could have come to this hallowed spot to remind humanity of the fierce urgency of Now. To tell people there was no time to engage in the luxury of cooling off or to take the tranquilizing drug of gradualism. But it seems all we have managed to do with the promise of democracy is to make it a tool of the few. We have missed the opportunity to shine a light on the dark and desolate valley of our own fallacies as a species. We have missed a chance to lift ourselves from the quicksands of intolerances. There can be no reality of justice for all of God’s children.

Fatally for our species, the moment of urgency has passed. This sweltering heat of a warming planet is upon us and humanity will not survive to last winters of discontent that will follow. Two thousand and thirteen is the beginning of our own end. And those who hope that the troubles we have made will blow off steam will have a rude awakening. There will be neither rest nor tranquility on this planet for Humanity and all the other species we condemn with our arrogance. The whirlwinds of change will continue to shake the foundations of our planet and our species will fade into the ashes to become minerals for a species that may emerge in the future.

And there is something that I must say to my fellow species who stand on the warm threshold which heralds our end: We did this to ourselves and therefore we deserve whatever we get. But in the process of gaining our rightful place, we have wronged countless other species. In our own attempt to satisfy our lusts, we have made other species drink from the cup of bitterness of our own hatred. We, who were given the task of looking after all species on this planet and not just ourselves, have bought death and extinction so we can have a feather for a hat or certain wood for our coffee tables. And worse, we so easily allow our creative protest to degenerate into physical violence. Again and again, we descend into war. Instead of rising to majestic heights, we have become quick to kill our own kind and so doing mar our very soul with force.

With new militancy, we engulf nations into wars for no reason other than the idea of war. We distrust others of our own species and fan this distrust with bigotry that drives the tanks and the oil wells of the victors. And the more we claim to fight for freedom, we instead make slaves of ourselves.

We cannot walk alone. But we do. Plugged into our I phones and our MY spaces.

And as we walk, we ignore the pledge that we say we took to one another, and instead focus on our self.

And as we walk, we do so scattering in a multitude of direction and any strength we had as a species is lost to the purpose of the individual.

And now, we cannot even turn back. We have lost our way. And we rather turn on one another than turn back.

And now we wallow in the valley of despair we ourselves made but blame others for. Those of difference. Different ideas. Different cultures. Different religions.

And so we face the difficulties of today and tomorrow, and I must let go of the dream I once had.

A dream that one day this species 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 once had a dream that one day, the sons of one religion and the sons of another will be able to sit down together at the table of brotherhood.

I once had a dream that one day the state of a sweltering planet with the heat of injustice, sweltering with the heat of oppression, and the heat of its own ignorance would be transformed into an oasis of freedom and justice. That science would conquer our own stupidity.

I once had a dream that children will one day live in a world where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.

Alas. I have this dream no more.

A. Ghebranious January, 2014

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