• Barbara Clayton Price


Day 78, Saturday, May 31/2020

I have a dream. It seems like yesterday when I stopped to watch a man I didn't recognize, who was speaking on the television. I was mesmerized by his voice and his appearance, and I sat down on the couch to listen to what he was saying. It was The March On Washington in August of 1963, and the man's name was Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. I knew I was watching greatness. That this live television speech by this man was making history. I was so moved by what he said and how he said it, that it touched my heart and I felt a giant lump in my throat as I listened.

It was a time of turmoil and cries for change. Thousands filled the mall in front of the Lincoln Memorial that day. It was a peaceful march of harmony and joining together, of people asking for a change and seeking racial equality and safety. It was a time for change. I was only eighteen in 1963, and I knew it had to change. Today, once again, people are crying out for change. Once again, people want the violence against people of color to stop. I thought that things were getting better over the past years. However, in the last four years, it seems like things have slipped backward, for people of any color but white. That makes me sick.

None of our Presidents have been perfect. However, none to my knowledge, have been so outwardly racist and fear mongering as our present president. We presently have a president who encourages racism and violence. Someone who calls angry mobs, carrying assault riffles "nice people". There have been leaders in other countries who have encouraged racism and bigotry, but not in America, to the best of my knowledge.

There was a very large, peaceful rally here in Grand Rapids yesterday, where my friends marched in solidarity, for the recent killings of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery and Christian Cooper. They were killed by white supremacists and one was a police office,. The fighting and looting that broke out in the evening hours, was not done by the peaceful protesters. There are plenty of videos showing the people who were doing the destruction. Once again, people who came there to be seen and to cause trouble. Not the peaceful protesters, of which many have returned to the city today, to clean up he destruction caused by the evening marauders.

This is a piece of history that is repeating itself, and we must all work harder to change it. Like Dr King, I have a dream that all my friends of color can lead normal lives, without fear of any kind. I pray that we have a leader in our country, who calls for peace, not riots and angry mobs with assault rifles. Hatred is the mother of all evil, and unfortunately it is in the hearts of many of our leaders right now. That being said, I continue to believe that there are more good people than bad. Like John Lennon's song Imagine, I pray that there someday there will be peace and harmony.

Stay safe and remember that the pandemic will not last forever and let's hope that neither will bigotry and hate.

Picture is from and article written by, Leah Asmelash, CNN, August, 1963

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