Got MLK?

MLK thumbby Geoph2
Fifty years and still celebrating the day of the “Dream” speech? Come on. We don’t celebrate the “day that will live in infamy” speech. We don’t gather for the “ask not what your country can do for you” anniversary, the “Gettysburg Address” after 150 years, the “tear down this wall” moment, or the “I can hear YOU” speech.

You know why? Because those speeches, those pivot points in time – they became reality. They became more than one man’s dream.

After 50 years and nothing having changed, a speech remains only an unfulfilled dream of one man. I can understand “keeping the dream alive” if it is for the sake of more than just the dream itself, but what I don’t get is making a celebration of failure.

Christians don’t (and I believe wouldn’t) celebrate Good Friday as the day Christ died – even should it have ended there. Rather, we recognize it as our reconciliation with God, and then celebrate the culmination of total victory on Easter.

We’ve had parades for our sports teams as they win championships, but not for them when they lost the big game. As disappointed and disgruntled fans, we dissect what went wrong – and no one is immune to blame. We plot and talk in the off season about what must change. We devise new ways, no matter how farfetched, to find a path to success. (Believe me, I’m a Lions fan and understand what a half century of failure is!) Even we Detroit fans concoct miracles that could overcome ownership ineptitude and coaching and player deficiencies. What we’ve finally stopped doing is expecting success until a change in ownership, and that, unlike community leadership, is beyond our control.

Why does the black community not insist things change? Why does it remain content after 50 years? How can it continue to follow the same, failed, leadership and expect success?

I believe Dr. King would have personally had his Dream fulfilled because of the choices he seemed determined to make. I believe he could have brought an entire race along with him, rather than the relative few who have made the transition. Dr. King knew it was never his race that oppressed him, it was someone else’s perception of his race. It was changing that perception that, I believe, King was all about, and a change in that perception has occurred. Changes from the days when ownership of a person was commonplace. Changes from a time when lynchings went mostly ignored, and separate schools and drinking fountains were the standard.

James Earl Ray may have killed Martin Luther King, but he did not kill the quest for race equality. We find successful black men and women everywhere in America, but they (like King) got “it”. King had a hand in forging the acceptance of his race by much of the white community, and would be horrified at the squandered opportunity by so many. Dr. King’s Dream has come true, but (as with everything in life ) what matters is what you do with it. The opportunity for equality IS there, but you have to answer when it knocks.

Maybe its time the black community stop dreaming, wake up, and see who’s at the door! • (1225 views)


About jeph

Home is the Detroit suburbs, though I spent some years in Rochester, NY. Thus, I'm quite familiar with what a fiscal, societal, and governmental failure looks like.
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11 Responses to Got MLK?

  1. Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

    I have a dream. It’s a dream in which race is not important. I have a dream. It’s one in which we listen to the good Dr. Sowell and give the race hustlers of the “civil rights moment” the heave-ho.

    • Jeph says:

      Oddly, I believe that dream (one I share) is one we will never see fulfilled. Too much animosity, conflict , and ignorance has been bled into the system.

      In any war it is useful to have a generic target – be it Hitler, bin Laden, Saddam, Communism, or Syrian WMDs. Even with just a grain of truth, you can make them into anything you want them to be, enter the conglomeration rich, white, powerful, and manipulative America. The same America that owned slaves; the same America that provided Seperate but Equal. Where do rich white men gather? Why in the Republican Party.
      Sadly, revenge is easily stoked and blurts reason and reality.
      They say you can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make them drink. Apparently though, if you keep him fenced in and provide only one water source – he’ll eventually drink his fill of whatever you offer him.

  2. Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

    I have a dream, where people can (as Eric Holder supposedly wants us to do) talk openly about race without some nitwit always claiming that to do so is “racist.”

    I have a dream, it’s that people will read the autobiographies of Frederick Douglass and Booker T. Washington who were two outstanding Americans who understood that the path for the advancement of blacks was not through grievance but through education, good families, good values, and hard work.

    I have a dream, it’s where people stop trying to elevate their own sense of moral superiority by engaging in moral grandstanding at the slightest opportunity, a phenomenon that Thomas Sowell has long noted in many of his books and articles.

    I have a dream that people will turn away from the noxious religion of Leftism (or Black Liberation Theology, for that matter) and return to authentic Christianity and the idea of the brotherhood of man, not the hierarchy of grievances and the moral vacuousness of white guilt.

    A guy can dream, can’t he?

    • ladykrystyna says:

      I have those same dreams, Brad. Well said.

      Especially about Booker T. Washington and Frederick Douglass. I feel that if you can take anyone’s word for what is to be done with the “negro”, you should listen to them.


  3. molon labe molon labe says:

    Okay, so I was prodded into registering to comment on the esteemed M Voltaire’s MLK article. When I say ‘esteemed’ I mean it. Best commenter I’ve seen on any blog. But his MLK posting last week greatly chagrined me. Caused a kerfuffle on NRO this morning. I’m not sure I’m welcome here. Not sure I’ll stay. My chagrin was over the timing & tenor of the previous post. MLK a Marxist for starters. That’s just not supportable other than by internet hearsay. Oh, he met with Communists. He also met with Republicans. You can read my comment there. You won’t read any other Conservative rebuttal. Least of all by a site founder. Why is that?

    On to this one: Fifty years and still celebrating the “Dream” speech. Guess it depends on definitions & what’s important to ea of us. I can still recite most of the Gettysburg Address. Once I could recite all of it. Mandatory Grade School exercise still 100yrs afterwards in my day. “Day that will live in infamy”: I pause every Dec7 and weep a bit. Just like on VJ day. For pop. He was on a Carrier – in the Atlantic – on Dec7. CommsO. Got the Flash msg. I’ll pause on those days forevermore. Dec7, 1991 was a biggie. So was the 50th Ann of Gettysburg. & the 150th. Not for you?

    The “Dream” speech stands on its own in the context of the times as a soaring piece of great American oratory. I think you ‘get’ Dr King unlike those posting last week. Why rain on this very slight celebration of his finest moment? Btw, I was literally right across the Potomac River in Rosslyn during the ceremony. Barely a blip on the radar screen. 50k attendees in a Nation of 330M. Most Americans of all stripes worked that day, incl the overwhelming majority of DC folk who coulda walked to the ceremony. They worked. This was a media event mostly. An event for preeners. But it doesn’t diminish Dr King one bit. Why would we Conservatives seek to do so? Seek to diminish him or this absolutely unassailable speech? Wouldn’t no comment perhaps be a better course of action than to not say, “One of the finest moments in America of my lifetime.”

    But then, I grew up in B’ham AL. I feel exactly zero White Guilt because we harmed no Black men or women in my family. But America – all America – was terribly unjust 100 yrs after Emancipation. Bull Connors was hosing down/letting loose the dogs on decent folks who had to sit in the back of the bus, or in theater balconies, couldn’t eat in White folks’ restaurants, had different water fountains & bathrooms marked ‘Colored’… No motels to stay in. Cripes, baseball had just been integrated. Still no Southern Colleges… Separate but unequal. Churches being bombed all over several States… This was done by very few Whites while the rest just kept quiet. Or else. How MLK kept things from blowing up still mystifies me. I often think about what it woulda been like to be a young Black man in those days. Returning home from WWII or Korea or VN to the same ole scheisse. In the same ole South (that I love btw).

    MLK, as I think you suggest, was on the side of the angels & sits with God above. He may be co-opted now by hucksters charlatans etal. But why diminish him or his soaring speech? We don’t celebrate it every day. Nor every year. It’s appropriate to celebrate things on their 50th Ann. I suspect there will be another sparsely attended rally at the Lincoln Memorial in 2063. Great speech. It should be celebrated.

    • Jeph says:

      Molon, welcome and thank you for your posting.

      I also memorized many speeches over time – usually at the prodding of a teacher and to acquire an “A” in class. The point I was attempting to make was that human history is filled with words – some beautiful, some ugly. Words are just ideas, and no matter how good or bad – accomplish nothing if not acted upon.

      We heard better than a year of protestations by the GOP over the actions of the Obama administration leading up to the 2010 elections. Those words prompted a huge action at the polls (unfortunately, the protests were insincere). No matter the arguments made for 2012 – they failed to motivate Conservatives to action.
      We “got” that Republican leadership would not act in our best interests. That took all of 2 years. It has been 50 for the black community.

      I do think I “get” Dr. King. His Dream speech’s overall sentiment is as applicable today as it was 50 years ago, but to any of a number of causes, races, and peoples.
      To know that it did not motivate the group he directed it towards all those years ago, I’m sure, would have broke his heart – especially seeing how color-blind and gender-blind this Nation can be.

  4. ladykrystyna says:

    “The opportunity for equality IS there, but you have to answer when it knocks.

    Maybe its time the black community stop dreaming, wake up, and see who’s at the door!”

    Well said!

    Although perhaps my mother’s life history is not in the same vein as a group that was held as slaves for 300 years, freed and then oppressed again for another 100.

    But I am reminded that she was born in a Nazi labor camp in Austria after her parents were taken from Poland as prisoners. She lived there for 3 years. Her family ultimately wound up in England as refugees, where they lived in abandoned military barracks on a former American medical base in Oxfordshire with no indoor plumbing or insulation, for which they had to pay rent. My grandparents worked – all the time. They never even sat home on strike if their unions walked off the job.

    And my mother wound up going to secretarial school and my uncle to university.

    Her family and all the families who lived on that abandoned base took such care of the area that the English would come for walks on Sundays just to admire their flower and vegetable gardens and how neat everything is.

    And they came from NOTHING. They arrived in England with nothing but the shirts on their backs. And there was prejudice. When my grandmother eventually became a citizen of Britain, she was so proud and some limey had the nerve to say to her that she’d “always be just a Polak”.

    Life hands people lemons (and I should know, my life for the last 10+ years has been a series of lemons), but you don’t give up. You keep pushing on.

    The race baiters that took over after MLK died have done no service to the black community.

    They have taught them to be thin skinned and have chips on their shoulders. As Larry Elder calls them – victocrats.

    That is a big part of the reason their statistical numbers are so bad. The only “white man” holding them down are the white statists in the Democrat Party.

    • CCWriter CCWriter says:

      You know, I find myself particularly admiring the Poles. I am very aware of the role that nation played in standing up to the Soviets during the Solidarity episode. If they hadn’t done so, the Iron Curtain might not have ended up on the ash heap of history, at least not so soon. I only hope the Brits can learn some lessons from them.

      • ladykrystyna says:

        Frankly, many of today’s Poles aren’t learning much of a lesson themselves.

        My mom still has close family there and since the fall of communism in their country, there is a lot of complaining. I guess they believed that everything would come easy.

        They don’t understand that freedom is hard. They used to think my mother’s family in England could buy them cars! I mean, with what little they had, they sent clothes to the family members in Poland, but they were by no means rich in any sense of the word. They lived paycheck to paycheck.

        Polish relatives had the same mistaken view of America – of streets paved with gold, etc.

        My mother has had family members even say that it was “better” under communism (after being under it and complaining about how horrible that was too!).

        ~shakes head~

        I call it “domestication”. That’s what’s happening here in this country. Far too many people relying on gov’t to help them that they can’t understand limited government and free markets as the Left has poisoned both concepts.

    • Kung Fu Zu says:

      Just a side historical note. Slavery in North America is a bit more complicated that is now supposed. First, many many of the first settlers of this country came as indentured servants. Purportedly, some of my ancestors came here, did their seven years indentured labor and moved on.

      The first Africans “slaves” who were brought here were brought by the Dutch and I believe most of them were released from servitude after seven years or so. Not all were released and I don’t know why. It could be a number of reasons.

      Slavery, as we understand it, did not get codified until the mid 1600’s. And I believe one of the reasons colonialists could do that was that the Africans who were brought here were not citizens of Britain, thus were not covered by common law.

      So slavery, as we know it, was really extant for about 200-220 years in North American. The greatest influx of African slaves was during the middle years of the 1700’s. And although the numbers are not precise, it is estimated that only abut 5% of all African slaves shipped to the New World, ended up in North America.

    • Jeph says:

      Crud! That’ll teach me to type a reply right here, and not on Word and move it over. I’ll try to reproduce it as best I can.

      Thank you for the compliment, LadyK.

      I’ve always had trouble untangling to strings of hypocrisy this situation presents. How in the world accepting the premis of affirmative action promotes race equality – is beyond me. The entire point in “handicapping” is to accept and deal with an insurmountable disadvantage. To be told, especially for 40some years, that I am inferior to another – how is that different than being told I am inferior to others for the couple hundred years before that? It should be (and is) insulting, degrading, and enraging. Yet, it is fervently fought for and implemented by not only the puppets, but the puppeteers. im certain Mr. Biden is well aware that strings can be just as binding as chains!

      “I’ll teach you all a little sayin’
      And learn the words by heart the way you should
      I don’t say I’m no better than anybody else
      But I’ll be danged if I ain’t just as good”

      Everyone could learn a little bit from Aunt Eller (Oklahoma)
      or even Pinochio (I’ve got no strings)

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