King’s Dream of “The Beloved Community” Extends to Your Community Too

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King’s Dream of “The Beloved Community” Extends to Your Community Too

effort to enforce these amendments—in either North or South.

Our job in keeping King's dream alive is to be part of a participatory government- local and national- that is feverishly working to dismantle all existing discriminatory laws and practices that truncate full participation of its citizens in the fight to advance democracy.

Cambridge is my community but it falls short of King’s dream. Cambridge, proudly dubbed as “The People’s Republic of Cambridge,” is ranked as one of the most liberal cities in America. And with two of the country’s premier institutions of higher learning—Harvard University and Massachusetts Institute of Technology—that draw students and scholars from around the world, Cambridge’s showcase of diversity and multiculturalism rivals that of the UN.

Cambridge is no doubt a progressive city. However, when you scratch below Cambridge’s surface, there is also liberal racism that is as intolerant as Southern racism. Just like Southern racism that keeps blacks in their place, liberal racism does, too. For example, Cambridge’s liberal ruling class maintains its racial boundaries not by designated “colored” water fountains, toilets or restaurants, but rather by its zip codes; major street intersections known as squares, like the renowned Harvard Square; and residential border areas that are designated numbers, like Area 4 (now known as the Port)—which was a predominantly black poor and working-class enclave - that is now gentrified by the biotechnology and pharmaceutical boom. Cambridge’s liberal ruling elite exploit these tensions by their claims to not see race, until of course, an unknown black man appears in their neighborhood.

Segregation in this city is not only along racial lines but class, too. With Cambridge’s tony enclaves sprinkling with homes at starting prices over a half million dollars Cambridge has become a city that is predominately white and upper class. Poor working-class whites and white immigrants do not experience the fullness their white skin privilege would abundantly afford them if they too were part of Cambridge’s professional and/or monied class.

If King were among us today, he would say that it is not enough to just look outside ourselves and communities to see the places where society is broken. King would want us to examine institutions, workplaces, and universities that separate people from one another based on race, religion, gender, class, and sexual orientation, to name a few by looking at ourselves and communities made up of people like you and me.

The top three concerns for Cambridge’s marginalized communities are access to quality public education, racial profiling by police and other community members, and affordable housing. Cambridge is a world city. It now must work at building the beloved community. Where does your community measure up to King’s dream?