“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.’... I have a dream that my four 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... And if America is to be a great nation this must become true.”
I assume most people in america know the above words by Martin Luther King. I hope they do. They should, because they were some of the most important words spoken by an american in the last half century. We could never be a truly great nation with the stain of racism on our national soul, a stain that mocked our own notion that "all men are created equal." Since MLK can say it far better than I, here are links to two of his most famous writings:
By breaking the bonds of segregation, Jim Crow, and institutional racism, the King-led civil rights movement freed this entire country. Racism is a mental disorder, brought about by fear and ignorance, which leads to hatred. MLK helped cleanse us of that disorder at the ultimate cost of his own life. When you look back a short 40-50 years to King's time, it is obvious that great progress has been made. Racism has not been completely eliminated, and perhaps it never can be, but by any objective measure, the changes that MLK helped bring about have led us to a far better place.
Martin Luther King's goal was to unite us all in brotherhood, not to split us up into opposing camps in some imaginary racial or class war, as some would have us do today. In King's words, "Now is the time to open the doors of opportunity to all of God's children. Now is the time to lift our nation from the quicksands of racial injustice to the solid rock of brotherhood."
He was a Baptist minister at heart, a hero who maybe reluctantly stepped up to accept the great challenge that was thrown upon him, but step up he did, with tremendous courage. I wonder how many of us could have risen to such a challenge, could have shouldered such a burden. He did, and that is what made him a great man. MLK was a progressive leader with conservative christian moral values. His cause transcended politics. In the Letters From A Birmingham Jail, MLK closed with "Yours In Peace And Brotherhood". That is his legacy, peace and brotherhood.
Let's always look with a suspicious eye on anyone who proposes anything other than that.
(Note - I've had very limited computer time for the last week, so I apologize for not posting much. It won't last much longer. Thanks).
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