Today, America celebrates the 100 anniversary of the first federal Labor Day holiday. In honor of the day, and in honor of the 50th anniversary of Martin Luther King’s “I have a dream” speech, Richard Trumka takes the opportunity to address the workers of America:
“I am happy to join with you today in what will go down in history as the greatest demonstration for solidarity in the history of our nation.
Five score years ago a great American in whose symbolic shadow we stand today signed the Emancipation Proclamation. This momentous decree came as a great beckoning light of hope to millions of working slaves who had been seared in the flames of big business’ withering injustice. It came as a joyous daybreak to end the long night of their captivity.
Butt one hundred years later the American laborer is still not free. One hundred years later the life of the laborer is still sadly crippled by the manacles of anti-unionism and the chains of right-to-work laws.
One hundred years later the have-not laborer lives on a lonely island of poverty in the midst of a vast ocean of the haves material prosperity.
One hundred years later the laborer is still languishing in the corners of American society and finds himself in exile in his own land.
We must forever conduct our struggle on the high plane of dignity and discipline. We must not allow our creative protest to degenerate into physical violence. Again and again we must rise to the majestic heights of meeting physical force with soul force.
So even though we face the difficulties of today and tomorrow I still have a dream. It is a dream deeply rooted in the American dream.
I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: 'We hold these truths to be self-evident; that all men are created to be unionized."
I have a dream that one day on the red hills of Georgia the sons of former mill workers and the sons of former mill owners will be able to sit together at the table of brotherhood.
I have a dream that one day even the state of Wisconsin, a state sweltering with the heat of labor injustice, sweltering with the heat of oppression, will be transformed into an oasis of economic freedom and social justice.
I have a dream that little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their collars butt by the content of their character.
I have a dream that one day up in Wisconsin, with its vicious anti-unionism, with its Governor having his lips dripping with the words of interposition and nullification, one day right there in Wisconsin little blue collar boys and pink collar girls will be able to join hands with little white collar boys and girls as sisters and brothers.
I have a dream today.
I have a dream that one day every valley shall be exalted, every hill and mountain shall be made low, the rough places plains, and the crooked places will be made straight, and before the Lord will be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together.
Detroit’s all over that “making every hill and mountain” low.
This is our hope. This is the faith that I go back to the mount with. With this faith we will be able to hew out of the mountain of despair a stone of hope. With this faith we will be able to transform the genuine discords of our nation into a beautiful symphony of Union brotherhood. With this faith we will be able to work together,
pray together; to struggle together, to go to jail together, to stand up for freedom forever, knowing that we will be free one day.
And when this happens, when we allow unions to reign, when we let them reign from every village and hamlet, from every state and every city, we will be able to speed up that day when all of God's children, AFLCIO members, AFSME members, UAW members, and SEIU members will be able to join hands and sing in the words of the old Negro spiritual, "Free at last! Free at last! Thank God almighty, we're free at last!"
And by “free” I mean free to follow your bliss; free to pursue your own special talents, and free to just relax and enjoy life – like our President.
And now, for more on that, here’s a statement from President Obama himself: your political, philosophical and spiritual leader.”
Notice: My lawyers would like me to advise you that the above is not a real letter from Barack Hussein Obama.
P.S. They also want me to advise you that Richard Trumka did not give that speech. I made it up.
That is all.
Cross-Posted on Patriot Action Network