Dear Mr. President.
I know you're a busy man, busier than usual, because you are preparing on this auspicious day, to step onto the foot path of the Drum Major for peace, Dr. Martin Luther King Junior, on this the 50th anniversary of perhaps his greatest day. I understand that you will be joined by a host of celebrities and important people including two past presidents, Clinton and Carter, and I'm also hearing today that Oprah Winfrey will also take part in today's celebration among others.
Let me be blunt, Mr. President, I have a problem with today's commemoration. My problem being that everything scheduled to take place today could have and should have taken place this past Saturday (August 24th) when the people could have attended and taken part. The first march was for the people. 50 years later what we have is a gathering for us, talking about jobs and economic freedom, which we still don't have, despite your promises, followed by a gathering of the glitterati, 4 days later on the exact date of the first march. Why two, celebrations separate and definitely not equal in place of the inclusive demonstrations orchestrated back in the day? Leaders bent over backward in order to show a united front, at least for that day and they pulled it off magnificently.
The excuse that I was given was that today August 28th is the exact date of the MLK march, so it was important to be historically and completely correct. To which I say bull. We live in a country that has changed the dates on every single holiday and national commemoration with the exception of the 4th of July and Christmas, for the sole purpose of giving people 3 day holiday weekends. It wasn't always like that. When I was in school, we celebrated Lincoln on his birthday. The same with Washington and even Dr. King. Now there is President's day, two for the price of one, and never on February 12th (Lincoln)or the 22nd (Washington).
I suspect politics is the main reason behind the scripted segregation. Politics and egos and for those reasons, we the people are once again left twisting in the wind. Some of us have long been tired of the symbolism of equality rather than the real deal. We refuse to sing another verse of “we shall overcome.” The passions kindled 50 years ago on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial are now nothing more than cinders and ash.
Having a Black man in the White House, Mr. President, has never been enough. It was a start, we thought, to fulfillment of Dr. King's dream as spelled out all those years ago. However I guess nobody was really listening were they.
As you prepare to stand in for Dr. King and to talk about peace, equality, freedom and justice for we the people, the media is reporting that you are contemplating “limited retaliatory intervention” in Syria because their president reportedly gassed his innocent citizens while they slept.
You have said that a gas attack is where America draws the line in the sand. The NeoCons immediately started sabre rattling, beating on their shields, strapping on their boots ready to go to jump into another unending and senseless conflagration.
Mr. President you were elected President because we the people wanted change. We wanted an end to unending warfare where anonymous death rains down on faceless innocents. Based on your words and promises, the world awarded you the Nobel Peace Prize, in hindsight very premature to say the least. In an effort to get out of Afghanistan, we have a drone war of your making. Now your regime is talking “ Limited Retaliatory Intervention' which is just another name for Revenge, and for what. The gas didn't kill over here. It killed in the midst of a civil war and we don't have a dog in this fight. The American people are tired, Mr. President.
We chose you to break the cycle. Someone, and I fear it is you, must stand up to the NeoCons both within and outside your administration. If our allies want to go, then let them go, they are not strangers to imperialism having created the imperialistic prototype a long long time ago. That's exactly why our country exists today. We can't nor are we obligated to continue to make the same mistakes over and over and over.
Today, as you stand in the place of Dr. Martin Luther King, a man who died violently while counseling others in nonviolence, there is no rationalization that you can dream up, that will convince me that the right thing to do is to send cruise missiles into the heart of yet another Middle Eastern country. Dr. King was vocally against the war in Vietnam ( another fruitless exercise in limited retaliatory intervention), and he would have been equally vocal against supporting any administration, including yours, so ready and willing to strike out when we're not even sure as a country, who the enemy really is.
The enemy is us, Mr. President. We need to heal ourselves before we attempt to heal others. Striking Syria is wrong and no way to remember Dr. King on his day.