Using mixedinc.com, USA Today readers submitted modern-day Martin Luther King Jr. speeches. This version is by Larry Goanos of Doyelstown, PA.
I once made a speech about a dream of mine; my dream, your dream, our dream. The American Dream. That was long ago. This nation has changed since then. But the dream hasn’t.
I see a world where my children and your children and all the children of this great country are judged not on the color of your skin, but on the content of their character.
I see a world where it makes no difference whether you’re from the poorest barrio of Los Angeles or the largest penthouse of Manhattan; the rolling cornfields of Iowa or the bustling streets of Chicago. It doesn’t matter if you grew up watching polo matches on the manicured lawns of Palm Beach or hauling lobster pots from the chilly waters of Maine. You may be a soldier in Seattle or a trucker in Texas; a coal miner in Kentucky or a scientist is San Diego. These things don’t matter in the America of my Dream.
I’ll tell you what else doesn’t matter: Where your parents were born, the color of your skin, what God you worship or don’t, what gender you are, or what sexual preference you hold.
The size of your bank account and the make of your car hold no sway. The only thing that will matter when this majestic land of ours fulfills my Dream will be a person’s character, how hard he works, how honest he is, and what contribution an individual makes to our society.
A great president, John F. Kennedy, once said, “Ask not what your country can do for you. Ask what you can do for your country.” I take that a step further and beseech you to also ask what you can do for your countrymen. And the answer is this:
Drop your prejudices. Drop your hatred. Drop your greed. Drop your fear of those who are different. This is a call to action for every American to move forward as one nation, one community, one brotherhood.
Hatred cused 9/11. Hatred killed Harvey Milk. Hatred killed James Byrd Jr. Hatred killed Matthew Shepard. The list is too long.
It is time, my brothers and sisters, to lay to rest all of our anger and hatred. There is no 99% and there is no 1%; there is only America. And in these difficult times, it needs your support 100%.