civic dreaming

We talked about it, how our country used to be different, how Dr. King came along and said what a lot of people were feeling, how he stood up, how he had a dream and wanted more than anything for everyone to be treated equally no matter what color their skin. I show her his I Have A Dream speech and she actually watches most of it. She marvels at all the people who were there and we talk some more, one of those magical moments where she is really and truly listening. She asks if he's still alive and if we can go see him and I tell her what happened and she wants to see pictures of that too.

She can't understand why someone would want to hurt such a nice man, a man who just wanted everyone to be treated the same, the way we all do. I told her that he scared some people, some people were very afraid of what he had to say and didn't want things to change. That some white people thought white was the only good color and they were better than everyone else. She looks at me and starts laughing. Are you kidding? ARE YOU KIDDING? If I thought that way I wouldn't know X and X and X and X friends and I LOVE them!

And I smile at her and tell her I am not kidding but her saying that is exactly why Dr. King is so important. Because he helped change America. That because of him and others like him things changed and it was good. But she can't let it go. White people were AFRAID of black people? Yes, I say. Are they afraid of them now, she asks and I tell her yes, some people still are afraid of people who look different from them and she pauses for a minute and says are people afraid of Barack Obama? and I nod and say yes, I think some people are and she throws her head back and laughs out loud. Well that's just about the silliest thing I've ever heard she says.

Happy Birthday, Dr. King.

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