The Dreamer’s Dream

Delayed Delivery

Dr. King’s “I have a Dream” speech spoke of hope at daybreak after a long night of captivity. He spoke of the crippling continuation of segregation and discrimination even 100 years later. He spoke of us as an island isolated from prosperity by public policy and racist sentiment. He spoke of cashing a check issued on a promissory note. His civil rights speech questioned the inalienable rights, liberty, and pursuit of happiness promised to all but yet not delivered to us. He spoke of the urgency of the times, police brutality, ghetto conditions only varying in the size of the ghetto, voting rights denied, and the indifference to injustice provoking an interdependent fate of destruction.

However, he did not speak of becoming docile and we should not let the interpretation of his words convert us into doormats for those who say his words were those of passivity. He was emphatic about there can be no rest or contentment until we are recognized and treated equally as first class citizens.  He did indeed speak of a color blind society but have we achieved it yet? If not, many interpretations and assertions regarding his speech are still delinquent in their realization. As such, the racial utopia of his dream is a society we are working towards but still have a considerable ways to go.

The unrelenting echoes of his voice ring loud and true as if he is giving that speech today. Many of the conditions he spoke of still exist as challenges of today. Sure, apologist, revisionist, and the treasonous historically ignorant point to gains amounting to meatless bones of patronization comparative to other segments of society. He also warned us of contentment fatiguing us to complacency. It is also true that our complacency has now led to our conditions just as much as the forces against us have. Patience is a virtue only when it is not used as a crutch propping up alibis of inaction and deficits of fortitude.

Where is our bus boycott or march on power mentality insisting our demands are met? We whimper in celebrations of causes which allude us disguised as a tribute to the man himself. They are separate. Celebrate the man but the fight for the cause, his cause which has always been our cause is still waging far from over and constantly under siege. Any factual revelation of discrimination is labeled anti-American, anti-white, divisive, and well, racist. It absolutely is exactly that if judged by the metric of Jim Crow and those who would hold themselves to a delusional entitlement of superiority.

But that was the point of his speech. He was, and I am also very clear to state it is not a reference to all white people or people of any “color” who do not hold racist sentiments. Much like in home room when they call names at roll call. If it is not your name, you don’t answer because they are not talking to you. Same for acts of racism not committed by you. Counter claims of racism because we assert our humanity may just have to be the price of doing business and should not deter us from our appointed duty. This counter claim of racism from pointing out the elephant in society amounts to playing the dozens and you can’t play with me in a way I don’t play.

Label it as you may but it does not change the nature of the historical accuracies by the whining “white victimization” petition when social change or accountability hounds your privileged fragility of a fractured identity. The reimbursement of our claims are met with entitlements of moral bankruptcy or written off as an uncollectable debt of justice. But, why? A large part is the psychology of assimilation where we must shun any association or resemblance to those of us still stereotypically marginalized based on our indoctrination of them as memories of inferiority. Our Judas approach to denounce them to appease others and pacify ourselves maintains our separation and our collective ostracization.

It is an adoption of an ideology mimicking an identity conditioned upon us similar to the squabble between house and field personnel. An immigrational surrender of our identity to gain acceptance. Dr. King spoke of governors, some now are freshly minted immigrants I might add, as vicious racist whose lips are dripping with, well their hypocrisy of racism or the eradication of it. Frankly speaking, presidential candidates can be included as well until their ethnicity is challenge as not “white” and then they cry racism which they say does not exist.

However, I would bet white is what they self-identify as on an application when it suits them. This code switching is a form of discriminatory privilege many fail to admit but routinely use such as the term minority or person of color. These minor practices do not obscure the awareness and denial of much more significant normalities and fluctuating definitions of unnecessary labels. They protest the restrictions of racism and subjugated labels only when directly applied to them. Why would it exist for them but not for us when we have a documented archive of its existence for us? They can ban books but history, memories, and truth is a much different story. 

So, August 28, 1963, was the date of Dr. King’s historic speech and more than 60 years later the runway is still not clear for equality to land. Advocates of freedom are not voting for something. We are voting against our forever intertwined destruction. Our collective survival. This is especially true for Blacks, the enemy of those who opposes our interest is a friend not to us but to our interest. Assimilation surrenders an identity which many believe was taken from us centuries ago, but as Dr. King said this is a beginning and not an end.

Our salvation will be our dignity, content of character, and fortitude persevering as our sword to tremble the sentiments of injustice from the ideological delusion of Stone Mountain in Georgia to whatever rock of ideology racist hide behind or under. We have tried a soul force of faith more appropriate for that time. It has proven that the beggars tool benefits only time. So, don’t discredit Dr. King’s dream turning it into a nightmare by our empty talk and celebration. Celebrate his life and legacy sure, but don’t succumb to the relaxation of a partial achievement. Dr. King warned us of this with his words and life 

Nevertheless, his legacy is best celebrated by the actions of people who embody his calls to arms by being about it instead of talking about it. Standing on the ideological business about it. To not be deceived about his dream we must learn about the Dreamer and his speech from his words beyond the sensationalism of a few of the more famous verses. It will inspire you to a greater appreciation for his significance as a sociopolitical force so dangerous he had to be silenced. READ the speech to consume the magnitude of its message so it can never be silenced. Please, don’t sleep on the Dreamer’s message. Humanity has no color only where racism has no place. Hopefully one day we’ll have a Happy MLK Jr Day which is not a dream but a reality!

Thurston K Atlas

Creating a Buzz

Diluted Justice and Pure Morality



Judgement Day- Home Team always Win 

Justice and Morality are as old as civilization and communal survival aiding in the coexistence of different norms. They often are confused with each other because both are sometimes present at the same time. They are really just both agreed-upon social norms that provide society’s guidelines and govern the restrictions of its members.

Justice aspires to punish wrongful acts and distribute fairness ethically. However, morality is more concerned with good or bad and right or wrong in principle. The question then becomes who sets the standard and how binding it is for all to follow or submit to as an arbitrarily accepted social standard.

They are really close in definition but not in practice, application, or agreement. Under some circumstances, it remains the same and, in others, has an entirely other interpretation based on who is observing or practicing it. It can be virtuous over here while prudish over there.

The variations of each are endless and fluid, but some are consistent within a range or scope of understanding and, at times, baffling. A duality of the same condition by definition diluted is weakened in strength or lessened purity while pure is unadulterated or without dilution or contamination.

Let’s get to the point without any emotional blinders or folks head jumping time over concepts that their mind or experiences refuse to give allowance for to understand that their adherence to the home team undermines the strength and clarity of their assertions and positions.

It is more of a reflection of where your feet are and the conditioned or adopted perspective that results from a liberal or conservative application of your reality to impose your truth upon others. Liberals generally live and let live while conservatives hold tight to adherence and dissemination of their perspectives upon others. It is many times a cognitive dissonance ignoring the discord between philosophy and application.

In actuality, neither can be an absolute truth. Still, justice and morality can be a more inclusive comprehensive display of the virtue and veracity of your perspective that separates yours from opposing ones but strangely enough align them on common ground.

If we are outraged by attacks on the police, then we should be equally outrage by attacks on civilians by the police. If we are outraged by the police killing black and brown, we have to be outraged by black and brown killing each other. The blade cuts both ways with integrity as the dividing denominator.

When your politician or political party has been in lockstep with racist or divisive rhetoric for many, and you have fully or partially embraced that, then you dilute your hypocritical view that someone else is supporting division by their words or actions.

You cannot be silent when it is the home team and criticize the opposition for the same or similar things. You see, this is where the justice becomes diluted and the Morality less than pure. When you set the table and prepare the meal, you lose credibility to complain and deny your transgressions while bemoaning others.

The caterpillar’s knowledge is defined by the confines of its cocoon, unable to see beyond its perspective or limitations. The butterfly is transformed by expanding and shedding its limited existence to a sphere of expanded consciousness and possibilities.

The human perspective and experience are much the same in a micro or macrocosm of reality as you expand outward from your cocoon of a singular view towards a transformative multi-sensory one. It reflects the contemporary evolution of thought and perspective that is the adaptation of survival in a larger cocoon or radius of understanding.

There is a distinct difference between compromise and being compromised, between concession and surrender. If a majority sets justice and Morality as a social norm, then it would stand to reason the same dynamic should be used to change it in the adaption of a different standard.

Look at domestic violence and its acceptability that traumatized generations of women and children, once a social norm and even encouraged. Its acceptability has run its course, and while it is still a reality, it is condemned for the despicable act of self-hatred projected outwardly victimizing vulnerable targets masquerading your cowardly inadequacies and lack of self-control as dominance.

The same is valid with these moral judgments and racial prejudices on who do not deserve the same considerations as you because, in all your righteousness, their culture is not yours. Most people’s fortune or misfortune is simply a matter of to whom and where they were born.

It was not their choice of who, when, where, what culture, advantages, or disadvantages they were born into. It was not your choice what education, principles, or demons your parents struggled with or suffered from. There are times when it is not even yours regarding yourself, but even if born in the lowlands, you can scale the peak.

It is a mix and match, but there are plenty that we claim credit for that was the pure luck of the draw, a sort of social genetics. Be careful of judgments and values we place on others because of despair for our challenges or lack of gratitude for our blessings.

The pandemic should have taught us all something about how our circumstances can change overnight through no fault of our own to find ourselves in a food line, business or career obliterated, or the shoes tight and the purse-string light. Comparisons are always dangerous and usually an exercise in subjective status in a derogatory manner.

It gets real really fast when we become them, and these are the shoes we now walk in, or we ride in the struggle buggy for the first time. So it is all the same application to a different situation. So when we judge by a certain measure, we must make sure we do not fall short of being judged by the same measure. So when your words condemn others, make sure your actions don’t condemn yourself.

It would only stand to reason that to protest for social justice, against systemic racism, and denounce racial inequality are absolute legit demands. Still, we must also flip the coin and hold ourselves to a level of accountability that does not dilute the integrity of our demands or promote the impurity of other’s morality.

We must handle our end of the table, which we have control over. We control our spoon while we must cajole others into managing theirs. That within our power, we must grab holt of and correct while continuing to demand our humanity from others but let’s also require and demonstrate that ourselves.

They are two different things but closely related, and I believe interdependent upon each other. I trust that the better we treat ourselves and each other, the more our internal communal dynamics will improve with or without external help.

The dreaded talk that black and brown parents have with our children needs to expand beyond the usual topics to include their behavior and ours. We can only hope that white families have a dreaded talk with their children beyond the sphere of their cocoon.

The same criteria applied to Chauvin and many other cases of excessive use of force by police must be applied to the senseless excessive use of force by us against us in our communities which is equally terrifying and on a larger scale.

We cannot allow ourselves to be numb to the conditions in our midst that are claiming so many of our people, especially our young people. It reminds me of the saying that even if you have old tattered clothes, they should still be clean clothes.

If this is where we start and is all we got, then we have to make the best of it, and it will bear crop in the harvest season with cultivation, patience, and time. The struggle is real out there but also within here. If we suffer the most, then we need to find solutions for our generational provisions and safety.

We need change, theirs and ours. By whoever it applies, each taking their transgressions out of the equation or conversation of social dysfunction. Let’s give them something else to talk about, whoever they are. Peace, prosperity, and wisdom to the people that justice and morality will become less subjective to emotions and perspectives but aligned with unwavering integrity, progress, and resolve.

With that said, let me ask a question if the prevailing racial strife and circumstance had different parties inserted, then would it change the perception, or would the same hold true.

For example, insert black, gang bangers, or opps instead of the police within the situations mentioned playing out in the inner cities across too much of this country. Would that not be just as unacceptable and disgraceful, maybe even more so because it would be us doing it to us. Injustice or murder should not change according to who and where it is done.

The expectations have to be condemnation even when committed by us if the anticipation is for accountability for actions. It should not be judged by who is doing it but by what is being done. Then it would stand to reason that our outrage has to be focused on the act and the perpetrator, or at some point, our validity and impact diminishes of demanding better.

It is the parable of the goose and the gander; it should be the same with different players and with the same standard applied. Consider how many black lives would be saved if the two scenarios met in the middle and were lessened, but we control our communities.

Protest is cool against the system but let’s play our position on the opposite end to display love, patience, and change. The change demanded from others; we must demand from ourselves and reframe from that which alibis police use of force and irregularities. 

It will not eliminate their behavior, but it will lessen our contribution to it, making it evident and irrefutable to any misconduct. Some changes we seek without must be the change we are willing to create within. Giving no concession to inequality by keeping our knees straight, our backs unbent, our character intact, and our perseverance soaring in pursuit of our humanity and pure justice from a diluted morality.

We are not victims or survivors; we are warriors in pursuit of our humanity armed with intellect and integrity that does not require anyone’s permission. The resolution resides in time and commitment now so that the following generations can shed the disparaging and condescending cloaks of racial biases and economic gloom.

A strong ten-year commitment followed by another ten-year cultivation period will make tremendous permanent strides like the mighty oak, which grows into its strength over time. The seeds are the children raised to know no other way, feel no other way, or accept no other way because you can only feel inferiority if it resides in you.

Racism’s historical ramifications must be exposed, adjudicated, and conquered, but being a resilient people, it is not preventive of our ascension and perseverance. It can only be if we allow it to be; it is the victim mindset of despair and submission every time we ask for permission.

Therefore, just as we band together to protest against these evils, let us collaborate to establish our humanity adhering to our own social norms, which embrace each other.

If freedom is free, then we are free to frame our destiny. Enforcing justice and morality in our communities, creating social norms more in line with our integrity, desires, and prosperity can be done by us to better police ourselves.

Thurston K. Atlas

Creating A Buzz