Dr. Martin Luther King Jr's Message

Sunday, January 17, 2010

It's Martin Luther King day tomorrow. Rather than exploit the message for political points as many will do today I figured I'd try something different. We all know of the "I have a dream speech" but think for a second, how much of it do you really know?

Most will answer that question with the same few infamous lines we've know since childhood. I'm going to provide 2 speeches here today. The first being his partially infamous "I have a dream speech" you'll be surprised by how much of this speech you don't know.

The other speech is called, "I've seen the promised land", it was delivered the night before an assassin's bullet would end the life of this great man. Here's the entire I have a dream speech. Note: I am presenting these 2 speeches as exact quotes and haven't changed so much as a single word. This is what a true civil rights leader believes.

I Have A Dream (August 28, 1963)

"Five score years ago, a great American, in whose symbolic shadow we stand today, signed the Emancipation Proclamation. This momentous decree came as a great beacon light of hope to millions of Negro slaves, who had been seared in the flames of withering injustice. It came as a joyous daybreak to end the long night of their captivity.

But one hundred years later, the Negro still is not free. One hundred years later, the life of the Negro is still sadly crippled by the manacles of segregation and the chains of discrimination. One hundred years later, the Negro lives on a lonely island of poverty in the midst of a vast ocean of material prosperity. One hundred years later, the Negro is still languished in the corners of American society and finds himself an exile in his own land. And so we've come here today to dramatize a shameful condition.

In a sense we have come to our nation's capital to cash a check. When the architects of our republic wrote the magnificent words of the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence, they were signing a promissory note to which every American was to fall heir. This note was a promise that all men, yes, black men as well as white men, would be guaranteed the unalienable rights of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. It is obvious today that America has defaulted on this promissory note, insofar as her citizens of color are concerned. Instead of honoring this sacred obligation, America has given the Negro people a bad check, a check which has come back marked "insufficient funds".

But we refuse to believe that the bank of justice is bankrupt. We refuse to believe that there are insufficient funds in the great vaults of opportunity of this nation. And so we have come to cash this check, a check that will give us upon demand the riches of freedom and the security of justice.

We have also come to this hallowed spot to remind America of the fierce urgency of now. This is no time to engage in the luxury of cooling off or to take the tranquilizing drug of gradualism. Now is the time to make real the promises of democracy. Now is the time to rise from the dark and desolate valley of segregation to the sunlit path of racial justice. Now is the time to lift our nation from the quicksands of racial injustice to the solid rock of brotherhood. Now is the time to make justice a reality for all of God's children.

It would be fatal for the nation to overlook the urgency of the moment. This sweltering summer of the Negro's legitimate discontent will not pass until there is an invigorating autumn of freedom and equality. Nineteen sixty-three is not an end but a beginning. Those who hope that the Negro needed to blow off steam and will now be content will have a rude awakening if the nation returns to business as usual. There will be neither rest nor tranquility in America until the Negro is granted his citizenship rights. The whirlwinds of revolt will continue to shake the foundations of our nation until the bright day of justice emerges.

But there is something that I must say to my people who stand on the warm threshold which leads into the palace of justice. In the process of gaining our rightful place we must not be guilty of wrongful deeds. Let us not seek to satisfy our thirst for freedom by drinking from the cup of bitterness and hatred. We must ever conduct our struggle on the high plane of dignity and discipline. We must not allow our creative protest to degenerate into physical violence. Again and again we must rise to the majestic heights of meeting physical force with soul force.

The marvelous new militancy which has engulfed the Negro community must not lead us to a distrust of all white people, for many of our white brothers, as evidenced by their presence here today, have come to realize that their destiny is tied up with our destiny. And they have come to realize that their freedom is inextricably bound to our freedom. We cannot walk alone.

And as we walk, we must make the pledge that we shall always march ahead. We cannot turn back. There are those who are asking the devotees of civil rights, "When will you be satisfied?". We can never be satisfied as long as the Negro is the victim of the unspeakable horrors of police brutality. We can never be satisfied as long as our bodies, heavy with the fatigue of travel, cannot gain lodging in the motels of the highways and the hotels of the cities. We cannot be satisfied as long as a Negro in Mississippi cannot vote and a Negro in New York believes he has nothing for which to vote. No, no, we are not satisfied and we will not be satisfied until justice rolls down like waters and righteousness like a mighty stream.

I am not unmindful that some of you have come here out of great trials and tribulations. Some of you have come fresh from narrow jail cells. Some of you have come from areas where your quest for freedom left you battered by the storms of persecutions and staggered by the winds of police brutality. You have been the veterans of creative suffering. Continue to work with the faith that unearned suffering is redemptive. Go back to Mississippi, go back to Alabama, go back to South Carolina, go back to Georgia, go back to Louisiana, go back to the slums and ghettos of our northern cities, knowing that somehow this situation can and will be changed. Let us not wallow in the valley of despair, I say to you today, my friends. And so even though we face the difficulties of today and tomorrow, I still have a dream. It is a dream deeply rooted in the American dream.

I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of it's creed: We hold these truths to be self-evident that all men are created equal.

I have a dream that one day on the red hills of Georgia the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slave owners will be able to sit down together at the table of brotherhood.

I have a dream that one day even the state of Mississippi, a state sweltering with the heat of injustice, sweltering with the heat of oppression, will be transformed into an oasis of freedom and justice.

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. I have a dream today!

I have a dream that one day, down in Alabama, with it's vicious racists, with it's governor having his lips dripping with the words of interposition and nullification; one day right down in Alabama little black boys and black girls will be able to join hands with little white boys and white girls as sisters and brothers. I have a dream today!

I have a dream that one day every valley shall be exalted, and every hill and mountain shall be made low, the rough places will be made plain, and the crooked places will be made straight, and the glory of the Lord shall be revealed and all flesh shall see it together.

This is our hope. This is the faith that I will go back to the South with. With this faith we will be able to hew out the mountain of despair a stone of hope. With this faith we will be able to transform the jangling discords of our nation into a beautiful symphony of brotherhood. With this faith we will be able to work together, to pray together, to struggle together, to go to jail together, to stand up for freedom together, knowing that we will be free one day. And this will be the day, this will be the day when all of God's children will be able to sing with new meaning, "My country ti's of thee, sweet land of liberty, of thee I sing. Land where my fathers died, land of the Pilgrim's pride, from every mountainside, let freedom ring!" And if America is to become a great nation, this must become true.

And so let freedom ring, from the prodigious hilltops of New Hampshire. Let freedom ring from the mighty mountains of New York. Let freedom ring from the heightening Alleghenies of Pennsylvania. Let freedom ring from the snow-capped Rockies of Colorado. Let freedom ring from the curvaceous slopes of California. But not only that. Let freedom ring from Stone Mountain of Georgia. Let freedom ring from Lookout Mountain of Tennessee. Let freedom ring from every hill and molehill of Mississippi, from every mountainside, let freedom ring!

And when this happens, when we allow freedom to ring, when we let it ring from every village and every hamlet, from every state and every city, we will be able to speed up that day when all of God's children, black men and white men, Jews and Gentiles, Protestants and Catholics, will be able to join hands and sing in the words of the old Negro spiritual, "Free at last, free at last. Thank God Almighty, we are free at last."

Now that's a civil rights speech for equality. It's amazing how much of this speech is not known to so many people. The next speech is far less famous but no less important.

This speech was delivered on April 3rd, 1968 in Memphis, Tennessee the day before he was assassinated.

I've Seen The Promised Land (April 3rd, 1968)

"You know, several years ago, I was in New York City autographing the first book that I had written. And while sitting there autographing books, a demented black woman came up. The only question I heard from her was, "Are you Martin Luther King?"

And I was looking down writing, and I said yes. And the next minute I felt something beating on my chest. Before I knew it I had been stabbed by this demented woman. I was rushed to Harlem Hospital. It was a dark Saturday afternoon. And that blade had gone through, and the X-rays revealed that the tip of the blade was on the edge of my aorta, the main artery. And once that's punctured, you drown in your own blood - that's the end of you.

It came out in the New York Times the next morning, that if I had sneezed, I would have died. Well, about four days later, they allowed me, after the operation, after my chest had been opened, and the blade had been taken out, to move around in the wheel chair in the hospital. They allowed me to read some of the mail that came in, and from all over the states, and the world, kind letters came in. I read a few, but one of them I will never forget.

I had received one from the President and Vice-President. I've forgotten what those telegrams said. I'd received a visit and a letter from the Governor of New York, but I've forgotten what the letter said. But there was another letter that came from a little girl, a young girl who was a student at the White Plains High School. And I looked at that letter, and I'll never forget it. It said simply, "Dear Dr. King: I am a ninth-grade student at the White Plains High School." She said, "While it should not matter, I would like to mention that I am a white girl. I read in the paper of your misfortune, and of your suffering. And I read that if you had sneezed, you would have died. And I'm simply writing you to say that I'm so happy that you didn't sneeze."

And I want to say tonight, I want to say that I am happy that I didn't sneeze. Because if I had sneezed, I wouldn't have been around here in 1960, when students all over the South started sitting in at lunch counters. And I knew that as they were sitting in, they were really standing up for the best in the American dream. And taking the whole nation back to those great wells of democracy which were dug deep by the Founding Fathers in the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution.

If I had sneezed, I wouldn't have been around in 1962, when Negroes in Albany, Georgia, decided to straighten their backs up. And whenever men and women straighten their backs up, they are going somewhere, because a man can't ride your back unless it is bent. If I had sneezed, I wouldn't have been here in 1963, when the black people of Birmingham, Alabama, aroused the conscience of this nation, and brought into being the Civil Rights Bill. If I had sneezed, I wouldn't have had a chance later that year, in August, to try and tell America about a dream that I had had.

If I had sneezed, I wouldn't have been down in Selma, Alabama, to see the great movement there. If I had sneezed, I wouldn't have been in Memphis to see a community rally around those brothers and sisters who are suffering. I'm so happy that I didn't sneeze.

And they were telling me, now it doesn't matter now. It really doesn't matter what happens now. I left Atlanta this morning, and as we got started on the plane, there were six of us, the pilot said over the public address system, "We are sorry for the delay, but we have Dr. Martin Luther King on the plane. And to be sure that all of the bags were checked, and to be sure that nothing would be wrong with the plane, we had to check out everything carefully. And we've had the plane protected and guarded all night."

And then I got into Memphis. And some began to say the threats, or talk about the threats that were out. What would happen to me from some of our sick white brothers?

Well, I don't know what will happen now. We've got some difficult days ahead. But it doesn't matter with me now. Because I've been to the mountaintop. And I don't mind. Like anybody, I would like to live a long life. Longevity has it's place. But I'm not concerned about that now. I just want to do God's will. And he's allowed me to go up to the mountain. and I've looked over. And I've seen the promised land. I may not get there with you. But I want you to know tonight, that we, as a people will get to the promised land. And I'm happy, tonight. I'm not worried about anything, I'm not fearing any man. Mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the lord."

The next day Martin Luther King would be assassinated. I find it interesting that a letter from a 9Th grade white high school student meant more to him than a letter from the president. Perhaps he knew that politicians will use a crisis for political purposes. After all you never waste a crisis, right Rahm Emanuel. Yet he was touched by a white high school girl's genuine concern for him. They just don't make civil rights leaders like they used too.

Take these messages to heart and don't let what this man truly stood for be lost from memory. Don't let the message be twisted into something that it so clearly wasn't.

As he stood for equality and peace in life. May he rest in peace in death. Hopefully, we will all be able to remember his message now, and embrace that message in the name of justice and equality for all.


Forget Red State vs. Blue State, Mass May Turn Brown

Monday, January 11, 2010

Whether you live in Mass or not doesn't matter at this point. Everyone is paying attention to the special election on Jan. 19th. Stopping the health care nightmare is the obvious reason for the interest. Not to mention that replacing Ted Kennedy with Republican Scott Brown would send a message to Obama that simply can't be ignored. Governor Deval Patrick is doing all he can for Martha Coakley:


I am proud to support Martha Coakley in the upcoming election for United States Senator on January 19th, and we need you to become an active part of her campaign, too. Because we have a fight on our hands.

Forces mobilized to derail our progress towards meaningful health care reform are lining up in support of one of Martha's opponents. These are the same forces committed to opposing reproductive freedom and weakening civil and human rights. These are not just Martha's challenges. They are challenges to all of us and to our values.

Martha has been a strong partner and friend over the past several years. She shares our commitment to fairness and to equality for all people in our Commonwealth and our country. She has a strong vision for the needs we face: access to good jobs, environmental stewardship, strong schools, and our clean-energy future. She is totally committed to passing meaningful health care reform at the national level--the cause so central to the life and work of our beloved Senator Ted Kennedy--and will be a proud and essential 60th vote that ensures its passage.

I cherish your support and friendship, and I hope you will consider giving generously in the ways you can to help her candidacy. There are two big ways you can make a difference:

1. Please make a contribution to directly fund Martha's campaign. Martha needs resources to compete on television in the final days, and to fund her grassroots get-out-the-vote operation leading up to and on January 19th. Can you give $25, $50, or even $100 now?

2. Please dedicate two or more hours to Martha's volunteer operation. Martha's Republican opponent has tapped into a national network committed to derailing our best chances at health care reform, and they are making thousands of telephone calls to Massachusetts voters each day. Martha needs your help to make sure that our neighbors, friends, and colleagues hear her positive message and turn out to vote on January 19th. Can you join one of Martha's phoning operations around the state for two hours over the next ten days?

To help in other ways, please call the campaign directly at (617) 241-0200 or e-mail Martha's field director, Katie Sullivan, an alum of our 2006 campaign, at volunteer@marthacoakley.com.

You know the gravity of the challenges before us. With Martha Coakley as our partner in the U.S. Senate, we will make progress on January 19th and beyond.

Please vote on Tuesday, January 19th, and join me in supporting Martha in this critical and historic election.


Deval Patrick

He's right about one thing, this is a "critical and historic election". I can't help but be pessimistic. This Rasmussen report accurately describes why.

If you're in MA and have doubts about the health care bill this election is your only chance to make a difference in the national debate. Make no mistake, as the entire country realizes, if Martha Coakley wins this election Obamacare will pass.

Given the fact that the above Rasmussen report shows that only 32% of Mass voters approve of the Romneycare disaster I find it interesting that 53%, again according to Rasmussen, approve of the current health care bill going through congress.

"In 2006, Massachusetts implemented its own statewide version of health care reform which has been cited as a model for the national plan. But just 32% of the state’s voters consider that reform a success. Thirty-six percent (36%) consider the plan a failure, and another 32% are not sure."

"In the Bay State, 53% favor the plan working its way through Congress and 45% oppose it."

If those statistics prove true then it's a problem for us regarding this election. There are far too many Democrats that will vote for Coakley regardless of her views simply because of the D next to her name. It's simply a sad reality of modern day politics in states that are heavily tilted toward one party or another.

Scott Rasmussen summed up this race perfectly in this article.

"Clearly, his supporters are more enthusiastic about the race and that gives him a chance. But, as they have from the beginning, the dynamics of the race still make it likely that Massachusetts voters on January 19 will send another Democrat to Washington"

That pretty much sums it all up. We will do everything we can to get as many votes for Scott Brown as possible. There is a glimmer of hope in all this. After all, this is the state that elected Mitt Romney as governor.

Also, Martha Coakley is an extremely weak candidate who should be miles ahead of her Republican challenger yet she isn't. An endorsement by now governor Deval Patrick can't mean much since he's lost a lot of support due to his performance as governor since he was elected.

Paul Kirk, the Deval appointee currently representing MA in the senate until the election has already stated that even if Scott Brown wins the election he'll vote for the health care bill. Congress has also vowed to stall Brown's appointment to the senate so they have time to let Kirk do just that. Nothing like typical corruption in Washington in order to go against the will of the people.

We'll see how it all plays out 8 days from now when we go out to vote. Will we be the state that votes for the status quo and hands the health care nightmare bill to the entire country or will we remind this great country that this was the state of the original tea party?


Happy New Year

Friday, January 1, 2010

I hope everyone had a merry Christmas and a happy new year. This is a big year for conservatives. With CPAC right around the corner and Liberals popularity tanking as they head into this big election year this is where we will see just how big the tea party movement really is.

It's only taken 1 year of Obama with the Pelosi-Reid congress to revive Conservatism in this country. Art Laffer, former top Reagan economist, usually says, "without Jimmy Carter there would have been no Ronald Reagan". The point shows a trend that comes when our government gets too Liberal.

Ultra-liberalism doesn't work. Unless you count rising unemployment, rising welfare, rising poverty, weaker defense, out of control wasteful spending, and a tanking economy as working. No free pass for Bush and the "neo-cons" either though. After all, he was also passing massive wasteful spending projects filled with pork. Obama and the Liberal congress have just pushed it to a whole new level.

Take health care for example, they've now passed a bill that nobody seems to like just for the sake of claiming victory on the health care debate. On the one hand, even though I'm no fan of the bill I'm to a point glad it was passed. The reasoning for this is simple. I think many Democrats who've voted to pass this bill have in fact voted themselves out of office this year. That's great news for us.

We all watched the special interest deals made at the last minute in order to secure votes and nobody is happy with that. Even the people in the states that will benefit from these shameful deals are speaking out against the bill.

Washington obviously doesn't get it. The tea party protests and town hall anger transcended party lines. It was not just about being angry with Obama or Bush. It was about anger with how D.C. does business now. It's us, everyday Americans who pay the price when the government screws up.

The politicians obviously don't care for one simple reason. They are completely convinced that they are smarter than you are. They feel it is their duty to take care of you, even when they suck at it, because you are too incompetent to take care of yourself.

However, let's look at the results and see who has it right. In the last few years millions of everyday Americans have lost their jobs. Yet only a handful of politicians have. The politicians pay has skyrocketed along with the national debt while everyday workers wages have gone down.

How about the bailouts...irresponsible business practices are being rewarded right along with irresponsible personal decisions by politicians and we are being left with the bill. I don't know about you but I don't like paying bills that I get nothing for.

When I pay my electric bill I get electricity, when I pay for my food I get to eat, when I pay for my mortgage I get a place to live. What are we getting out of paying for all of these bailouts, pork projects, and 2,000 page bills filled with god knows what?

We as a nation are paying more for the mistakes of Obama and company than we've ever paid for anything else. What have we gotten? Certainly not jobs or a growing economy, although government's been growing nicely.

There hasn't been an increase in confidence in America on the world stage. Despite Obama's appeasement award, I mean peace prize, the world is still worried about our debt and what it could mean for our dollar's value. Given the kinds of policies we are pursuing there will have to be inflation. It's coming, you can't print and spend this kind of money, combine it with a lack of confidence, a continued slipping economy, and an explosion of our debt without inflation. Yet nobody in Washington seems to be the slightest bit concerned about it.

It's time to revive Reagan conservatism in this country. We are watching liberalism fail, (as usual), and everyday more and more people are beginning to see what real conservatives are about. The message has a broad appeal that can easily win.

Perhaps it's a good thing that Obama won the election. After all we haven't seen a true Liberal controlled failing of America since the Carter 70's. It was that failing that gave us Ronald Reagan.

Much of Obama's base, younger voters, never lived through the 70's. Of course they aren't being taught much accuracy when it comes to history since many teachers, (not all but many), are pushing an agenda in order to make youth line up for liberals as they did in November '08. We are now seeing the flaw in that measure of thinking.

Attacking Bush and the Republicans for 8 years was easy. It seems that Liberal Democrats are now having trouble putting their money where their mouths have been. So keep it up Pelosi, Reid, and Obama because the results of your policies are proving to be the best thing to happen to Conservatives since Ronald Reagan.

So here's to a happy new year and an even happier 2010 election cycle.


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