2 October 2010: We Have a Dream--"One Nation Working Together"
Tens of thousands of progressives representing more than 400 diffrerent interest groups, from American Auto Workers (AAW) to the National Educators Association. from truck and cab drivers to clergy and politicians, from infants to senior citizens, handicapped people to athletes, deaf to mezzo soprano, Green Party and socialist to Libertarian--all came together to voice a new dream with frequent references back to the immortal precedent set by the Reverend Martin Luther King Jr. in his speech on the day of the March on Washington in 1963, also held at the Lincoln Memorial.
The Pledge of Allegiance, Star-Spangled Banner, My Country, "Tis of Thee, and other patriotic backdrop added to both the anxiety of patriotism, and bewilderment and anger that basic human rights are being treated as exclusivist privileges.
A parable formed from the biblical legend of Noah was the structure of long-time activist Marion Wright Edelman's speech, close to the middle of the 4-hour rally: if such diversity could exist at such close quarters in Noah's ark for forty days and nights, why can't we share this country so equitably, all of us stuck in this boat of the United States together, a floundering ship at sea?
How could Glenn Beck have used this same venue a month ago, drawing parallels between the ideals of MLK and those of the Tea Party constituency?
MLK belongs to all of us, but . . .
Wonderful old and new music punctuated the silence between speeches at the October 2 rally. An exquisite mezzo soprano sang The Star Spangled Banner. The most popular patriotic motifs seemed to be the Pledge of Allegiance and My Country, T'is of Thee.
The first sentence of the Preamble to the U.S. Constitution would have been my suggestion as a radial theme--actually just one particular clause: TO PROMOTE THE GENERAL WELFARE.
How can any group outside of those who attended today's rally possibly claim to "promote the general welfare"?