The King's speech

Fifty years later, most of the 'Dream' has come to pass

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If Americans today possess less knowledge of history, we’ve at least got a better feel for it. Anniversaries of society’s most significant events are commemorated religiously and spiritedly, as they should be.



Few commemorations in the past half-century have been as momentous and meaningful as today’s 50th anniversary of the Rev. Martin Luther King’s “I Have a Dream” speech.

Fifty years ago today, a segregated and sinful nation was in desperate need of moral leadership.

A rising generation, black and white, was rightfully rebelling against the status quo, and was increasingly – and justifiably – impatient with it. It had been 100 years since the Emancipation Proclamation; 15 years since President Truman outlawed discrimination in the military; a decade since Brown v. Board of Education outlawed school segregation; eight years since Rosa Parks and the Montgomery Bus Boycott; six years since the military-aided integration of Little Rock’s Central High; three years since the Greensboro, N.C., lunch counter sit-in; two years since the freedom riders began; and a year since James Meredith’s entrance into the University of Mississippi caused rioting and even death.

How can a nation founded on such high-minded, historic, Judeo-Christian principles have fallen so short of them for so long? What were people supposed to wait for, after the soaring promise of the Constitution had been denied so long? How long should an entire race be told to sit on their dreams and be forced to pine, in vain, for basic human freedom?

More practically, how to get that freedom?

This was a nation born of the willingness to fight and die for freedom, and there were militant voices in the 1960s. But in this case, there was a better, albeit painfully slower, path – one of nonviolent change.

It was the path laid out eloquently in King’s speech.

King did not shrink from calling for peaceful rebellion. He was not meek, warning that “there will be neither rest nor tranquility in America until the Negro is granted his citizenship rights. The whirlwinds of revolt will continue to shake the foundations of our nation until the bright day of justice emerges.”

Yet, he quickly cautioned African-Americans that, “In the process of gaining our rightful place, we must not be guilty of wrongful deeds. Let us not seek to satisfy our thirst for freedom by drinking from the cup of bitterness and hatred. We must forever conduct our struggle on the high plane of dignity and discipline.”

He called for peace, but insisted on justice. In so doing, he could not have set a better tone for a turbulent time.

In fact, for both its eloquence and impact, scholars have named King’s speech the country’s best in all of the 20th century.

Nor was it merely a speech or a call to action. It was as powerful a closing argument as any jury has ever been witness to. He argued that America had signed a promissory note in its lofty founding documents – the promise of freedom, the promise of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness – but that, for African-Americans, it had turned out to be a bad check marked “insufficient funds.”

“In a sense we’ve come to our nation’s capital to cash a check,” he said.

Fifty years later, most of what King called for has come to pass. Right was on his side, but now so is the law – and, from all appearances, most hearts. But his dream of a unified nation seems gloomily distant still, thanks in large part to a government that impedes individual initiative and media that too often deny progress and delight in division – which only eggs on the self-serving demagogues. The cup of bitterness and hatred runneth over.

This was not King’s dream, nor should it be our reality.

Let it be our dream that on every Aug. 28, this fervent commemoration would be more about victory than victimization – not about having to overcome, but about having done it.

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t3bledsoe
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t3bledsoe 08/28/13 - 10:36 am
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Racism

Racism will be no more, "When it is no longer an equal opportunity weapon!"

Humble Angela
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Humble Angela 08/28/13 - 10:40 am
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Again...what difference does
Unpublished

Again...what difference does it make if it is Powell who is making racist remarks or if it is someone else?

t3bledsoe
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t3bledsoe 08/28/13 - 10:48 am
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Peaceful vs. violence

For the most part, civil rights protests, during MLK Jr.'s life, were non-violent; that is for the African-Americans part! Then, something as complex and simply savage, the assassination and to a certain extent; Malcom X; started the violent protests! With these violent protests and the pure hatetrid of The Vietnam War, these two things, IN MY OPINION, set this country on a terrible downward road!

t3bledsoe
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t3bledsoe 08/28/13 - 10:53 am
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HA @ 11:40

"Again...what difference does it make if it is Powell who is making racist remarks or if it is someone else"

I just think it is very telling of an African-American community with people as "in the spotlight" as Obama and Colon Powell that truly believe that hard evidence was interpreted along racial lines in this farce of a supposedly "FAIR" trial!

t3bledsoe
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t3bledsoe 08/28/13 - 10:57 am
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Another point

"Again...what difference does it make if it is Powell who is making racist remarks or if it is someone else"

Does it necessarily have to be racial to STRONGLY believe this jury REALLY got this one VERY wrong!

t3bledsoe
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t3bledsoe 08/28/13 - 11:02 am
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"I have a dream"

For those people who ALWAYS had the dream served up on a silver plater, these people probably could not even comprehend what he was talking about!

ColdBeerBoiledPeanuts
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ColdBeerBoiledPeanuts 08/28/13 - 11:10 am
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Flip Flops

The majority of these posts remind me of Flip Flops. Some seem to be made by a politician in the way that they bounce around!!

Bizkit
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Bizkit 08/28/13 - 11:20 am
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No one has the dream served

No one has the dream served up-that is a silly progressive lie. All Americans have the freedom to pursue their dreams-like Obama being president or Hillary wanting to be the first women president. Now all dreams have obstacles,but that's why they are called dreams. If America were truly racist then Obama wouldn't have won a majority of Americans votes. Kennedy was the first catholic. It is a non sequitur to say America is mostly racist- it doesn't follow.

t3bledsoe
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t3bledsoe 08/28/13 - 11:21 am
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Quote from editorial

"The cup of bitterness and hatred runneth over"

And exactly WHY is this?! Because caucasians did not want to recognise peaceful protests, because MLK Jr. was assassinated by a caucasian man, because most of the violence during peaceful protests was started and savagely carried out by caucasians, hatred of affirmative action, etc., etc. There is a saying that goes somewhat like this, never put down another person unless you have traveled that same road.

t3bledsoe
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t3bledsoe 08/28/13 - 11:26 am
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Bizkit @ 12:20

"It is a non sequitur to say America is mostly racist- it doesn't follow"

I will agree with your statement, BUT I think we have a long way to go before racism is in check enough to start ALL PEOPLE on the road up.

Humble Angela
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Humble Angela 08/28/13 - 11:26 am
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"Does it necessarily have to
Unpublished

"Does it necessarily have to be racial to STRONGLY believe this jury REALLY got this one VERY wrong!"

Well, seeing as neither Obama, Powell, or you have provided any evidence that shows the verdict was incorrect, I would say you are all wrong. And it was YOU that said the jury couldn't be fair BECAUSE of their race....remember?

playlikethunder
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playlikethunder 08/28/13 - 11:26 am
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"THE KING'S SPEECH" ????
Unpublished

"THE KING'S SPEECH" ???? REALLY?? WHAT A PITY.

Humble Angela
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Humble Angela 08/28/13 - 11:28 am
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"I will agree with your
Unpublished

"I will agree with your statement, BUT I think we have a long way to go before racism is in check enough to start ALL PEOPLE on the road up."

Then why do you still support affirmative action? Why not stop ALL racism?

Bizkit
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Bizkit 08/28/13 - 11:31 am
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You need to rea the Mass

You need to rea the Mass Racial Violence in the US in Wikipedia to get some perspective.

t3bledsoe
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t3bledsoe 08/28/13 - 11:39 am
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HA @ 12:28

"Then why do you still support affirmative action? Why not stop ALL racism"

I can see your point, BUT in my opinion, I can not justify calling affirmative action as racism. Isn't it reasonable to see it as righting a wrong?

t3bledsoe
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t3bledsoe 08/28/13 - 11:52 am
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Quote from editorial

"Fifty years ago today, a segregated and sinful nation was in desperate need of moral leadership"

Segregated, absolutely, sinful, since the very first human. Does the word sinful; here; refer to the segregation as what was sinful?

Humble Angela
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Humble Angela 08/28/13 - 11:57 am
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"I can see your point, BUT in
Unpublished

"I can see your point, BUT in my opinion, I can not justify calling affirmative action as racism. Isn't it reasonable to see it as righting a wrong?"

How do you right a wrong with another wrong. Affirmative action in every case uses the color of one's skin as a factor in hiring and promotions. THAT is perpetuating a wrong, not righting it. How is it you can't call it racist when it is, by definition and design, using skin color as a qualifier? Please explain.

t3bledsoe
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t3bledsoe 08/28/13 - 11:58 am
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Quote from editorial

"It had been 100 years since the Emancipation Proclamation; 15 years since President Truman outlawed discrimination in the military; a decade since Brown v. Board of Education outlawed school segregation; eight years since Rosa Parks and the Montgomery Bus Boycott; six years since the military-aided integration of Little Rock’s Central High; three years since the Greensboro, N.C., lunch counter sit-in; two years since the freedom riders began; and a year since James Meredith’s entrance into the University of Mississippi caused rioting and even death"

ALL of which were met with savage violence from caucasians!

Humble Angela
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Humble Angela 08/28/13 - 12:03 pm
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You seem to mention the
Unpublished

You seem to mention the "savage violence from Caucasians." Crime statistics seem to indicate that the Caucasians are far from the most savage. Why do you overlook this? Oh yeah...it's just natural animal instinct....you already rationalized that.

t3bledsoe
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t3bledsoe 08/28/13 - 12:04 pm
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Racism

NOT COUNTING the inter-trible racism that most probably caused slavery to even exist in the first place, does ANYONE deny that racism started with caucasians toward African-Americans?!

Humble Angela
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Humble Angela 08/28/13 - 12:09 pm
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To quote the former secretary
Unpublished

To quote the former secretary of state "What difference does it make?" Those who started the racism are no longer alive. They have turned to dust. Why is it at every turn you try to find a way to justify racism towards whites by pointing to a past that happened before they were born? Racism is wrong, no matter who started it. The old "he started it first" excuse is quite childish and other adjectives that I will leave off due to the rules of posting.

Humble Angela
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Humble Angela 08/28/13 - 12:10 pm
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Not to mention, I would
Unpublished

Not to mention, I would proposed that the racism started on BOTH sides...from the whites who bought the slaves, and from the blacks that sold them.....not that it matters now.

t3bledsoe
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t3bledsoe 08/28/13 - 12:10 pm
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HA @ 1:03

"Why do you overlook this? Oh yeah...it's just natural animal instinct....you already rationalized that"

First: I really don't know why I like debating you!

Second: The savagery that I am refering to is that which was commited by the caucasians to the African-Americans during the 50's through the 70's.

t3bledsoe
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t3bledsoe 08/28/13 - 12:13 pm
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HA @ 1:10

"and from the blacks that sold them.....not that it matters now"

I said don't count what happened in Africa.

Humble Angela
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Humble Angela 08/28/13 - 12:14 pm
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"The savagery that I am
Unpublished

"The savagery that I am refering (sic) to is that which was commited (sic) by the caucasians to the African-Americans during the 50's through the 70's."

OK...what about the savagery that is occurring by the blacks to the whites NOW? You have no problem with that?

Here are several examples.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Murders_of_Channon_Christian_and_Christophe...
http://usnews.nbcnews.com/_news/2013/08/23/20145461-teen-charged-second-...
http://chronicle.augusta.com/news/crime-courts/2013-05-06/riverwalk-vist...
http://www.topix.com/forum/indy/TKG3OS91K3MIJV964
http://www.westernjournalism.com/defenseless-white-man-attacked-by-black...

Humble Angela
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Humble Angela 08/28/13 - 12:15 pm
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"I said don't count what
Unpublished

"I said don't count what happened in Africa."

That is quite convenient. Ignore any facts that don't support your racist views.

We are done here.

t3bledsoe
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t3bledsoe 08/28/13 - 12:18 pm
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HA @ 1:09

"The old "he started it first" excuse is quite childish and other adjectives that I will leave off due to the rules of posting"

This is the second time you have stated that you could use "some choice words" but can not due to the rules! Should I try to guess what these words might be?

t3bledsoe
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t3bledsoe 08/28/13 - 12:20 pm
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HA @ 1:15

"We are done here"

Just for today, I hope.

t3bledsoe
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t3bledsoe 08/28/13 - 12:30 pm
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HA @ 1:14

"OK...what about the savagery that is occurring by the blacks to the whites NOW? You have no problem with that"

ASSUMING you are still reading my posts, I DO HAVE a problem with ANY violence! BUT I can not understand why ANYBODY can't see where it comes from! I don't think it is necessary to spell it out.

Humble Angela
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Humble Angela 08/28/13 - 12:34 pm
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Read the links I posted.
Unpublished

Read the links I posted. Explain how these punks were EVER racially discriminated against. Tell us where all that violence came from. Stop making excuses for them.

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