Hello all! As you might already know, I entered a contest wherein you must write a piece about Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and his life and philosophies. I wrote a speech and delivered it to a panel of judges on the 7th of this month. I waited anxiously to see if I made it to the finals, but unfortunately, I didn’t make it into the group of 7 that would be performing again.
It was a bit of a let down, but I still feel that I should post the speech here. It is MLK day after all, and it’s important to remember all that he did.
I take on an urgent, affirmative tone throughout this speech. Although I am NOT Christian, I felt like it was important to stick with the preacher-esque tone and insert a few biblical references. That would be good for the conservative-leaning panel of judges, and it would also connect to MLK and his life as a pastor.
The text below isn’t a word-for-word transcript of the audio recording; I rarely read things off exactly like that. But it is the final draft that I used during the speech and the audio recording, and there are a few minor on-the-spot modifications to make it easier for me your remember and recite.
Matthew, chapter 5, verse 46. If you love only those who love you, what reward is there for that? Even corrupt tax collectors do that much.
Ladies and gentlemen of the audience, people who are near and far and everywhere in between, folks from all cultures and walks of life, I plead you to lend me your ear. I have an ever important message to share with all of you today.
I speak of the deep injustice and inequality that plagues our modern society. The same bigotry and hatred that one would think to be resolved by this day and age is still [emblazoned] into our lives and our culture, still slithers its way into every area of what we know. The black man does not have the same chances of getting a job as his white counterpart with the same credentials. In an ordinary church down in Charleston, a white man ruthlessly slaughtered 9 innocent black people, saying that he wished to incite a race war. And a man stricken with bias and bigotry went on to win the presidency of the United States of America. These things show how much work still needs to be done, and how regardless of the many individuals who don’t believe in it’s existence, the privilege of the white man still makes it’s home inside our government and our culture.
But yet, we have all come together. The blacks and the whites, the men and the women, the richest and the poorest; we have all joined forces and despite our differences have decided to fight the common evil that we all detest. Hate has waged a war, but yet, we have refused to stand down. Ever since the great and well-known efforts of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., we have gotten the hope, inspiration, and help needed to continue on fighting. He saw the problems in our society, and he did his absolute darndest to fix it. He had a dream. A dream that permeated throughout even the deepest corners of his world that was plagued with segregation and hate mongering. And more significantly that that, he ushered into an era of change and hope that is still going on today.
48 years ago, he had a dream. The dream to have the blacks and the whites live in absolute equality, to erase the existing animosity between the races. And here today, with all of you, we continue on with his efforts. We fight the good fight of the faith; we grab onto these wishes for freedom and happiness and equality, and we hold onto them. We never let them go for as long as we can help it. Today, we continue to live this philosophy, and we follow gratefully in his footsteps as we [create a world that he would be proud of.]
He had a dream. And he may not be alive today but by God that dream is still alive and well. I can see it wherever I go, with people fighting back against the negative things they see in today’s society. We are in a new era in humanity, one that has brought forth progress, love, peace and hope. We are creating a world that Dr. King would be very thankful to have helped created, and I believe that if we all have the same thought and dedication as he did, then this world would be a beautiful place.
It matters not whether I’m given an award for this speech, for my goal has been accomplished. I’ve gotten the opportunity to present this message of peace, love and acceptance to thousands of open ears, ones that I dearly hope will capture this message and spread it around to anywhere they go. And for myself, for Dr. Martin Luther King Jr, for everyone who has been persecuted, condemned, or oppressed, I wish for this message to be shouted from the mountaintops, so that everyone in the world may hear it. Thank you, thank you all for your time and attention.