The poet Langston Hughes pinned the critical question, “what happens to a dream deferred?” This year we pause to acknowledge the 50-year anniversary of the assassination of the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. The civil rights leader was in Memphis, Tennessee to fight for the rights and equality of sanitation workers. While the current members of the Young Democrats of America were not around when Dr. King was assassinated, Congressmen Steny Hoyer (MD) and James Clyburn (SC) steered this organization through a critical time of questioning our pathway forward. Race was indeed an issue.
In this age of Donald Trump and racial division within our nation, we cannot afford to sit on the sidelines and defer Kings Dream any longer. With unfair gerrymandered districts drawn to reduce our representation and voting laws enacted to disenfranchise voters reducing our power at the ballot box, our moment has arrived. With a physical wall being built at our border and a wall of mercilessness towards Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands, our moment has arrived. With so many of our brothers and sisters fearing for their future over a ruthless immigration policy, our moment has arrived. With a loud call for more young, liberal and ambitious candidates to run for local, state and federal office, our moment for fulfilling the dream has arrived.
We have to look within ourselves and accept that we will not always agree, but we must always unite. In the 1960's, Congressmen Hoyer and Clyburn made a decision that in the aftermath of losing Dr. King, they had more in common that united them than that which divided them. As a political engagement organization, we need your voice. We need your energy. We need your fight. We need your involvement. We will not defer this dream any longer, our future depends on it and our moment is now.
YDA Black Caucus Chairman