Dr King: I Also Have a Dream

16 November 2008
Dr King: I Also Have a Dream

Every year in January we remember and honour Dr Martin Luther King, an untiring warrior against the brutality of racism. A man who dedicated his entire adult life to the fight for the elimination of racial discrimination, in particular, in the United States. A fight having such world-wide repercussions that, in any corner of the world where injustice exists, the name of Dr Martin Luther King is evoked.

The son and grandson of pastors in Atlanta, Georgia, Dr King combined his
heritage and Christian fervor with a passionate desire to find racial harmony.

Emphatic in his message, Dr King fostered the principles of Gandhi by organizing and directing peace marches and demonstrations as part of his nonviolent resistance to racial segregation.

Dr King was sent to prison for his beliefs many times, his family and friends were taunted, his house was even attacked and burned, but he would always respond with noble and caring words.

In January 1957, together with anti-segregationist fighters, Dr King formed the Southern Christian Leadership Conference - one of the most dominant movements in the defense of civil rights. By virtue of his own integrity and leadership, he gave the civil rights movement a more powerful and confident character.

It was far from anyone’s mind that six days after receiving the Nobel Peace Prize, Dr King would be jailed in his own country accused of being a communist and social agitator.

Paradoxically, despite his total dedication to non-violence and pacifism, Dr King was assassinated in Memphis, Tennessee, on 4 April 1968 by a fanatic, James Earl Ray. Upon his death, Dr King leaves us a legacy of examples in the fight against injustice. His speech I Have a Dream is testimony to his noble ideas.

I refuse, Dr King, as you refused in your speech in Oslo upon receiving the Nobel Peace Prize, to be-lieve that the actual nature of man makes him morally incapable of attaining the eternal rights to which he is entitled.

I also refuse, as you re-fused, to accept the point of view that man is tragically trapped by the darkness of injustice and war and that the radiant dawn of peace and brotherhood can never become a reality.

I say today, on your day, that, despite the difficulties we face day in and day out, Dr King, I also have a dream - a Latin American dream, inspired by the noble ideas of our Liberators.

I have a dream, that the poor, the forgotten and those on the fringes of society who are unjustly forgotten - from South of the Rio Grande to the limits of Patagonia - will be heard and their needs will be met.

I have a dream, that our mountains, our rivers, our seas and our plains will be abundant enough to meet the needs of our future generations and not only serve as reservoirs of exploitation for a few people.

I have a dream, Dr King, to see your children in Alabama, Arizona or Georgia, white, black and aborigines, join hands as brothers and sisters, and that the black, "mestizos", aborigines and white children of our Latin American continent also join hands together to receive those from the North as brothers and not as oppressors.

I also have a dream, Dr King: Peace, Justice and Understanding for Latin America and all the peoples of the Third World.

by Homero Hern?ndez S?nchez, Ambassador, Permanent Mission of the Dominican Republic to the United Nations Office and other International
Organizations in Geneva