I wasn't around to witness the civil rights demonstrations of the 1960s - the speeches, the marches, the civil disobedience. But whenever I see hundreds of thousands of people marching in our cities petitioning our government for immigration reform, I can't help but smile. This must have been what the March on Washington was like in 1963. This must be what the march from Selma to Birmingham in 1965 was like. This is what we are. We're the government "of the people, by the people, and for the people." Whenever our government doesn't listen to her people, then we march. And yet, in these times, when we decide to stand up and exercise our right to protest, we are labeled as unpatriotic, or repelling. Well, Mr. Brit Hume, I just have a few choice words for you - F- You. Freedom on the march is not a "repellant spectacle." It is our right and our duty. Today, it is more important now than ever. Dr. King's words from Birmingham, Alabama in March of 1965 are just as relevant today:
"Let us therefore continue our triumphant march (Uh huh) to the realization of the American dream. (Yes, sir) Let us march on segregated housing (Yes, sir) until every ghetto or social and economic depression dissolves, and Negroes and whites live side by side in decent, safe, and sanitary housing. (Yes, sir) Let us march on segregated schools (Let us march, Tell it) until every vestige of segregated and inferior education becomes a thing of the past, and Negroes and whites study side-by-side in the socially-healing context of the classroom.
Let us march on poverty (Let us march) until no American parent has to skip a meal so that their children may eat. (Yes, sir) March on poverty (Let us march) until no starved man walks the streets of our cities and towns (Yes, sir) in search of jobs that do not exist. (Yes, sir) Let us march on poverty (Let us march) until wrinkled stomachs in Mississippi are filled, (That's right) and the idle industries of Appalachia are realized and revitalized, and broken lives in sweltering ghettos are mended and remolded.
Let us march on ballot boxes, (Let’s march) march on ballot boxes until race-baiters disappear from the political arena.
Let us march on ballot boxes until the salient misdeeds of bloodthirsty mobs (Yes, sir) will be transformed into the calculated good deeds of orderly citizens. (Speak, Doctor)
Let us march on ballot boxes (Let us march) until the Wallaces of our nation tremble away in silence.
Let us march on ballot boxes (Let us march) until we send to our city councils (Yes, sir), state legislatures, (Yes, sir) and the United States Congress, (Yes, sir) men who will not fear to do justly, love mercy, and walk humbly with thy God.
Let us march on ballot boxes (Let us march. March) until brotherhood becomes more than a meaningless word in an opening prayer, but the order of the day on every legislative agenda.
Let us march on ballot boxes (Yes) until all over Alabama God’s children will be able to walk the earth in decency and honor.
There is nothing wrong with marching in this sense. (Yes, sir) The Bible tells us that the mighty men of Joshua merely walked about the walled city of Jericho (Yes) and the barriers to freedom came tumbling down. (Yes, sir) I like that old Negro spiritual, (Yes, sir) "Joshua Fit the Battle of Jericho." In its simple, yet colorful, depiction (Yes, sir) of that great moment in biblical history, it tells us that:
Joshua fit the battle of Jericho, (Tell it)
Joshua fit the battle of Jericho, (Yes, sir)
And the walls come tumbling down. (Yes, sir. Tell it)
Up to the walls of Jericho they marched, spear in hand. (Yes, sir)
"Go blow them ramhorns," Joshua cried,
"‘Cause the battle am in my hand." (Yes, sir)
These words I have given you just as they were given us by the unknown, long-dead, dark-skinned originator. (Yes, sir) Some now long-gone black bard bequeathed to posterity these words in ungrammatical form, (Yes, sir) yet with emphatic pertinence for all of us today. (Uh huh)
The battle is in our hands. And we can answer with creative nonviolence the call to higher ground to which the new directions of our struggle summons us. (Yes, sir) The road ahead is not altogether a smooth one. (No) There are no broad highways that lead us easily and inevitably to quick solutions. But we must keep going."
Yes, when we have a government headed by men who would deliberately lie to start a preemptive war that weakens our security, when we have leaders who would deliberately ignore the Constitution and spy on its own citizens without a warrant, when we have a President who would selectively leak national security information in political retaliation against critics, then it is time to march. It's time to keep marching until our voices are heard, our troops come home, and our government once again stands for the principles of our Founding Fathers.