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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ColdBeerBoiledPeanuts
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ColdBeerBoiledPeanuts 08/28/13 - 01:34 pm
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Humble Angela
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Humble Angela 08/28/13 - 01:35 pm
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Coldbeer.....I think you are
Unpublished

Coldbeer.....I think you are right. While claiming he doesn't like violence, he is continuously making excuses for and rationalizing it.

t3bledsoe
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t3bledsoe 08/28/13 - 01:39 pm
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HA @ 1:34

"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"

OK, OK I am going for a little while! I am serious, I would rather loss an arguement than to loss our debating time!

Bizkit
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Bizkit 08/28/13 - 01:48 pm
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Violence in the past by

Violence in the past by whites against blacks during 50-60's doesn't justify violence committed by Blacks since then. Sound like you want a race civil war -need I remind you blacks are still a minority and would lose. Why live in the past-time to celebrate our future. It is still that land of opportunity although now a white or an Asian may not get a job because they were be booted for a black candidate-just cause they are black. That sort of stuff just creates animosity and more racism if you are a white or asian man who is better qualified and needs that job for his family too. Why are progressive being anti-evolution by trying to take natural selection out of competition for a job? Science is a natural selection-like process and scientist are in a natural selection like competition-only the best ideas and best scientist get funded. This drives the losers to compete better so next grant round they may end up on top. Competition is good and if you aren't contributing you aren't even in the game.

chascushman
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chascushman 08/28/13 - 01:45 pm
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"BUT what about
Unpublished

"BUT what about self-proclaimed Republican Colon Powel"
Bledsoe, you are correct Powell is a 100% racist.

nofanofobama
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nofanofobama 08/28/13 - 03:32 pm
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you know whats lost in this

you know whats lost in this debate is the myth that all white people got a special perk or privlege...in my 29 years with the same company ive worked approx. 50 to 60 hrs a week...i have enjoyed success, but if my silver spoon came with those hours i got cheated...my point a few, very few people get the proverbal silver spoon..and it knows no color or race...if one group feels they are not considered for a job because of experience , then their is group that has too much experience that not considered..there are hurdles everywhere ..learn to jump and be persistant....dont look at others to blame

nocnoc
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nocnoc 08/28/13 - 06:39 pm
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Question about Invites and excludes

Why was the ONLY Black US Senator in the USA not invited to the event?

Sen. Tim Scott, R.-S.C., the only African American serving in the United States Senate, wasn't invited to the event commemorating the 50th anniversary of Martin Luther King's march on Washington.

Answer:
Because he is that Nasty R-Word

Republican

and those choreographing the event for upcoming elections and votes, did not want him changing the color of the Kool-aide and confusing those in attendance.

specsta
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specsta 08/28/13 - 06:58 pm
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Value

Humble Angela wrote - "It is absurd to assume that the income of a garbage collector should be the same as the income of an engineer."

Your assumption seems to be that someone who has a college degree has more value than someone who does not. That's absurd.

There are countless individuals who never attended or completed college who are millionaires - because of their intellect and their vision. There are even garbage collectors who make much more money than an engineer, because they own the business.

A college degree does not impart worth to an individual - and not having a degree does not impart worthlessness to an individual.

Your comparison is snobbery at its finest.

justthefacts
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justthefacts 08/28/13 - 07:04 pm
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50% right.Not bad

"A college degree does not impart worth to an individual". Wrong
" and not having a degree does not impart worthlessness to an individual." Right.

InChristLove
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InChristLove 08/28/13 - 07:13 pm
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specsta, I see no where HA

specsta, I see no where HA assume the value or worth of either the garbage collector or the engineer. Simply, someone with a college degree is usually paid a higher salary than someone who are a blue collar worker. No where did she state one is worth more than the other, only that the compensation for their job should be different.

t3bledsoe
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t3bledsoe 08/28/13 - 07:16 pm
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Specsta @ 6:58

"Your assumption seems to be that someone who has a college degree has more value than someone who does not. That's absurd"

I very much regret to say, "In today's society, a 4 year degree can take one way up the ladder of success, EVEN if one DOESN'T deserve it!!"

InChristLove
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InChristLove 08/28/13 - 07:18 pm
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apples to oranges "There are

apples to oranges

"There are even garbage collectors who make much more money than an engineer, because they own the business. "

But I would bet an Engineer with a degree, who owns his/her own business would most likely have a higher income that a garbage collector without a degree, who has his/her own business. Having a college degree will open a lot more job opportunities for you and only makes sense that they would range in the higher paying salaries.

t3bledsoe
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t3bledsoe 08/28/13 - 07:18 pm
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HA @ 1:35

"Coldbeer.....I think you are right. While claiming he doesn't like violence, he is continuously making excuses for and rationalizing it"

Violence is a learned behavior!! I wonder where ALL of this violence was learned??!!

owensjef3
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owensjef3 08/28/13 - 07:20 pm
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I knew you guys would go
Unpublished

I knew you guys would go off.the boat on this one.

t3bledsoe
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t3bledsoe 08/28/13 - 07:22 pm
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ICL @ 7:18

"Having a college degree will open a lot more job opportunities for you and only makes sense that they would range in the higher paying salaries"

This is very, very true,BUT is it necessarily fair when peoples' abilities should be the driving decision maker!!

InChristLove
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InChristLove 08/28/13 - 07:23 pm
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Some of the comments were

Some of the comments were making us sea sick owensjef3. Sometimes you just have to get out of the boat.

chascushman
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chascushman 08/28/13 - 07:27 pm
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"Violence is a learned
Unpublished

"Violence is a learned behavior!! I wonder where ALL of this violence was learned??!!"
bledsoe, The violence is learned by the racial hatred that has been spread by the liberals/progressives, democrats and black leaders over the last 30 yrs.

t3bledsoe
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t3bledsoe 08/28/13 - 07:27 pm
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Bizkit @ 1:48

I CAN NOT believe how you and HA are so against the benefits that were provided by affirmative action.

t3bledsoe
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t3bledsoe 08/28/13 - 07:37 pm
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Owensjef3 @ 7:20

"I knew you guys would go off.the boat on this one"

If you are going to make even one comment, then jump ALL OF THE WAY IN and tell us how you feel.

t3bledsoe
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t3bledsoe 08/28/13 - 07:43 pm
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Speaking of racism

In my opinion, oriental Asians seem to be the only people that I can think of that seem to have NO racism toward anyone.

t3bledsoe
14250
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t3bledsoe 08/28/13 - 07:48 pm
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Quote from editorial

"A rising generation, black and white, was rightfully rebelling against the status quo, and was increasingly – and justifiably – impatient with it"

I wonder, mathimatically speaking, what was the ratio of caucasians to African-Americans that were concerned about civil rights?

t3bledsoe
14250
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t3bledsoe 08/28/13 - 07:50 pm
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Speaking of where everyone is

Did everybody go to dinner all at one time??

t3bledsoe
14250
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t3bledsoe 08/28/13 - 07:58 pm
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Quote from editorial

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

Is there ANYONE who thinks there was any other raeson for MLK Jr's assassination besides his ever growing popularity and positive impact on African-Americans?

t3bledsoe
14250
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t3bledsoe 08/28/13 - 08:00 pm
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OOOK

I can't debate myself so I will say good-night.

Show me the Gangs
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Show me the Gangs 08/28/13 - 09:05 pm
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Five decades after Dr. king delivered his now - famous " I Have

a Dream" speech, for many Blacks folks, " The Dream" has been interrupted. Black men are being incarcerated at alarming rates, as a for- profit prison industry continues to cash in on the pain of Black families; harsh sentencing guidelines, failed drugs laws and profiling policies like Stop and Frisk work systemically to keep prisons packed with people of color. Black unemployment remains disproportionately high, yet right- wing Republicans are readying themselves to fight for more cuts to the safety net and shutdown government if Congress don't defund Obama care.

InChristLove
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InChristLove 08/28/13 - 09:23 pm
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"Black men are being

"Black men are being incarcerated at alarming rates" only because they are committing the majority of crime, and the pain Black families are suffering are due to the actions of the criminal and has nothing to do with the prison industry.

The Stop and Frisk program is only in NY City so I fail to see how this one city is responsible for keeping our prisons packed with people of color.

Black unemployment high? Guess what, white unemployment is high also. It's called economic conditions.

"more cuts to the safety net" Exactly which safety net are you dependent on that you are worried about getting cut?

Bizkit
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Bizkit 08/28/13 - 09:47 pm
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No he is right

No he is right african-americans and hispanics were hit harder by the economic failure and because of Obama's policies they are also slowest to recover. You can thank our President for that-which isn really actually kind of shocking that he has done so little for minorities and yet he still receives support. Makes no sense to me.

rebellious
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rebellious 08/28/13 - 11:09 pm
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Slavery

takes on many forms. Black America has shed one cloak of oppression and put on one much less visible. They have traded the racism openly exhibited by separate restrooms, restaurants, and water coolers, beatings and yes, even lynching for an economic dependency and the destruction of their very social and cultural fabric. When oppressed, they turned to a higher power and spawned great spiritual songs to ease the pain of their captivity. When "freed" (one should read the writings of W. E. B. Dubois, specifically "The Souls of Black Folk", circa 1903), the black man was thrust into a world of responsibility he was ill prepared to handle. Government systems assembled by a vindictive Federal government have evolved to create a dependent societal sector which doesn't understand how they arrived at their current destination, much less how to arise from the depths of self loathing resulting from non self-fulfillment.
Amazingly, a black leader hated by the Whites, and for that matter the Nation of Islam, was onto concepts which, were he not murdered by his own, would have altered our society structure in a most positive fashion. El-Hajj Malik El-Shabazz (Malcolm Little) believed the means to economic security and power was for Blacks to trade with Blacks and keep their buying power in their own community. But he was silenced because he threatened the power structure in one of the most influential forces, then and now, within the black community.
But to Dr. King's speech, the occasion for this article, this day of celebration, and these posts. I think Dr. King underestimated the power of his movement, and probably thought the goals he sought would not be achieved in his lifetime. He alludes as much when he refers to bringing people to the promised land, and indicates he may never enter himself. As such, I believe he, as well as an entire race, was ill prepared on how to handle the wave of civil rights awarded to them by the Civil Rights Act of 1964.
And so today, any attempt to point out the disparity of social programs and the obvious targeted recipients is neutralized with charges of racism. And the longer such continues, the deeper the economic pit we, as a nation, will dig for ourselves.
God Bless this Nation, and remove the blinders by all sectors to enlighten us to the source of our ills, and the anecdote which will begin the healing.

Humble Angela
41338
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Humble Angela 08/29/13 - 07:26 am
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1
As usual Specsta, you are
Unpublished

As usual Specsta, you are wrong. I never said that the garbage collectors work isn't as valuable as that of someone with a degree, I said that his work doesn't have the same value as an engineer. Big difference. I would be willing to bet you don't put your money where your mouth is. When you tip a waitress, do you make that tip big enough to make her income equal to that of a doctor, or are you just expecting anyone but you to pitch in for that?

I suspect, that given the "charitable" history of liberals that you just want your utopia to come about because of the work of others, and not of yourself.

Humble Angela
41338
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Humble Angela 08/29/13 - 07:30 am
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And Specsta, who do you think
Unpublished

And Specsta, who do you think earns more money? An engineer who owns his own company, or a garbage collector who owns his own? I can compare apples to oranges just as well as you. You idea that people should have income equality regardless of their job is just plain idiotic. Why would ANYONE work harder, further their education, or make any extra effort if there is no reward for doing so. THAT is the fatal flaw of your beloved socialism.

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