Forty-five years ago this March, I was one of the 25,000 who marched with him into downtown Montgomery, Ala., on the final day of the Selma March.
On the national holiday that is his national remembrance, I continued to hope that somehow, someday, the sacrifice of his life in the cause of ending racial segregation will bring an end to that in the Congress of the United States.
On Aug. 29, 1963, at the Lincoln Memorial, the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. electrified most of the world with his elocutionary classic entitled “I Have a Dream.”
In one of the most memorable and moving statements of that historic address to this nation, he said:
“I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color or their skin, but by the content of their character.”
But despite this high point of his expressed dream – which is surely embodied in the Constitution of the United States – the Congress of the United States continues to tolerate – and even subsidize – the racially segregated Congressional Black Caucus.
President Obama, while he was a U.S. senator, belonged to this racist organization.
This very same Congress that declared Dr. King’s birthday a national holiday continues to tolerate and even subsidize this Black Caucus, which in 1973 refused to accept the membership application of veteran civil-rights activist Rep. Pete Stark of California; and, in 2007, of Tennessee Democrat Rep. Steve Cohen – because both of these applicants are white.
Much more of the nation’s media should be asking these Congressional Black Caucus segregationists: How in the name of human decency can you continue membership in any racially segregated organization while in any way participating in the national holiday for the man who also said at the Lincoln Memorial:
When we allow freedom to ring from every village and every hamlet, from every state and every city, we will be able to speed up that day when all God’s children, black men and white men, Jews and Gentiles, Protestant and Catholics, will be able to join hands and sing, in the words of the old Negro spiritual:
Free at last! Free at last! Thank God Almighty we are free at last!