"I have a dream" relating to society today - in "I have a dream" form

Essay by EnergyCoffeeHigh School, 11th grade May 2004

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"I have a dream my four little children will one day live in a nation

where they will not be judged by the color of their skin

but by the content of their character."

--Martin Luther King, Jr.

Most of us have heard Martin Luther King's I Have a Dream speech, or part of it, at some point in our lives. In 1964, one year after the speech was given, Lyndon B. Johnson signed Executive Order 11246, which signaled the birth of affirmative action. Affirmative action refers to efforts to increase educational and employment opportunities for minorities and women. In November, 1997, California voters did away with affirmative action [at the state level] by passing proposition 209. They were convinced that it was no longer needed, that it gave minorities and women special rights.

I have a dream that one day we will achieve an equal society where people of color and women have just as much of a chance of getting a good job, getting a higher education, or being a politician, as white men do.

White people feel they are not getting jobs, scholarships, or into college, because the jobs, scholarships, etc., were being given to less qualified people of color. Some people of color are also against affirmative action because they don't feel like they made it on their own accord but were hired or admitted to college, etc., because of their skin color and not because of their merits.

Affirmative action is not about discriminating against white men. The goal is to give people of color and women the same opportunities as the white men have had since this nation was founded.

I have a dream that people will realize that affirmative action was a temporary plan to reach a certain goal of equality...