“I still have a dream. It is a dream deeply rooted in the American Dream.” ~ Dr. Martin Luther King
The powerful words uttered by Dr. Martin Luther King in 1963, have been an inspiration to millions. Almost 50 years after his most famous speech, more than half of Americans believe his dream of racial equality has been fulfilled. Whether or not that sentiment is true is certainly a worthy subject for debate; yet, as we get ready to celebrate the legacy of Dr. King’s work this coming Monday, what has undoubtedly come into question in many people’s minds is: Is that other dream upon which his was built still alive?
The latest studies paint a rather grim picture. According to an Indiana University study released yesterday, some 46 million Americans are living below the poverty line – up 27% since start of recession. For Latinos is even worse: with poverty rate figures for 2010 at 28.2%, higher than it was for blacks, non-Hispanic whites or Asians. [according to Pew Hispanic Center].
That’s without counting our pay rates or education and unemployment levels. And while there are plenty of success stories in our community, news of the prolonged economic crisis, the fading opportunities and the blind animosity towards Latinos regardless of legal status, point to the fact that the so-called American Dream, may have, in fact, been downgraded. Or has it?
Tonight on LATISM, let’s take a look at the American Dream and what it means for minorities in this country.
- Can the American Dream still be attained by increasingly impoverished minority groups?
- Is the Dream dead? Or is it time to redefine it?
- Is our community ready to take on the words of the great African-American leader, Dr. King, as an exhortation for the considerable work we still need to be doing in the present?