Speakeasy Guest Michael Skolnik: "I Have A Dream" 50 Years Later

Posted by admin on 8/29/13 in Inspiration

When Michael Skolnik joined us at the Speakeasy at Wanderlust Vermont this year, we knew he was going to be a great speaker.  But we weren't quite prepared for how crazy-inspiring, hilarious, and brutally honest his talk, "I Got A Case of White Privilege" would be ~ he pulled heartstrings even while he stirred the impetus to make a difference.  We are honored to today share his reflections about what "I have a dream" means 50 years later...

 

2102 "50 years ago, today, a King stood before the men, women and children of our nation and spoke of his dream.  For fifty years we have repeated the words of this King's dream, waking up everyday hoping that this dream would become a reality. One day that this sweet land of liberty would let freedom ring for all of those whose dreams have been deferred.  For fifty years, we the people, have held onto that King's dream, clutching it tightly in our hands as we march towards the top of the mountain that he promised us we would reach...

2105 We, as people, will get to the promised land. Different dream, different night, but same King. The same King that put down his prepared remarks on August 28, 1963 and spoke words that only his heart could write. In front of a statue of a short-lived man who history books would credit for ending slavery, he spoke of our destiny as united states. He spoke of our challenges as divided states. He spoke of a 'day when all of God's children, black men and white men, Jews and Gentiles, Protestants 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!'

2106 Martin Luther King Jr. spoke and we listened.  50 years of listening. 50 years realizing that we have triumphed and we have failed at realizing his dream.  A dream he allowed to become our dream.  Not just for black America, but for all America. As a white kid growing up before there was a black president, I wanted so desperately for America to be what King spoke of.  But I knew as a white kid that if I wanted this dream I had to listen to other parts of his speech from 50 years ago that weren't about a dream. They were about white people. Me. And how we had begun to realize that the destiny of white America is tied to the destiny of black America.  A realization that white people's freedom is "inextricably bound" to the freedom of black people. Or the freedom of Latinos. Or the freedom of Asians. Or the freedom of women.  Or the freedom of the LGBTQ community.  Or the freedom of immigrants.  Or the freedom of the uneducated.  Or the freedom of the un-insured.  Or the freedom of the profiled.  Or the freedom of the victims of violence.  They must not walk alone. We must fight so that everyone has the same rights that many of us, white people, take for granted. At that point we will have realized the essence of Dr. King's dream."

 

2104 To read more about what this means for whites in America, click over to GlobalGrind, the online publication where Michael is Editor-in-Chief.  Michael also serves political director to Russell Simmons. He is also on the Board of Directors of the Trayvon Martin Foundation.  Previously, Michael was an award-winning filmmaker. Stay tuned to the Wanderlust social networks for the upcoming release of his inspiring 2013 Speakeasy from Wanderlust Vermont.  Follow him on twitter @MichaelSkolnik.

Tags: I Have A Dream, Michael Skolnik, MLK Jr, Skolnik, Speakeasy, speech

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