Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and the Challenge to Our America

Opinion

Martin Luther King, Jr memorial monument in Washington, DC
Martin Luther King, Jr memorial monument in Washington, DC

USA – -(Ammoland.com)- On Monday, as we celebrate the birthday and life of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., it would be powerful if every American would remember the heart of his “I Have a Dream” speech.

It is one of the most powerful and inspirational speeches in American history. Delivered on August 28, 1963 to more than 200,000 people while standing in front of the Lincoln Memorial, Dr. King personalized his dream, saying, “I have a dream that my four little 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.”

Today, almost 55 years later, we are still all too far from achieving Dr. King’s dream.

It is important to remember the tragic history of African Americans.

When people question why African Americans should be considered differently than other immigrant groups, they miss the whole point of the African American experience.

Frederick Douglass
Frederick Douglass

Sold as slaves, shipped in cruel and inhuman conditions, totally dominated by white owners, having only as much family stability as their white owners permitted; the first two centuries of African American life in America violated every ideal to which America is committed.

Despite these conditions, individuals began to rise from the system of slavery. Frederick Douglass was the most famous Black orator of the 19th century and spoke passionately for the liberation of slaves. Throughout the North, before the Civil War, there were more and more free African Americans (as there also were in New Orleans for historic reasons).

Americans fought their bloodiest war over slavery. More Americans died in the Civil War than all our other wars combined, through part of the Vietnam War.

President Abraham Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation in 1863, freeing the slaves in Confederate states that had not yet surrendered to the Union. Constitutional Amendments were adopted at the end of the war, ending slavery and guaranteeing freedom nationwide. For a few brief years, America moved toward genuine freedom, with the United States Army enforcing desegregation in the South – something it would do again a century later.

However, decades of pressure from anti-Black political muscle in the South gradually reasserted legal segregation to minimize African American rights and opportunities.

Despite the betrayal of Lincoln’s vision, a substantial number of African Americans began rising in education, economics, and status. Then, mobilization of the work force for World War II created vast new opportunities as southern Blacks migrated to Detroit and elsewhere to work in industries which had lost workers to the war effort. Furthermore, a substantial number of African Americans served in the military. Finally, the revulsion against Nazi racism began to delegitimize and undermine racism in America.

As African Americans yearned for true equality, a young minister emerged as their most powerful voice. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. brilliantly combined great rhetorical skill with a deep understanding of the Bible and of the essence of America’s best ideals, as articulated in the Declaration of Independence and in the speeches and writings of Thomas Jefferson and President Lincoln.

Unfortunately, we have not yet attained the America for which Dr. King called. We still have far too much racial feeling among all ethnic groups. We still tolerate poor children being crushed by incompetent and corrupt bureaucracies, which take huge amounts of money but fail to educate. We still allow far too many young men to languish in prison without hope, when we should be offering them second chances. We still have too many people without jobs because crime keeps small businesses from being opened in neglected neighborhoods.

Faced with these failures, some Americans have given up on Dr. King’s dream and have begun to advocate a form of toxic identity politics which abandons color-blindness as an ideal.

All of us should take this holiday to reflect on Dr. King’s dream, the obligation all of us have to turn this dream into reality, and the responsibility we bear to ensure that America always strives to live up to its ideals.

This is the response Dr. King would have wanted for his birthday.

Your Friend,
Newt

Newt Gingrich
Newt Gingrich

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    Gabriel BootheLarry BrickeyDarrenAndy Buckmichaelhippybiker Recent comment authors
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    Darren
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    Darren

    Lincoln was a racist. On this subject his own words condemn him. During the Lincoln-Douglas debates in Ottowa, Illinois on August 21, 1858 he said: “I have no disposition to introduce political and social equality between the white and black races. There is a physical difference between the two, which in my judgment will probably forever forbid their living together on terms of respect, social and political equality, and inasmuch as it becomes a necessity that there should be a superiority somewhere, I, as well as Judge Douglas, am in favor of the race to which I belong having the… Read more »

    James Higginbotham
    Guest
    James Higginbotham

    MLK was also a COMMUNIST.
    and that’s a PROVEN FACT.

    Larry Brickey
    Guest
    Larry Brickey

    You have proof, right?

    Clark Kent
    Guest
    Clark Kent

    ‘Effect’ not ‘affect’. Let others educate your daughter because you can’t cut the mustard.

    Richard
    Guest
    Richard

    I am white and love Black Americans, My first supervisor was African American and a very nice man. That was pre civil rights. I hired some of the first African Americans during the Affirmative Action Program while working for a major corporation. Some have become very successful. I have worked for some of these African Americans that were hired under this program and found them equally competent to everyone else. Without that program many would never have had a chance to show their stuff. The world is changing and not for the better. It seems to me that the African… Read more »

    Gabriel Boothe
    Guest
    Gabriel Boothe

    There’s no more Trust that’s how they got slaughtered and butchered.

    The Realist
    Guest
    The Realist

    It seems Blacks should give more credence to Dr. King’s words about content of character and consider those three fingers pointed back at them on their collective outstretched arms and pointing index fingers. If ever there’s a day to suspend Black Privledge and hold Blacks accountable for their incredibly over represented participation in crime and general mediocrity in this country (international achievement scores, ect.) its on MLK Day. This should be a day of reflection for the African American community, and not yet another opportunity to scold whites that had nothing to do with slavery.

    Georgie
    Guest
    Georgie

    They are being judged on the content of their character as dreamed by King. Many, many of them only have a criminal thug behavior, hate anything white except their women, and using the race card as justification for social discord and riotous behavior. Their character has been established and noted.

    GDubb
    Guest
    GDubb

    What in the hell are you trying to say here Newt… “We still allow far too many young men to languish in prison without hope, when we should be offering them second chances. We still have too many people without jobs because crime keeps small businesses from being opened in neglected neighborhoods”. Is this not contradictory? Do the crime, do the time. I’m so tired of all this nonsense about leniency in prisons and sentencing. Criminals made a decision to break the law. They knew the risks. Now they bitch if they don’t have cable TV, and the libtards call… Read more »

    tomcat
    Guest
    tomcat

    Dr. King tried to tell the blacks that if they acted like humans and worked like humans they would be accepted as humans. The squeaky wheel gets the grease and even though they only comprise 13% of the population they yell the loudest. I think being accepted depends more on their demeanor and actions rather than their skin color. Obumer really screwed them with his divide the country attitude.

    sam j
    Guest
    sam j

    When, oh when, will the real issue of Black poverty and social issues be truly addressed? LBJ started the welfare system that has decimated the Black family. More than 70% of Black children are born out of wedlock. No father, (or multiple fathers) in a family unit, is the true source of the problem. Black children – most especially in large cities – learn from the street -meaning the drug dealers and gangs. Literacy, morals, and the value of work, are not instilled in the youth. So the result is – generations of welfare, high unemployment, and a high percentage… Read more »

    Dave
    Guest
    Dave

    What is up with comments not posting?

    tomcat
    Guest
    tomcat

    @Dave, sometimes comments never post. They must just vaporize and it you try reposting sometimes and that will vaporize. Frustrating to say the least but if the site judge doesn’t like what you say it is poof gone.

    Dave
    Guest
    Dave

    If your ancestors were slaves in America you should get on your knees and kiss the ground and thank the tribal chieftan that sold your family into slavery that you are now a U.S. citizen.

    Now, be a good citizen and make your parents proud!

    Ben
    Guest
    Ben

    That’s a mighty large paint brush you’re using lumping all blacks into the same category. Just as bad as the media lumping all whites as racists and having white guilt. As a freedom loving Libertarian I agree with Dr. King “I have a dream that my four little 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.”

    Wild Bill
    Guest
    Wild Bill

    Dr King approved judging a person by the content of their character. What people say, how they dress, and how they act are clue to what they will do or do to you, which is an expression of their character.

    Dave
    Guest
    Dave

    Descendants of African slaves shipped to the US won the lottery. They are the luckiest blacks alive to be American citizens.

    Absolutely sick and tired of the complaining and lawlessness. The streets of America are paved with gold. Work hard, get married, buy in to “the American dream” and America will work for you as it works for anyone who works hard.

    Pull up your pants and quit complaining. Embrace your good fortune. You could be in Africa or some other shithole….like detroit, chicago, baltimore……….(name a democrat run city)

    Roy D.
    Guest
    Roy D.

    This seems to be Pat’s new vocation; telling only half the story. But, you can only pull the wool over the eyes of those that are ignorant of history. Unfortunately that is a large portion of our fellow citizens.

    hippybiker
    Guest
    hippybiker

    “I have a dream” was actually plagiarized from another black minister, as was most of his doctoral speech. Source… The book ” Comes A Man” by Ralph Abernathy. As for slavery…there were more black and white slaves(read Irish)slaves in the north and the East Indies. As a matter of fact Gen. Grant and his wife owned slaves, where as Gen. Robert E. Lee did not. As a matter of fact, Lee’s wife taught blacks to read and right which was a crime at the time. You should read some real American history, not the revisionist tripe they teach in the… Read more »

    Clark Kent
    Guest
    Clark Kent

    ‘Read and right’? As in right turn? And YOU complain about the public fool system?

    hippybiker
    Guest
    hippybiker

    Everybody makes a typo now and then. Take the beam from your eye, word cop.

    Andy Buckmichael
    Guest
    Andy Buckmichael

    Clark Kent is a s***hole.

    Cherokee
    Guest
    Cherokee

    In this modern and informed day of removing offensive historical figures and memorials, shouldn’t all the pictures, street signs and statues promoting Martin Luther King, Jr. be removed?

    explainist
    Guest
    explainist

    pull up your pants, turn your hat around right, mind your mouth, mind your manners, don’t throw temper tantrums…

    Rafael
    Guest
    Rafael

    We all should be considered as equal when it come as American Citizens.

    Andy Buckmichael
    Guest
    Andy Buckmichael

    13% of the population and all the crap this country goes through for it.

    David Gatch
    Guest
    David Gatch

    13% of the population 75% of the social problem, if only had Lincoln lived (killed by Democrat John Wilkes Booth)
    I believe things would have been very different……

    Larry Brickey
    Guest
    Larry Brickey

    What would you have us do?

    David Gatch
    Guest
    David Gatch

    Larry, first, make selling drugs, gang affiliation murder punishable by death upon conviction, no appeals, no more 3 hots and a cot or endless catch and release. Base welfare and food stamps on income and REQUIRE work. Thirdly, no one coming to this country should receive any public assistance, NONE and do away with automatic citizenship to babies born to non-US citizens. Eliminate “welfare queens” who collect money for each child they have, I’ve seen women with five kids from five different “sperm donors”. Require addicts to sign up for mandatory treatment programs and test them weekly and if they… Read more »

    Andy Buckmichael
    Guest
    Andy Buckmichael

    Be black Americans, not “negros”.

    conrad
    Guest
    conrad

    Yawn, they ruined a perfectly good holiday to make me feel guilty if I don’t show fealty to the leering face that adorns every King County Washington vehicle. It was a face so important that Blacks banded together to get it done, then they either left the State or moved to the suburbs. The good Doctor has nothing to teach me, Obama showed me that; in fact, I’ll be working on his day off.

    Donna Thompson
    Guest
    Donna Thompson

    I wish it were true that we celebrate the life of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. In Clifton NJ the system saw fit to honor this day with an early dismissal of school instead of a full day off. Also a select few classes will have set aside some time to talk about MLK Jr in School #12. We will keep our daughter home and educate her on his life and accomplishments which will affect her perfect attendance.

    Wild Bill
    Guest
    Wild Bill

    @Donna T, I don’t think that you should educate your daughter about MLK’s real life, until she reaches the age of majority. His speeches sounded good and are still politically correct, just stick to those.