There are very few things I consider “sacred.” If you mistake a parody as a sign of disrespect, that’s not my issue. So thanks for fighting the fight, Martin Luther King Jr., so that we could live in a world that is better than what it was. Not perfect… but better. I use your most famous speech as a template, not because I do not respect your life’s struggle but because I value it more than most others.
I am happy to blog for you today in what will go down in history as the greatest example of, “Who? Never heard of him,” in the history of our nation.
Two score and thirteen years ago a great American whose birthday is now a national holiday recently passed gave an unforgettable speech. This monumental moment was a catalyst for great change in the hope for freedom and equality for all who had been burned by the flames of prejudice. But fifty-three years later, we are still not free nor equal. The pendulum of civil rights has swung too far into the other direction, where oppression comes not in the form of chains and whips but in the guise of politeness and social “norms.” Fifty-three years later, Americans find themselves pariahs in their own country, pushed into cliques for acceptance and safety. So I’m blogging here today to speak out against this shameful condition.
Now is the time to make equality a reality for all of humanity. It would be fatal for our nation to ignore the symptoms of a decaying society. Those who hope that the few of us who see the disease will quiet ourselves down and return back into line will be disappointed. Those whose power is gained by separating us using the guise of tolerance and politics shall have a rude awakening.
There shall neither be rest nor tranquility until equality is achieved. But those of us who seek to speak out must always remember to not become 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 be creative in our arguments, but not destructive in our methods. We should use humor and common humanity, not anger and divisiveness. All freedom is bound together.
So I declare to all of you, that even though the odds seem overwhelming, I have a vision. It is a vision deeply rooted in American values. I have a vision that one day we will rise up and live the creed, “All people are equal.”
I have a vision that one day the political moderates will sit at the same table and form their own political party called, “The Common Sense Party.” The voting population will understand there is no requirement in our Constitution for a “two-party system,” and will vote not because a candidate is a member of a party with a lot of money, but will vote for him or her because of the convictions shared.
I have a vision that children on playgrounds will be allowed to play tag again, or hide and seek, or any game that is competitive, because we understand the value of learning to lose. I have a vision where we teach children it’s okay to not be good at everything, to not cry about always being “it,” and to either strive to be better or choose not to play. I have a vision where children who win at those competitive games are taught how to be gracious winners, and not complete douche’ bags like their drunk fathers who yell at Little League umpires for calling balls and strikes.
I have a vision… I have a vision where individuals take responsibility for their own feelings. I have a vision of a world where when someone calls me a dork, or racist, or fag, or heathen, or bastard, or prick, or goat, or token male teacher… I know that I can choose not to be offended. WE don’t have to be offended by what others say. The insults speak more to the sorry state of their existence. It’s not about us, and we don’t have to be offended. I have a vision where the Freedom of Speech shines bright and we don’t legislate politeness and tolerance, because it is impossible and it’s unnecessary. We don’t all need the same opinion. We don’t all need to use the same “socially accepted” words.
There will come a day when we realize the beauty of diversity is dependent on the ugliness of diversity. Where we learn that for love to flourish, we must be allowed to show disgust. For happiness to be appreciated, we must occasionally show anger. We cannot end division, we cannot end arguments, we cannot end loss… but we can show respect to those divided from us, we can acknowledge the truth in an opposing argument, we can struggle to win again. We can simultaneously be separate and united, and in such a state we can achieve anything.
But trying to force unity will only destroy us. I have a vision that someday we’ll understand that.