We have a dream. Someday, in this great land of ours, people, even lawyers and political activists, will come to believe that character really does matter, and that greatness and goodness are not mutually exclusive.
We have a dream. We will no longer deify serial philanderers who plagiarize their doctoral dissertation.
If a man takes the title of Reverend, we'll expect him to honor at least a few of the Ten Commandments. If a married man competes with Hugh Hefner for sexual conquests we won’t feel compelled to listen to his moral wisdom.
We have a dream. Someday black churches in America will not be manipulated as institutional power bases by ambitious black men. We’re starting to worry that the good reverends are using the Borgia Popes as their role models.
We dream that the day will come when lawyers and politicians stop cynically using race as leverage to increase their wealth and power.
We have a dream. Someday, quiet people leading lives of unheralded virtue and real productivity will be honored. Someday all people, black and white, will realize that the real heroes aren't the ones giving speeches filled with bombastic rhetoric. Real heroes are quietly doing real work: building houses, writing software code, nursing the elderly, parenting the young – the whole cornucopia of human endeavor that actually results in better lives for real people.
We have a dream. Someday holidays will really matter, instead of serving as crass, meaningless tools of political correctness. People will actually give thanks on Thanksgiving. Christians will actually celebrate the birth of Christ on Christmas. New Year's Day will mean something other than recovering from a hangover and watching football on the tube.
We have a dream. Although we’re as sentimental as the next fool, we hope that someday we'll all realize that early death does not qualify one for sainthood. Whether it be John F. Kennedy, Marilyn Monroe, Elvis Presley, Princess Diana, or Martin Luther King Jr., dying young may be the road to legend, but hardly a guarantee that the life was worth remembering, much less celebrating.
Our final dream is that the day will come in America when one can criticize black cultural icons without being labeled a racist. We call this the impossible dream.