Free To Dissent

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If we can love our friends, family members, and significant others despite their imperfections, why can’t the same be said of our country? In a climate where censorship is promoted through the guise of political correctness, now more than ever do we find patriotism solely defined by blind allegiance.

So many people find themselves vilified the second the speak of America’s ills — even if they’ve risked their lives defending it. A dissenting opinion alone does not warrant the label “Un-American.” Rather, it often suggests real patriotism: The push for this country to deliver on the promises in which it was founded on.

With that, I wanted to share a portion of a speech delivered by Dr. King in 1972. In it, Dr. King touches on “divine dissatisfaction.”

Let us be dissatisfied until America will no longer have a high blood pressure of creeds and an anemia of deeds. Let us be dissatisfied until the tragic walls that separate the outer city of wealth and comfort and the inner city of poverty and despair shall be crushed by the battering rams of the forces of justice. Let us be dissatisfied until those that live on the outskirts of hope are brought into the metropolis of daily security. Let us be dissatisfied until slums are cast into the junk heaps of history, and ever family is living in a decent sanitary home. Let us be dissatisfied until the dark yesterdays of segregated schools will be transformed into bright tomorrows of quality, integrated education. Let us be dissatisfied until integration is not seen as a problem but as an opportunity to participate in the beauty of diversity. Let us be dissatisfied until men and women, however black they may be, will be judged on the basis of the content of their character and not on the basis of the color of their skin. Let us be dissatisfied. Let us be dissatisfied until every state capitol houses a governor who will do justly, who will love mercy and who will walk humbly with his God. Let us be dissatisfied until from every city hall, justice will roll down like waters and righteousness like a mighty stream. Let us be dissatisfied until that day when the lion and the lamb shall lie down together, and every man will sit under his own vine and fig tree and none shall be afraid. Let us be dissatisfied. And men will recognize that out of one blood God made all men to swell upon the face of Earth. Let us be dissatisfied until that day when nobody will shout “White Power!” – when nobody will shout “Black Power!” – but everybody will talk about God’ power and human power.

Notice how thirty-six years later and not only does much of it still apply, it can be amended to include even more factions of society. For those that can’t acknowledge America’s faults without wincing, that isn’t love. It’s zealotry.

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