MLK Jr Day. The guy had a dream.


An American Hero.

“The Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. was barreling toward the climax of his greatest speech when he made a split-second decision that would seal his place in history… King had planned to cap his speech by exhorting people “to go back to our communities as members of the international association for the advancement of creative dissatisfaction.” Yet he hesitated when he got to that line in the speech because it just didn’t feel right…And then he heard a voice from behind him. It was the great gospel singer Mahalia Jackson, who was sitting nearby. “Tell them about the dream, Martin! Tell them about the dream,” she shouted.”

And he did.

Very quaint.

Young people today are indifferent to King — especially young blacks. If it wasn’t for old white liberals bringing him up he would probably be nearly forgotten. Even a federal holiday in his honor doesn’t matter; it’s just a 3 day weekend to everyone under 60.

@thatoneguy For my family and me it’s more than just a 3 day weekend. For my sons, who are 1/2 black and way under 60, he’s an important role model, but they were raised learning about him, not just at home, but in school. Even so, their bedtime story on this night was King’s “I Have A Dream” speech. It’s a tradition in our family to read that speech on this day, among other choice readings from and about him. We also went to MLK events too. Whatever else was chosen, “I Have A Dream” was always read and I know at least one of my sons still reads it today and goes to events, if not both of them. I even saw a few of their FB posts today and a few were about MLK Jr. So not everyone under 60 (me included under 60) are indifferent to King, so I hardly view it as quaint. Only a young white dude would think that (being facetious due to what you said).

Oneguy, I realize that you believe you are above the fray, and superior in your perception of the world, to anyone who has lived longer than you. But pulling an assertion out of your ass, e.g. “young blacks are especially indifferent to MLK Jr”, is a no-go.

Forgive me oh mighty Oneguy for the horrible sin of being born before you. But I remember when the daily news showed riots of blacks, including children being ravaged by officials with fire hoses and dogs. I remember when the Black Panthers were playing for real. And I remember a voice of clarity, urging non-violent recourse. That voice was MLK Jr. And I remember when his voice was silenced, but not before he said many things that would not be forgotten.

Reminds me of this:

No, it was not like that. That cartoon impresses me as someone’s vehicle for getting away with saying “nigger” repeatedly.

The cartoon series is a critique on the various aspects of black culture and tends to be rather spot on about it as well. The MLK episode I think is kind of an example of what happened to black culture in the current age.

I remember when (in the early 70’s) it was not uncommon to see a random solitary young black guy, walking (in an abbreviated sort of strut) while cupping his genital area with one hand. More recently, you could often see young black guys in public with their pants barely hanging on the bottom of their hips, leaving their underwear fully exposed.

I think you’re going to get some odd stereotypical behaviors, and dysfunctional behaviors also, in a society where there is an on-going disparity in justice for young black men, and where young black men’s lives don’t matter as much as others’ lives.

I asked my ex-husband about that once and he said it was to protect themselves. He explained further that at one time if white men, specifically the KKK, saw a black man they wanted to harass they sometimes cut it off. I still don’t get it, but that was his answer and I’m not sure I buy it or not, because it doesn’t make sense to me that hold yourself would protect you from someone or someones trying to cut it off. Now that pants hanging, that came out of the prisons and it was a signal that one was, how do you say, available and that they like it like that. It came out of the prisons and became a common thing for young males. A stupid disgusting thing, but nonetheless common and some might not have known what it was all about when they started it. Anyway, that’s how those things were explained to me. Still they need to pull up their pants and stop holding their jewels.

Here are some excerpts from the Dream speech that are a part, now, of our national heritage:

"When the architects of our republic wrote the magnificent words of the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence, they were signing a promissory note to which every American was to fall heir. This note was a promise that all men, yes, black men as well as white men, would be guaranteed the unalienable rights of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. . . . It is obvious today that America has defaulted on this promissory note insofar as her citizens of color are concerned.”

"But we refuse to believe that the bank of justice is bankrupt. We refuse to believe that there are insufficient funds in the great vaults of opportunity of this nation. So we have come to cash this check — a check that will give us upon demand the riches of freedom and the security of justice.”

"We have also come to this hallowed spot to remind America of the fierce urgency of now. This is no time to engage in the luxury of cooling off or to take the tranquilizing drug of gradualism. Now is the time to make real the promises of democracy.”

“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. . . . (M)any of our white brothers, as evidenced by their presence here today, have come to realize that their destiny is tied up with our destiny. They have come to realize that their freedom is inextricably bound to our freedom. We cannot walk alone.”

Those are not a part of our heritage. Not everyone in the country is guaranteed life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. Justice can be bought and there are insufficient funds in the land of opportunity, etc.

I can appreciate his optimism and hope but it’s just not the reality of the US.

Jeebus, man. You talk about reality. Reality is not static. It changes and often it is guided by our ideals. American ideals.

It is reality that black men, and poor people, in particular are not provided justice on the same level as white men and rich people. But we are NOT in the same reality as we were 60 or more years ago. Should I pull out the pics of blacks being tortured and murdered randomly and regularly and in grisly fashion across portions of the country back then? That was reality then, not now.

When I was a kid there was a water fountain that had a whites’ only sign in my elementary school. That was reality then, not now. We have an impact on reality – good, bad, or indifferent. When reality is WRONG, that is not a signal to complacently accept that reality is what it is. That is a signal for good people to try to make their country a more perfect union. As did MLK Jr. His efforts and words made reality not as bad as it was before.


So, Xian, you are saying such things are only for white folks, white male folks and not for all U.S. citizens? That doesn’t sound right, especially in this day and age. We need strive to better ourselves and if we stayed a country where only white males had privilege, then we’d still be stuck in 1776. That said, have you ever read the letter to John Adams from his wife, called Remember the Ladies?

If we women did not continue to fight for rights, along with black people, we would still not have the right to vote and we still would not be able to get a credit card, or have our bodies (though that maybe taken again) be our own. Black men got the right to vote before any women of any race did, but that’s how it goes on the path to freedom, justice, and equality. However, on the journey to equality, justice, and freedom, we must all work together those that would oppress us.

More about Abigail Adams:

She had a very good relationship with her husband for the day.