“A symbol of the divisions of men on the face of the earth. For here on either side of the wall are God’s children and no man-made barrier can obliterate that fact.

Regardless of the barriers of race, creed, ideology, or nationality, there is an inescapable destiny, which binds us together. There is a common humanity which makes us sensitive to the sufferings of one another.” – Martin Luther King JR.

In 1964, Martin Luther King traveled to Germany and got a first hand glimpse of the Berlin Wall. The barrier was constructed in 1961, in between East and West Berlin in hopes of permanently separating two ideologies. King’s first thoughts were of disappointment.

“It symbolizes the divisions of mankind,” he said. When asked if he had ever seen anything as disastrous as the wall, he continued, “not really. Certainly there’s divisions that continue to exist, but when it’s symbolized with an actual wall it becomes very depressing.”

These words hold true today, as the current President of the United States Donald Trump essentially holds the government, and the lives of over 800,000 people hostage in hopes he can provide funding for a wall along the Mexican border that he had promised during his campaign. As the government shutdown continues, government assistance programs will continue to shut down, security around the nation will be hurt, and thousands of workers who have been shut out of their jobs will have to look for new homes and find ways to feed their families.

This isn’t the America Martin Luther King JR. had dreamed for, over a year before that visit to the Berlin Wall. It was August 28, 1963, where 200,000 to 300,000 Americans marched in Washington D.C. to fight for civil and economic rights in this country.

“I say to you today, my friends, so even though we face the difficulties of today and tomorrow, I still have a dream. It is a dream deeply rooted in the American dream. I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal.”