While Glenn Beck and Sarah Palin and their 'tens of thousands" of followers gathered to flip off Abraham Lincoln and the Civil Rights Movement, I joined tens of, if not a hundred thousand other people and rallied and marched to Reclaim the Dream. We rallied for two and a half hours at Dunbar High School, the first high school built for black students in the US.
There were so many people that we filled the athletic field to maximum capacity, and there were still people in the streets waiting to get in.
"We can overcome racism"
Speakers who were black, Latino, white, ministers, educators, laborers, media personalities, politicians, and activists spoke about what it means to keep moving forward, to fulfill and Reclaim the Dream.
Demanding a vote for DC.
They rallied for DC to have representation in Congress and for DC to become the 51st State. They spoke of the need for better education, to protect public education. It is this education that will enable the next generation to obtain the jobs needed to ensure the future of our financial and economic security. Education is a Civil right.
Secretary of Education, Arne Duncan
Equality is still elusive in the work place. Those who believe in the Dream and work to fulfill it will not back down from those who try to own Dr. King's message, but have no idea what its true meaning is.
Rev. Dr. Al Sharpton
We lined up to march and there was no pushing, no shoving - did I mention there was only one police officer at the gate to enter the field? Did I mention that no one told us to "1. Leave your signs at home" and "2. Leave your guns at home"? No, that was the list given to the other rally. We were non-violent. No one was threatening
Then, we marched for three miles from NW Washington, DC, to the sight of the future memorial for Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
I was about a fourth of the way back from the front and was astounded to turn around and see the mass of people behind me, extending so far back, that I could not see the end of the march.
It was at this point that my camera died. And, yes, that is a sea of people going all the way as far back as you can possibly imagine.
I felt such an amazing amount of positive energy. We turned from 6th Street onto Constitution Ave, and began to see the first of Tea Party-ers, already disbanded from restoring honor. And, it is here that I would like to say, there is no honor in hate.
As we passed, the majority of the Tea Party-ers stood and stared with their mouths hanging open. Maybe they couldn't believe that so many black people could possibly be rounded up in one place. Wait! Was that a white woman? They stared at me as if they couldn't believe it. A white woman marching with black people. And, there were quite a few of us. A woman came running towards us on the sidewalk with her thumbs down motioning emphatically. "Where's your red, white, and blue?!" she screamed into one woman's face. "Why aren't you wearing it?!" She failed to notice that she herself was not wearing it. It is not the color of skin nor clothing that determines a true American.
A young man yelled at a woman who was wearing a T-Shirt with pictures of Dr. King and President Obama. "There are two people on your shirt! One of them believes in God! The other doesn't!"
Some of them as they stood with their flags that desecrate real US flag or sat in their camp chairs in the shade and waved as if we were a parade out of sarcasm or stupidity. I honestly don't think many of them had any idea that our rally and march was taking place until they saw the masses in the streets. After all, they watch Fox News, and would they even mention us and possibly steal Glenn and Sarah's thunder? I don't think so. There weren't that many people on the mall in support of restoring honor when we marched by the Washington Memorial. It looked like any other Saturday during tourist season in DC.
We arrived at the future sight of the Rev. Dr. Marting Luther King Jr Memorial. When I walked into the filed, it was already filled to about a third of its capacity. Twenty minutes after I got there, the last of the marchers arrived.
And, where is our coverage? We far outnumbered them. Why are we only a footnote in the media? We stood in the sun and rallied for two and a half hours and then marched three miles to another rally in an open field with the sun still beating down, and who gets the coverage? Those that spew poisonous propaganda that divides the country, when what we did was to show determination and intent to further the dream that would unite it.
As Rev. Dr. Al Sharpton said, "They may have the Mall, but we have the message!"