The many corporations that sponsor the wonderfully sounding and looking sound bites from Dr. King know that he was no dreamer. They fully realize that he was a soldier for justice. That's why they consistently and systematically get you focused on the most non-lethal snippets of one of his mildest speeches (the "I Have a Dream" speech), while totally ignoring revolutionary messages he delivered in speeches like "Why I Oppose the War in Vietnam" which was delivered one year to the day he was murdered by the U.S. government. The capitalist system wants you to stay focused on a "dream" and not on the movement for justice that people like Ms. Baker, Ms. Richardson, Mr. Rustin, and Dr. King, lived and worked for. They want you to opine for a society where race doesn't matter so that you don't deal with the fact you actually reside in a place where race most often has a lot to do with how people are born, how they are raised, how they live and when and how they die. The obedience script was crafted 50 years ago when James Baldwin was denied the right to speak at the march and Burt Lancaster was inserted in his place. The script was institutionalized when Ms. Richardson was also denied the right to speak and John Lewis, speaking as chairperson for SNCC, was forced to remove the most militant references from his presentation. In fact, the most accurate historical account of the march was conveyed by someone who wasn't even present. Malcolm X, watching from the sidelines in Washington D.C. told us with plain clarity that the marchers were "ordered by the Kennedy brothers when to come to town, what to say, and when to leave!"
There can be little argument today with Malcolm's assessment since, we are farther away from the core issues of jobs and justice that were articulated by King and others, then we were in 1963. Plus, it's important that the original March on Washington isn't seen in the same context as a sporting event. We can't look back on it like we do Hank Aaron breaking Babe Ruth's home run record or Wilt scoring 100 points in a game. We need to commemorate the march of 1963 because the problems that produced that march are still here, and worse, today. Instead of looking back to 1963 with nostalgia, we need to be using that march to build upon something that takes us to an even higher level in 2013. Instead of mystifying Dr. King's speech that day, we need to make it clear from every mountain top that Dr. King was always in an organization struggling for justice. During the march he was a member of SCLC and he was with SCLC when he was murdered. So, if you really want to honor King, you have to join SCLC, or some organization, and continue his work. If we don't get serious and begin to look at these historical events with that perspective, then we will be sitting here 100 years after 1963 in even more dire conditions than we are today, if we are still here at all.