Claiming our History

March on Washington, 1963 Getty/AFP Images

My mind reels with the crazy 15-second news cycle, the flying slogans, the waving flags. So much nonsense and so tempting to jump in and argue. But the best remedy, in the long run, is a national lesson in history and civics.

Above is a photo of one of America’s great moments, Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King’s ‘I Have a Dream’ speech on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial. Below is quoted from the National Parks Service…

King’s speech was the grand finale of the August 28, 1963, “March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom.” The march, led by union leader A. Philip Randolph and organizer Bayard Rustin, drew 200,000 supporters, 50,000 of them white. They included clergy of every faith, students, blue-collar and white-collar workers, and celebrities like Harry Belafonte, Sammy Davis, Jr., Marlon Brando, James Garner, Joan Baez, and Bob Dylan. Robert Weisbrot, author of Freedom Bound, called the march “the largest political assembly in American history.” On August 22, 2003 the Martin Luther King, Jr. Inscription Dedication unveiled the commemoration of the “I Have a Dream” speech with a keynote presentation by Coretta Scott King. The work, an inscription in the granite approach to the Lincoln Memorial, marks the location where Dr. King spoke to the crowd, which assembled for the March on Washington.

Remember that Dr.King dedicated his life, and ultimately gave his life for justice. During his leadership in the civil rights movement he was called every name in the book, ‘un-American’ being the least of it. He was slandered, arrested, jailed and threatened. He endured threats to his wife and children.

If anyone claims to carry on his message, compare their actions to his and make your own judgement. There are some who work courageously and in obscurity to help our country realize the dream. A very few are called by history and challenged to lead, as Dr. King did so faithfully. Remember him, and all the other brave Americans who made the civil rights movement possible.

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5 responses

  1. In today’s New York Times, Bob Herbert makes it clear how he feels about those who claim to tread in the footsteps of Dr. King, taking particular aim at that famed rodeo clown, Glenn Beck, whom he describes as “an ignorant, divisive, pathetic figure.” Herbert goes on to say that “Beck is a provocateur who likes to play with matches in the tinderbox of racial and ethnic confrontation. He seems oblivious to the real danger of his execrable behavior.” It’s hard to disagree.

    Here’s the link: http://www.nytimes.com/2010/08/28/opinion/28herbert.html

  2. Bob Herbert and the NY Times.Fonts of knowledge that cannot be disputed.Right.
    The NYT has deteriorated badly.
    I guess you’re not offended by a racist scumbag like Al Sharpton holding a rally nearby.I mean,he’d never throw a match in a tinderbox,would he?Oh,yeah,the New Black Panther Party will be there too.They have some really nauseating things to say about folks with names like Jaffe.Do you prefer not to notice?
    I don’t pay much attention to Beck,but I’d say he’s scaring the poop out of the progressives because of all the reaction he generates.
    There are unvarnished racists out there who get nary a word written about them because they have no following to speak of.
    When Beck attacks the government,he gets name calling in return,but seldom if ever point by point refutation of his assertions.

  3. With all the counterfeit around it’s important to look back at the genuine and compare and contrast. False equivalency is a way to avoid looking at the truth.

  4. Did you just say something?I guess I’m just a dope because it went over my head.Can you be specific?
    I notice when I ask you an uncomfortable question,you ignore it.Too bad.
    Maybe you think “false equivalency”is calling out Sharpton and the NBPP as racists.
    It’s not false equivalency,it’s the truth.

  5. FWIW-I’ve never had the luxury of avoiding the truth.It frequently wasn’t much fun,but who cares?

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