Requiem for “The Dream”

Yesterday was the official unveiling of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial on the Mall in Washington D.C. For those of you who have read my blogs before, you know that I feel that Rev. King was a monumental figure in American history and he earned his place among Washington and Jefferson. He was a modern day Isaiah, a prophet who spoke of the need to overcome hatred, violence and greed.

It was a historical moment when President Obama was elected, but maybe it was more of a symbolic achievement, and it has only served to divert us from looking at the real measure of our society’s progress.  In the context of “The Dream”, what would Dr. King see today?

Instead of one unnecessary war, we are fighting three. In fact, war has become institutionalized in our society with the never-ending “war on terror”. His observation that we were becoming as a Nation the greatest perpetrator of violence in the World has only become more obvious.

Rev. King called poverty another form of “violence”. After decades of declining poverty rates, poverty among Americans began to increase under President Bush and has actually accelerated under President Obama. More children are born into poverty today than since the 1960s. The disparity of incomes among all Americans has increased to obscene levels, especially between minorities and Caucasian Americans. Since the Bush Presidency, the net wealth of white Americans has declined 16%, among Latinos and Blacks it has declined nearly 40%.

In America today the greed of the super-rich has become insatiable and inculcated into the very fabric of our Government. Funding for programs to help people in need is being eliminated, while programs to enrich the already rich are increasing. The attack on Organized Labor signals the final dismantling of any opportunity for poor Americans to rise to the middle class or beyond. America is becoming a 3rd world society of have and have-nots.

Hatred has once again become acceptable in our society. For example, hatred of Muslims has become acceptable for far too many Americans when laws are passed to restrict the practice of their religion or the construction of Mosques go unchallenged. Even the President of the United States is subject to suspicion and hatred because his name “sounds” Muslim.

I am glad that the King Memorial exists and bears witness on the Mall, but it is sad that his voice remains like one “calling from the wilderness”.

12 Responses to Requiem for “The Dream”

  1. sbanicki says:

    I also honor MLK. He was a great man. However, I disagree with you. We may have far to go, but we have come a long way. If he were alive today he would witness much of his dream.

    It is easy to complain what has not been accomplished. Be proud of what has.

  2. sbanicki says:

    Another “Dream” is failing. Fieger, you can do something about this one.

    Updated August 23, 2011

    “Fed Chairman Ben S. Bernanke’s unprecedented effort to keep the economy from plunging into depression included lending banks and other companies as much as $1.2 trillion of public money, about the same amount U.S. homeowners currently owe on 6.5 million delinquent and foreclosed mortgages. The largest borrower, Morgan Stanley, got as much as $107.3 billion, while Citigroup took $99.5 billion and Bank of America $91.4 billion, according to a Bloomberg News compilation of data obtained through Freedom of Information Act requests, months of litigation and an act of Congress.” Bloomberg, August 22, 2011

    Our civil legal system is set up so those who are harmed by someones actions can gain retribution from those who caused harm. Many homeowners have lost money and endured significant hardship as a result of the actions of wall street, Banks, regulators and rating agencies.

    Why are they not required to pay retribution to those who were injured? Why are no class action suits being filed by the injured parties?

  3. InYourFaceNewYorker says:

    You can bury your dead, but don’t leave a trace.
    Hate your next door neighbor, but don’t forget to say grace.

  4. It is apparent that President Obama is not the heir of MLK. The biggest disappointment is the willful disregard for the undeniable truths he claimed were so central to his candidacy. Obama is not ignorant or misinformed. He precisely and eloquently stated the issues during the campaign and then has abandoned them. In fact it is now obvious that he has totally and irrevocably sold out. His disregard for the promises to end the US militarism worldwide is reprehensible, but the most despicable aspect of the betrayal is to even suggest that he cares about the middle class’ demise at the hands of the corporatist state.

    General Electric posted $14.2 billion in profits in 2010, but it paid not a penny in taxes because the bulk of those profits, some $9 billion, were offshore. In fact, GE got a $3.2 billion tax benefit. $5 Billion of that profit was from US operations. GE paid $0.00 income tax to the Federal Government. Remarkable? Just wait, it gets better.

    Over the past decade GE has moved 21,000 US jobs overseas. Now, here is the kicker: General Electric’s chief executive, Jeffrey Immelt, is one of President Obama’s advisers on … ready? U.S. job creation!

    Immelt was asked by Obama in January to lead the President’s Council on Jobs and Competitiveness. Recently GE announced that it was moving even more GE infrastructure to China. GE makes more medical-imaging machines than anyone else in the world, and now GE has announced that it “is moving the headquarters of its 115-year-old X-ray business to Beijing”. Apparently, this is all part of a “plan to invest about $2 billion across China” over the next few years. But moving core pieces of its business overseas is nothing new for GE. Neither is the lip service from Barack Obama.

    To make matters clear (or less so) in this upside down world we live in – both Ron Paul and Ralph Nader agree that the WTO and NAFTA should be repudiated immediately. Both agree that our civil liberties are under assault. No establishment candidates dare utter this heresy.

    The media blacks out Ron Paul who said as President he would order all the troops home. “We marched them in, we can march them right back out.” We need to vote for candidates which openly speak out against militarism and so-called Free Trade. The candidates that do most be held to their promise. The time is NOW; before its too late.

  5. InYourFaceNewYorker says:

    There also seems to be a lot of doublethink. My grandmother is the queen of it. The other day, she said just what Fieger said in his posts about America turning into a third-world country. I said that if Michelle Bachmann becomes president, I’m leaving the US (the practicality of this is beside the point). My grandmother said, “Where would you go? There is no place like America.” Right there, in a brief exchange, she went from declaring that America is becoming a third-world country to declaring that there is “no place like it.”

    As for race? She once talked about how it doesn’t matter what color you are, we can all live together and be friends. Then in another conversation she got upset when she found out my cousin was dating a black guy. She was also upset when she found out that, right after I graduated in ’03, I was living in a black neighborhood. She used the term “Oreo” to not put too fine a point on it. I told her to please stop using that term, but… well… she still did it.

    And the other example of doublethink, while not exactly relevant to the post, well… I can’t resist adding it. Right before Dr. Kevorkian got sick, I was talking to my grandmother about him. She said something to the effect of, “Oh, he’s nuts! When you inject someone with a lethal substance, that’s murder!” I said, “Was it murder when you put your dog to sleep?” Meanwhile, in 2005, she thought that the debate over Terri Schiavo was ridiculous, that the feeding tube should be removed, that she was a hopeless case with no quality of life.

    It’s easy to dismiss this as my grandmother being “from another generation” or my “picking on an elderly woman.” Don’t get me wrong. I love my grandmother. I just get frustrated over her pervasive doublethink. She’s 87 but she’s not senile. I’m just using her as an example of the kind of doublethink that seems to go on in society on a regular basis because she’s the concrete example that comes to mind. But it seems that people of all ages do it, not just people “set in their ways.” (And while we’re on that, is there some kind of unwritten law that says that once you pass a certain age you have to be “set in your ways?”)

    America is going to hell, but it’s the greatest country in the world.

    It’s great if people of different races can integrate and be friends, but if your own kid is dating a black person, that’s bad.

    You can let someone who wants to die starve to death, but you can’t “put them to sleep.”

    More examples:

    Labels are bad. Everyone should just be themselves and we should all accept it. What’s wrong with that person over there? God, he’s weird. His sense of humor is messed up. Why can’t he read body language? Asperger’s syndrome? I told you, don’t put labels on people!

    Abortion is wrong! It kills babies. What’s that? You want free healthcare for that baby you didn’t want? It’s your problem. Deal with it. Or put it up for adoption. What’s that? I should adopt unwanted children? I already gave birth to five children and I don’t need more!

    And another example that I confess to being very guilty of– and most of us are–: I love animals. Dearly. I might visit a petting zoo with cows and pigs and then two hours later eat pork chops or a cheeseburger. I know damn well what goes on before they are slaughtered, but I continue to eat them. I eat organic/free range/no-torture whenever I can, but because I have to go to another supermarket instead of the one in walking distance, I don’t always get organic. I am guilty of doublethink too, and I have turned myself in.

    My two cents… or two million. Anyway I hope readers can see why I think the post is relevant to the blog topic. I think that doublethink is part of what is causing problems in this country.


  6. sbanicki says:

    If this is not progress, what is? Black Candidate Wins Gubernatorial Primary In Miss.

  7. Here is Nader on Free Trade

    Here is Ron Paul on Free Trade

  8. InYourFaceNewYorker says:


    Progress? Sure. Too damned slow, though. People need to stop taking Stupid Pills. Did you know that atheists are the most feared minority in America? I actually heard a few years ago that some people in a Bible Belt state would drive by a house and sit outside in their cars, waiting for things to happen. Why? It was a family of atheists. Imagine the uproar if these people were “watching” any other minorities, whether minorities in race, political/religious beliefs, and so forth.


  9. InYourFaceNewYorker says:

    Just in case my fried brain at 2:16 AM didn’t make that last post clear, I meant that there was a family of atheists living in the house and people driving by stopped to watch them as if a sideshow exhibit.

  10. Elizabeth says:

    Mr. Fieger –

    I have a friend who is in dire need of your help. She is a resident of Oakland County and is involved in a high profile case regarding natural medical options for those who suffer. Recent court rulings for other similar cases are not looking favorable for the outcome of her case and she desperately would like to meet with you personally. If you could respond swiftly, it would be appreciated.
    Thank you.

  11. It’s Official: General Electric Corporation is Running for President!

    Citing the case of Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, 558 U.S. 08-205 (2010), the landmark decision by the United States Supreme Court holding that corporate funding of independent political broadcasts in candidate elections cannot be limited—because of the First Amendment, and that a corporation was a person for First Amendment purposes, the General Electric Corporation Board of Directors announced that the company would be seeking the office of President of the United States.

    The GE Board declared in resolution which read to a meeting of the Washington D.C. Federalist Society that had filed that necessary paperwork with the Federal Election Commission. GE’s Board declared that it was a natural born citizen of Schenectady, New York, in 1890; and resides at its corporate headquarters in Fairfield, Connecticut. GE claims therefore that is 121 years old, and more than satisfies the requirement that:

    “No person except a natural born Citizen, or a Citizen of the United States, at the time of the Adoption of this Constitution, shall be eligible to the Office of President; neither shall any Person be eligible to that Office who shall not have attained to the Age of thirty-five Years, and been fourteen Years a Resident within the United States.” Art II, US Const.

    GE claimed that its incorporation was “natural” and legal valid and that it was “born” when the article of incorporation were accepted. GE’s legal counsel stated that “born” under several dictionary definitions means “to bring forth.” The GE stated, if elected President, it would discontinue its long standing practice in which it “spends more on U.S. lobbying than any other company.” (Carney, Timothy (2011-04-07) “Want to know how GE paid $0 income taxes? Think green.”, Washington Examiner)

    Several sitting US Supreme Court justices were in attendance at the Federalist Society Chapter meeting, but refused to comment, since they indicated that the qualification of a corporation to formally hold the office without political intermediaries may come before the Court someday. Legal experts challenged that analysis and stated that, consistent with the recent “Obama birther cases,” that any citizen challenging the Candidacy of GE would lack standing to sue under Article II of the US Constitution.

  12. Clarice says:

    Thank you for your commercial attesting to the fact that Unions made the Middle Class. Keep the truth alive. Happy Labor Day

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