Fifty years ago today, Martin Luther King, Jr., gave his monumental “I Have a Dream” speech, calling on America to renew its promise of freedom for all its citizens. Freedom and liberty were recurring themes as King recalled instances of police brutality, imprisonment, denial of voting rights, segregation, and denial of services at hotels and restaurants to Black Americans. Time has proven the value of King’s ideas to be monumentally important events in the 20th Century.
We were saddened to see the memory of an unapologetic, legendary warrior for freedom, one whose life was taken less than 5 years after giving his most memorable speech, cheapened by modern statist progressives and their never-ending quest for power. Speakers at the commemoration events gave voice to a number of progressive political agenda items. Repealing stand your ground laws, gun control, the Trayvon Martin case, amnesty, DC Statehood, voter ID laws, and promoting economic equality (not equality of freedom) all found champions at various points in the speaker lists. Freedom did not seem to be such a highly prized goal worthy of striving toward.
Instead of reliving today’s soundbytes or slogging through political pundits’ opinions, we suggest taking a few moments to listen to the ideas and the words of King’s original speech. The power of his words and ideas are strong enough to speak for themselves, even today. Though copyrighted some time after his death by representatives of his estate, you can find a copy at the US National Archives. An audio copy (for the moment) lives on YouTube.
We echo the words spoken by Dr. King 50 years ago today, hoping that people will “not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character,” and “Let Freedom Ring!”
Photo Credit: Dick DeMarsico, World Telegram staff photographer via Library of Congress. New York World-Telegram & Sun Collection