Faith of A Mustard Seed

Barbara Woods-Washington 2014

Barbara A. Woods Washington, M. Div.

The dreamer is asleep! It is the state of life to which the dream comes. Dreaming is an ‘out of body’ experience that can only be given cognizant measure once the dreamer is awakened. I suspect that the American politic has very deliberately lulled and kept it’s African American community ‘asleep’ in the commemoration and perpetuation of the ‘Ad Campaign’ of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s “I Have A Dream” Speech. What with thousands of Black Children learning to ‘recite’ The Dream— it’s time now to “Wake Up”. I suspect that “The Dream” Speech, and the truth of how King’s Delivery of this Address came to over shadow the historical facts of the greatest protest march in American history is… ‘a lullaby’. Moreover, it is a grave injustice to the Study, the Mind, the Work and the Life that Dr. King GAVE, fully awake, FULLY COGNIZANT of the State of Black America.

Turning now to a little known Message that he brought to the National Conference on New Politics in August 31, 1967. He describes the audience as those “come here because we share a common concern for the moral health of our nation… because we see this as a dark hour in the affairs of men”; addressing this body on “The Three Evils of Society”.

“I wish that I could say that this is just a passing phase in the cycles of our nation’s life. Certainly times of war, times of reaction throughout the society. But I suspect that we are now experiencing the coming to the surface of a triple prong sickness that has been lurking within our body politic from its very beginning. That is the sickness of racism, excessive materialism and militarism. Not only is this our nation’s dilemma it is the plaque of western civilization.

As early as 1906 W.E.B. Du Bois prophesized that the problem of the 20th century, would be the problem of the color line. Now as we stand two-thirds into this crucial period of history we know full well that racism is still that hound of hell which dogs the tracks of our civilization. Ever since the birth of our nation, White America has had a Schizophrenic personality on the question of race. She has been torn between selves. A self in which she proudly professess the great principle of democracy and a self in which she madly practices the antithesis of democracy.

This tragic duality has produced a strange indecisiveness and ambivalence toward the Negro, causing America to take a step backwards simultaneously with every step forward on the question of Racial Justice. To be at once attracted to the Negro and repelled by him, to love and to hate him. There has never been a solid, unified and determined thrust to make justice a reality for Afro-Americans.

The step backwards has a new name today, it is called the white backlash, but the white backlash is nothing new. It is the surfacing of old prejudices, hostilities and ambivalences that have always been there. It was caused neither by the cry of black power nor by the unfortunate recent wave of riots in our cities. The white backlash of today is rooted in the same problem that has characterized America ever since the black man landed in chains on the shores of this nation.

This does not imply that all White Americans are racist, far from it. Many white people have, through a deep moral compulsion fought long and hard for racial justice. Nor does it mean that America has made no progress in her attempt to cure the body politic of the disease of racism. Or that the dogma of racism has been considerably modified in recent years.

However, for the good of America, it is necessary to refute the idea that the dominant ideology in our country, even today, is freedom and equality while racism is just an occasional departure from the norm on the part of a few bigoted extremists. Racism can well be, that corrosive evil that will bring down the curtain on western civilization.”

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