Happy Martin Luther King Jr. Day!

by Ryan on January 19, 2009

in Culture,Election 2008,Politics,Pop Culture,Religion

In 1983, the US Congress and President Reagan made the observed birthday of Martin Luther King Jr a federal holiday.  Twenty-six years later, and forty-one years after Dr. King’s assassination, we stand poised to inaugurate America’s first biracial President. 

Contemplating that, I ran into this CNN article which shows that nearly 2/3 of America’s black population believe that Dr. King’s vision has been fulfilled.  Nearly half of whites in the poll believed it also.  Perhaps this is temporary euphoria over Obama’s election, but perhaps it is the beginning of something new. 

The culture of victimhood, anti-intellectualism, and dependence on government paternalism continue to plague large swaths of the black community today.  I truly hope Obama can dismantle those vices by being a positive role-model with a positive message to the black community, especially the youth.  However, being a Democrat whose party openly uses those very vices to keep blacks voting for Democrats is going to be a tricky sell for Obama if he wants real change to stick.

On his observed birthday, we go back to the vision, the dream of Dr. King.  His last speech before his assassination is not only a little spooky since he sounds like he’s foretelling his own death, but it is also a succinct reiteration of the fundamental theme behind the Civil Rights Movement: MLK’s part of the movement wasn’t asking for special rights, only equal rights consistent with our founding principles. 

Video: ignore the RFK, anti-Vietnam stuff at the end — it doesn’t fit all that well.


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