Jan. 15 is Dr. Martin Luther King’s birthday. There will be much talk about Dr. King’s iconic 1963 speech “I Have a Dream.” Even some of those legislators who worked and continue to work to gut voting rights, affirmative action and other issues that Dr. King sacrificed his life for will quote him.
But Dr. King had much more than a dream.
The same year that he was assassinated, his book “Where Do We Go from Here: Chaos or Community” was published in 1968. Dr. King’s dream became a concrete program that is as relevant today as it was then.
He called for a guaranteed income. “I am now convinced the… solution to poverty is to abolish it directly by… the guaranteed income.” He saw that “For the evils of racism, poverty and militarism to die, a new set of values must be born. Our economy must become more person-centered than property and profit-centered.”
Dr. King knew “political clowns” back then and would have no problem seeing them today. “In several southern states men long regarded as political clowns had become governors… the magic achieved with the witches brew of bigotry, prejudice, half-truths and whole lies.”
He directs us to act. “Evil must be attacked by a counteracting persistence, by the day-to day assault of the battering rams of justice.” The text includes specific actions that can be taken in the areas of politics, education, housing and more.
Dr. King is one of the greatest visionaries and activists that the America has ever produced. Read his last text, become inspired and join an equality and justice organization of your choice to build that better world that will bring the words “liberty and justice for all” into reality.
Thomas Connolly lives in West Hartford.