Most Americans are too young to remember watching Martin Luther King's I Have a Dream speech when it was nationally televised 50 years ago. I was just a baby when Dr. King was murdered in 1968 just a few miles away from where I am typing this blog post. The awful event that took place in downtown Memphis is commemorated every year at the inspiring National Civil Rights Museum which is housed in the shell of the Lorraine Motel where the assassination took place.
In 2006, I liveblogged from an immigration rally appropriately held at the National Civil Rights Museum. It was most appropriate as immigrants today want to be participants in the "Dream" Dr. King described in his speech. Indeed, it is most appropriate that the DREAM Act and the DREAM activists lead to comparisons.
And many immigration activists have been participating in the events being held this week commemorating the March. Congressman John Lewis, the only speaker from the 1963 March still alive today, directly drew the link:
"It doesn't make sense that millions of our people are living in the shadows," said Rep. John Lewis, D-Ga., who was a speaker at the 1963 event. "Bring them out into the light and set them on the path to citizenship."
The point is that more groups have joined the civil rights struggle in recent years - women, gays, immigrants. African Americans still are fighting, but they are now joined by a much broader coalition and immigrants having a seat at the table is indeed a positive development.