Today, August 28th, marks the 59th anniversary of Martin Luther King, Jr.’s, “I Have a Dream” speech . I was there; the second time to be in Washington, D.C. in 1963. The first time was in cherry blossom season for my high school senior class trip. While at the U.S. Supreme Court, we heard a case being debated involving the sit-in protests against segregation in the South.
That morning at breakfast, a classmate refused to eat because she saw “colored people” cooking and could not eat something touched by them. On our way to New York City, our next destination on our class trip, we stopped to use a restroom and were barred from getting off the bus because some of my classmates were Black.
Back to D.C. again on August 28, 1963, I heard MLK’s Dream. I knew what he said was true. I, too, dreamed that one day all would be treated equally. Anti-discrimination laws were passed. Change evolved throughout the nation in the sixties and seventies.
But reality is that in Wyoming in 2022, racism still persists. If you doubt that is true, ask any coach of a basketball team of Native American students about how they are treated at games in some other schools in Wyoming. Ask if the referees are ever biased in their calls. Ask if they were ever denied access to a restroom when stopping during travel. Ask Native Americans if they have trouble renting a place to live in Riverton. Ask any Native American if they ever are denied seating in a restaurant for no apparent reason. Ask any person of color if white people ever get served before them at businesses.
I have a dream that one day Wyoming will deserve to be called by its nickname, the Equality State. I have a dream that we, the Riverton Peace Mission, will help make this happen!
Fear not. Be humble. Have faith. Be bold. Build relationships. Do justice.