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  • Morning Bell: Martin Luther King Jr. Held These Truths. Do You?

    On August 28, 1963, Martin Luther King Jr. stood at the Lincoln Memorial and admonished America to return to its First Principles. In his I Have a Dream Speech, he announced his dream that “one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: ‘We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal.’” He longed to see a day when all “would be guaranteed the ‘unalienable Rights’ of ‘Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.’” Dr. King did not talk about remaking America. His dream was one which, in his words, was “deeply rooted in the American dream.” It hearkened back to the principles upon which our country was founded. It was not a rejection of our past, but a vision of hope based on the principles of our past.

    Dr. King held firm to the truths of the Declaration of Independence in a time when the situation of African Americans appeared hopeless. Based on a series of arbitrary and unjust policies, African Americans were denied basic protections of the rule of law. Segregation prevented access to public accommodations, and many were reduced to poverty as a result of these injustices. Dr. King did not ask African Americans to be satisfied with their condition, nor did he denounce America as an unjust nation. Instead, Dr. King assured his listeners that their circumstances were contrary to America’s creed. He used the central principle of the Declaration – natural human equality – as a rallying cry for civil rights.

    Dr. King held that the principle of human equality is the foundation of the Declaration’s statement of natural rights. We are all equal because we all participate in a common human nature. Since we are all equal, we are all entitled to the basic rights that are derived from human nature. From these First Principles, Dr. King understood that all Americans—regardless of skin color—should have access to the rule of law, public accommodations, and thereby have the ability to pursue economic opportunities and, ultimately, happiness.

    But Dr. King did not think that the principle of equality meant that everyone should be treated the same. He sought equality of rights and equality before the law, not equality of outcomes or equality as a result. For Dr. King, justice was when a person is judged “by the content of their character” rather than by arbitrary considerations such as skin color.  Dr. King did not mean that we should treat people of good character and bad character the same. Actual equality is achieved when arbitrary standards are replaced by meaningful criteria such as talent and virtue. A just country, in Dr. King’s vision, is one in which people are rewarded for acting well.

    As Americans, we should take this lesson from Martin Luther King Jr. to heart: we should look to our First Principles to guide us through our current political problems. In his latest book, We Still Hold These Truths: Rediscovering Our Principles, Reclaiming Our Future, Matthew Spalding articulates ten core principles of America that define our national creed and explain our common purpose: These principles are equality, natural rights, consent of the governed, religious liberty, private property, rule of law, constitutionalism, self governmentand independence. Spalding writes:

    Only when we know these principles once again can we renew America. Only when we understand the significance of these principles can we grasp the nobility of our accomplishments as a people and see how far we have strayed off our course as a nation. Only then can we realize the societal choices before us and begin to develop a strategy to reclaim our future.

    The future of America rests on returning to its First Principles. We face an unprecedented expansion of government power and a new kind of tyranny – a softer, bureaucratic tyranny. As we celebrate Martin Luther King Jr. Day, let us rely on our First Principles as a guide for the challenges we face ahead.

    Quick Hits:

    • “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.” – Martin Luther King Jr. August 28, 1963
    • “If a man hasn’t discovered something that he will die for, he isn’t fit to live.” – Martin Luther King Jr. June 23, 1963
    • “One day the South will know that when these disinherited children of God sat down at lunch counters they were in reality standing up for the best in the American dream and the most sacred values in our Judeo-Christian heritage, and thusly, carrying our whole nation back to those great wells of democracy which were dug deep by the founding fathers in the formulation of the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence.” – Martin Luther King Jr. April 1963
    • Martin Luther King’s Conservative Legacy
    • The Conservative Virtues of Dr. Martin Luther King
    Posted in First Principles [slideshow_deploy]

    53 Responses to Morning Bell: Martin Luther King Jr. Held These Truths. Do You?

    1. Ozzy6900 says:

      Dr. King would never approve of the present state of affairs in this Country because he believed in the Constitution. Today's Government violates the Constitution on a daily basis. Dr. King also did not approve of people living on "hand outs" from the Government. He wanted people to have the right to work to make their own living and their own place in society. Something the present Government does not want because this type of thinking is individualist and not socialist. Dr. King would be sad if he returned today. He would probably wonder what went wrong. Take heart, Dr. King…… we wonder too!

    2. Beth, Illinois says:

      That was an excellent post. It really shows a distinct difference between the attitude for change in the past and the attitude for change in the present.

    3. Barb, New York says:

      Do you think Mr.King would be proud of our government today???? I doubt it. We miss him. He was a great man and a great roll model for the youth (black or white) of this country. What is happening now is unconscionable and so evil. Throwing everything away for what? Power and control and maybe payback in some hideous thinking.

    4. Paul, Lake County, O says:

      Thank you for an excellent article that highlights the true, exceptional nature of our country. This is a great country with founding documents that has promoted freedom and resulted in the concentration of personal wealth. Only wealthy peoples can afford to give aid when disaster strikes anywhere in the world.

    5. Mary Ann Ferguson, A says:

      I respect and revere the memory of Martin Luther King, and I believe that if he were alive today, he would shudder and mourn what has happened to our country. He would NEVER support the government financing abortion; he believed in the right to live and prosper. He would have been very disappointed to see the Democrats bringing the shame of "double-dealing", corrupt practices to our government. He truly believed in the Constitution and would never have been sympathetic to people who dismiss it so easily. Too bad that more people do not remember what he stood for.

    6. Mary.... WI says:

      AMEN!

    7. isabel missouri says:

      i was in the uk when martin luther king gave that speech and i was moved by what he said , a few years later i came over here iam now living here and this is a great country to live what i cant get over is why you are still seperating african american i always thought if you were born here you are an american ?? why not just say iam american and be proud of it ????

    8. Miriam Diaz - Bingha says:

      Marting Luther King understood the importance and the meaning of our ‘unalienable Rights.' These rights that are given to us by God. Sadly, many American's today do not – which has led us to the place where we are today. On the verge of a tyrannical government. However, if we can grab hold of these truths once more, teach them to our children, remind our family and friends of them, and speak up against what is happening today in our society by our so called "elected officials," we may have a great opportunity to go down in history as a generation which contributioned to the success of our great nation. The time is now for all God and country loving patriots to rise up and speak the truth without fear even as MLK was so faithful in doing. For the sake of our children, grand children and the next generations to follow. Let us honor MLK by following in his footsteps and leading this nation back to its founding principles.

    9. Whicket Williams Kin says:

      Most people reading this agree that the democrats are taking us in the wrong direction. the thing most do not get is, the republicans are just as bad, if not worse WE MUST eliminate the professional politician as a fact in America, and put our OWN people in, who will serve TWO terms at MOST, and get out If we cannot do this, we are DOOMED>

    10. chuck says:

      Amen to that

    11. Ken Jarvis says:

      If the HF BELIEVES THAT

      WHY do they work SO HARD TO DESTROY OBAMA,

      and keep HIM FROM FIXING THIS MESS WE ARE IN?

      HF is ALL –

      as they say in Texas,

      ALL HAT, and NO Cattle.

      LVKen7@Gmail.com

      Send me an email.

    12. Syed Qamar Afzal Riz says:

      The king Luther's thought of social justice _ could ever be truly implemented by the reforms-oriented US President Brack Obama(who is believed to having had the white heat of inspiration from King Luther's philosophy)_ is the most striking question of the present day America?

    13. Lloyd Scallan - New says:

      How many of Obama's speeches and words will be remembered as such great

      inspiration? Obama has read (from his teleprompter) words that give people 'tingles up their legs, yet we know what Obama is. Will history remember the real Obama, or just his words? Before I'm labeled a "racist" and dismissed, first and foremost I want to know the truth about a person, not just words most likely written by someone else.

    14. Richard Cancemi, Arl says:

      I truly believe Dr. Martin Luther King would denounce strongly the Progressives' ruination wrought on the African-Americans they purport to 'help'.

      Dr. King believed in Christianity and the American Dream for ALL men. Regardless of what he says, Obama evidences his belief in neither. Would that he were more like Dr. King. Our rights and freedoms would not be endangered.

      I believe Dr. King would see through Obama's rhetoric and recognize that what awaits Americans is political enslavement under Obama and his clique.

      African-Americans have rid themselves of slavery to an 'owner', but appear not to recognize that they are voluntarily enslaving themselves to the State along with the rest of Ethnic-Americans who blindly support a man who believes he, through his political philosophy, has the right to control all aspects of living from birth to death. We all need to awaken to the threat that is Obama and the Progressives

      Martin Luther King must be weeping tears of sadness.

    15. Kevin Boring, Greens says:

      Amen

    16. ted moore grand prai says:

      Martin Luther King was a man with great insight and compassion, I just wonder what he would think of how the democrats have made the African Americans that live in the urban areas dependants on the federal govt., I would imagine that this is not what he was expecting of the federal government, instead of allowing them the rights that were refused them, in order to keep them on govt assistance and therefore makeing sure that the dems keep thier voter base. The ideas of Dr. King have been admonished in lieu of votes and special interests. The African Americans of this country need to wake up and see how they are being used by the democrats, they need another great man like Dr. King.

    17. Norm Dudley, Kerners says:

      I believe that the future of America rests with America returning to the spiritual/moral roots upon which this nation was founded: obedience, faith, and trust in the Lord God Almighty as in 2 Chronicles 7:14.

    18. Laura K, Pennsylvani says:

      great! I loved it.

    19. Jerry DiCesare says:

      When will we stop being "Hyphenated Americans" and just Americans?

    20. J.C. Hughes, Texas says:

      Well said Julia. As a side note, using titles such as African American is a misnomer that only perpetuates a politically correct leftist view. You're statement about MLK's message is correct; "Dr. King understood that all Americans—regardless of skin color—should have access to the rule of law … to pursue economic opportunities and, ultimately, happiness."

      MLK’s life was fraught with turmoil. Kennedy , like Lincoln, happened to be at the panicle of such critically decisive moments during their watch. This did not stop J. Edgar from his smear campaign against MLK. The president and FBI director’s personal lives were never scrutinized like the personal affairs and associates of MLK. Regardless of folks’ opinions about MLK , he left a legacy of justice that benefits all Americans.

    21. Prevailer76AZ says:

      Dr. King's statements were a 'truth' that needed to be said. His words stand today as a monument to a breakthrough with a thoughtful, thinking people of all color. Each and every person has the right to be considered by character, not color or financial circumstances. Nor should any have special privilege because of their color or expect special treatment because of color or rank. Let colorblindness be the rule for all people.

    22. clay barham says:

      GONE TOO FAR

      As a nation, we have allowed ourselves to drift too far from our roots, those established when the Pilgrims arrived and when our system was codified by the 19th century Democrats from Jefferson, Madison on to Cleveland, as cited in The Changing Face of Democrats on Amazon.com and claysamerica.com. We’ve allowed the Old World ideas of Rousseau and Marx to infect our politics through the 20th century Democrats, and now we are paying the price for it. Whether we will regain our proven way again remains to be seen. Whether enough of the electorate will choose the New World way or stay the course being laid down by Obama and become just another nation ruled by the few elite over the wishes of the many with individual freedom a thing of the past is yet to be decided. America proved prosperity comes from freedom, not dictatorship. Claysamerica.com

    23. Winston Joad, Alabam says:

      You say that King only sought to remove 'arbitrary' obstacles to equal consideration before the law, in this case considerations of race.

      This is patently false. Do you remember a little something that followed the civil rights legislation, it was called the Poor Peoples' Movement when King toured the country assembling a "multi-racial army of the poor"?

      You say that King "did not denounce America as an unjust nation"….

      Do you remember his speech at Riverside Church when he denounced the United States government as the "greatest purveyor of violence on the planet"?

      I appreciate coming here to read what the Heritage Foundation believes about policy issues. Not to see you mock-up the history of the dead to speak through them. Martin Luther King Jr., the man he was when he was assassinated, clearly would not support either your or Mr. Spalding's conceptions of equality and freedom. That's okay, you can still appreciate him and the beauty of his struggle and words without remaking him for your own purposes.

    24. Pingback: I Have A Dream Speech Text | AXI

    25. J.C. Hughes, Texas says:

      Spell check automatically defaulted to panicle when I meant pinnacle. It was missed when I submitted my comment.

    26. Prevailer76AZ says:

      As an addendum to "Let colorblindness be the rule for all people," I'd add that that will truly happen only when we get rid of hyphenated Americans. Unless we are here born to some Native American tribe, we all came from somewhere else. Remember ones culture, but be American first, not second.

    27. Bobbie Jay says:

      Winston Joad, you stated: Do you remember his speech at Riverside Church when he denounced the United States government as the “greatest purveyor of violence on the planet”?

      The key words: UNITED STATES GOVERNMENT!

      Since Obama has been in office, he's been building resentment between races! Singling people out according to race instead of acknowledging us as AMERICANS! Then blaming one skin color for the problems of any other?

      Never in my life have I looked at SKIN COLOR TO BE A PROBLEM! It's the character of the person or persons.

    28. Bobbie Jay says:

      I also want to mention this was written very well. Thank you, Julia!

    29. Ken Wade,Nevada says:

      I had a long talk with my friend last night,I`m white,He`s Black.Dr King had it on the nose.What he told me was,I`m not an African American,I`m an American and we have to get away from that train of thought.He,his father,and grandfather were born in the US.He also went so far to say"the raceisim come`s fr4om the Black man today the way it came from the White man 40 years ago.All the Black comedian`s like Chris Rock,can`t help but talk about Whitey,but he said if a White comedian mentioned a Black,Latino,or any other ethnic group other than White he or she would be ridiculed.Anyway we need to take Dr King`s advise and unite as American`s.If things today keep gong as they are we will be forced into it.Look at 911.What did this country do?There was no Latino Ameriicans,English Americans,Afican Americans,,,,,,you get my point.We all united as Americans,,,,There were flags flying on cars and ribons for or solders displayed.Everyone in this country was ready to defend it.I`m a Vietnam Vet and my best friend in Vietnam and at home is a Mexican born in texas.I was born in San Francisco.Where were you born?

    30. John B. San Diego says:

      Martin Luther did proclaim the successes of “Our Nation's Constitution” and "Our Founding Fathers"; I agree all men are endowed by "Our Creator" as equal with certain unalienable rights as Dr. King has said.

      "Here and Now" is how I differ with current and past administrations in recognizing rights as granted under our constitution. First where is "Washington’s Birthday" and where is "Lincoln's Birthday" Dr. King praised "Our Founding Fathers" and the constitution guarantees all U.S.Citizens unalienable rights! But; some of our past congressional members and some in our past administrations have pursued policies that enslave members of society by granting entitlement and special privilege not guaranteed in "Our Constitution."

      Entitlement is not all it is made out to be. Stifling the haves and have-nots: "The Haves" are taxed into obscurity and in the future lack the drive and incentive to progress and prosper (you can't be all you want to be due to tax and regulation) cuts down on our nation's potential to be a leader among leading nations.

      "The Have-nots" are lulled into false security by a sense of artificial well-being, and are encouraged by that lack incentive and drive to truly prosper and excel (a dependant group of society with a hand out hand no hope of ever offering a hand up to their families or anyone in need)

      Points I make about "Our Construction" and "Our Founding Fathers" are the same points MLK made on many occasions The only individuals projected to prosper and gain the "American Dream" (in the short-term) at this point in time seems to me to be "The Corrupt"! The corrupt have undermined our Constitution and distorted Dr. King's message. There is however an irony of justice here: no one will prosper and God's Word forever settled in Heaven will prevail in the end if we Americans continue on this downward path. God Bless Martin Luther King!

    31. Delia Nashville, TN says:

      Great Blog Julia! thank you.

    32. Pingback: » Martin Luther King Jr. Helped Recommit Our Nation To Its Founding … RWPS

    33. Robert VanEvery, Nov says:

      I totally agree that "the future of America rests on returning to its First Principles," and its return to the ideals of nature and nature's God, as stated in the above article, as believed and lived by Dr. King, and as evidenced in the words of the Declaration of Independence and the US Constitution..

      Larry P. Arnn, President of Hillsdale College in Hillsdale, Michigan reported in a recent Imprimis newsletter, that the current administration focuses on a return to the very idea that the American Revolution repudiated – the idea that some "leaders" are equipped by their education or special training to manage the lives of others, without their consent. Mr. Obama does this by skirting the constitution and appointing "czars" and other non-elected despots, like himself, to control us by running some of our automobile companies, banks and other formerly private institutions. His actions, and those of his colleagues (Pelosi, Reid, etc.) appear to be forcing issues on the American people, bullying them or coercing them to follow their dictates. This is what is worrying so many Americans today.

      There are two ways to stop this. One is to get in contact with our representatives and senators in Washington, DC, and let them know our thoughts about every piece of legislation that comes down the pike. The second is to get behind candidates, such as Scott Brown in Massachusetts, and those conservative candidates who will run for office later this year, and in 2012.

    34. duelles says:

      The divisions in ur country today have little relevance to MLK jrs positions and purpose. So many of us marched pryed and participated then – we don't have the same movement to support today.

    35. D. Rooks, Baxley, GA says:

      It's a pity that most of us are concerned with our own agenda and will use Dr. King to fulfill that agenda by attempting to use his words to meet our own needs. Dr. King was a christian first. If I remember my history right; he didn't approve of war, yet, we are in several wars. I believe if he were alive now; he would be sadden about lots of things including us not looking after each other. He dedicated his life fighting for others; we sometimes want to fight for ourselves regardless of how it affects our neighbor. If you have never been without medical insurance, you don't know the feelings of helplessness that comes when your child is ill and needs medical care. If you have never been discriminated against, you don't know the feeling of anger and resentment that occurs when you're treated badly because of the way God made you. Let us not forget; it's not always about us, so we need to walk in our neighbors shoes sometimes to see how they fit. Poor people lack the many choices the people who make decisions about their lives are afforded.

    36. Lynn Bryant DeSpain says:

      This is exactly what I heard the Great Man say, and exactly what I thought he meant it to mean. It is time for our Government to untwist and unseperate us as a people based on our skin color. Judge us blindly by our acomplishments and our hearts alone.

    37. Bob Chehalis, WA says:

      In the unresearched Wikipedia.

      MLKing in later life supported Democratic Socialism, The redistribution of wealth, And had a dislike for capitalism. Didn't like communism only because of its atheism.

      Bob Wohlers

    38. Winston Joad, Alabam says:

      Once again, Martin Luther King Jr. was not of the belief that "we are all Americans regardless of race", he believed that "we SHOULD all be Americans regardless of race". But we're not, so HF and most of the people posting here need to recognize the difference. There are long standing racial inequalities in this country that will never be addressed without calling them what they are. The New Deal was FOR WHITE PEOPLE. White communities received an abundance of infrastructure investment, college scholarships, small business grants, and all the rest. That happened, now we have to deal with it.

      Furthermore, even if there was no racial disparity, King was very outspoken about the role of class in determining one's rights and opportunities in America. So once again, we're not "all Americans", but King believed that we should "all BE Americans", but unfortunately we have poor Americans and rich Americans, and everywhere in between. This is why King identified his own "Axis of Evil" if you will, which he often repeated.

      Racism, Classism, and Militarism.

      If you don't agree with him, that is fine and dandy, but that's what the man believed. So if you're going to claim him as yours, then portray him as he really was and don't invoke an MLK that never existed.

    39. pauly says:

      Dr. King on affirmative action:

      "Whenever the issue of compensatory treatment for the Negro is raised, some of our friends recoil in horror. The Negro should be granted equality, they agree; but he should ask nothing more. On the surface, this appears reasonable, but it is not realistic." (Why We Can't Wait, 1964)

      "Within common law we have ample precedents for special compensatory programs…. And you will remember that America adopted a policy of special treatment for her millions of veterans after the war." (Playboy interview 1965)

      On capitalism:

      "And one day we must ask the question, "Why are there forty million poor people in America?" And when you begin to ask that question, you are raising questions about the economic system, about a broader distribution of wealth. When you ask that question, you begin to question the capitalistic economy. And I'm simply saying that more and more, we've got to begin to ask questions about the whole society." (Presidential Address to SCLC, 1967)

      On Vietnam:

      But they asked — and rightly so — what about Vietnam? They asked if our own nation wasn't using massive doses of violence to solve its problems, to bring about the changes it wanted. Their questions hit home, and I knew that I could never again raise my voice against the violence of the oppressed in the ghettos without having first spoken clearly to the greatest purveyor of violence in the world today — my own government. (1967 speech)

      The Western arrogance of feeling that it has everything to teach others and nothing to learn from them is not just. A true revolution of values will lay hands on the world order and say of war: "This way of settling differences is not just." This business of burning human beings with napalm, of filling our nation's homes with orphans and widows, of injecting poisonous drugs of hate into veins of people normally humane, of sending men home from dark and bloody battlefields physically handicapped and psychologically deranged, cannot be reconciled with wisdom, justice and love. A nation that continues year after year to spend more money on military defense than on programs of social uplift is approaching spiritual death. (same speech)

    40. chris says:

      My love for this country is as infinite as my love for the ideas of freedom, equality, democracy and meritocracy. Happy MLK day to all. Thank you Heritage Foundation!

    41. Gammy Sparkles Color says:

      Frances Rice of the NBRA also wrote a good article about Dr. Martin Luther King and his views on politics! It was excellent! This article is also excellent! It gives us much to work with! Let's hope folks will do that!

      GammySparkles

    42. Denver in Ponca City says:

      Bravo Heritage! We have been blessed with many great citizens and each had virtues and frailties. Dr. King was surely one of them. The "regressives" are revealing their true nature and intent. They don't care a whit for minorities or union members it's all abouut power and control. They key on minds like Saul Olinski and Bill Ayers who've never had a clue about the American concept of a nation of Kings: The nobility of every individual as God intended. This was the thrust of Dr. King's public efforts. As an American, I love the ethnic and cultural history of this greatest of nations. We have accomplished much and have much more to do. Laws,however, will never supplant morals, no matter how brilliant the minds that craft them. That has been abundantly proven in our experience. All we need to do is live up to our principles.

    43. Bobbie Jay says:

      If this was a "racist nation" as the president stated, there wouldn't be CIVIL LAW. A true racist wouldn't be afraid and would actually be proud to admit it. Like Sonyia Sotomoyor.. Not sure of the spelling, but I do admire the pronunciation of her name.

      No one controls anyone elses behavior but their own, so sure, this may be a nation with racists in it, but I SEE IT NO WHERE! While the president stretches to convince the country, that's all it is!

    44. Bobbie Jay says:

      One more thing if I could, to Mr. Jarvis, He obviously thinks black people are one in the same. Which is deeply insulting, Mr. Jarvis. An apology is necessary!

    45. J.C. Hughes, Texas says:

      My earlier message had nothing to do with MLK's political views. I'm just as much at odds with his ideology as I am with that of Charles Lindberg's. But where the latter advanced commercial aviation, MLK contributed greatly to the advancement of civil rights . This is the part of MLK's legacy that is remembered and celebrated.

    46. ann kitay,tx says:

      Not one of us is perfect…as we age we question longheld values and reflect – long ago I wrote you cannot legislate morality – however,legislation can be immoral and/or amoral. Pogo was right – we have met the enemy and it is us. And, yes, we can celebrate the good held high by Rev. Martin Luther King. if I were a hyphenated American it would read Irish-Scottish-Austrian-Spanish American(That I know of) I LOVE you America – land of my birth.

    47. Lynn Bryant DeSpain says:

      Dr. King would not like what our presidents, since his death, have done to his 'Dream.' The Government have now arrived to where we never judge a person by the content of their heart, but solely by the color of their skin.

    48. Amelia wasiluk,, One says:

      I share the same dream. As a parent I have witnessed the deterioration of our values in this country. Our children, the foundation of our future are being raised in single family homes with the father being absent. This is a horrible and disastrous tragedy for a nation that prides itself on living those principles just described.

      It is clear that when a child is without the love (specially that of the father), he is bound to grow up weak in character, unprincipled and therefore unable to stand up for anything like Dr. Martin Luther King did, willing to die for what he knew was right. Heroes should not be isolated cases, especially in this country, where we are still free to pursue our happiness through good deeds. In should be normal to have citizen do the work of God, but unfortunately I see too many parents literally taring down their little ones to mere nothingness, setting them up to become failures in life, wimps and easily influence by the wrong force or crowd. In other words without a sense of direction.

      My message is to parents, that their children deserve a chance in life and it is up to the parents in particularly fathers to provide direction and protection to these little ones ( I say little ones because as I witness the change in behavior and character it is obvious that too early in age children are done in by their own pare3nts and as a result their life takes on a different course other than what God had intended for them to lead), so that one they they may lead happy and functional lives.

      Thank you,

      Amelia

    49. Drew Page, IL says:

      I have been a conservative Republican since I got married, took my first real job and looked at the deductions on my pay stub. I remain a conservative to this day. I'm 65 years old and grew up during some rather turbulent times through the Kennedy Presidency, the Civil Rights demonstrations, the Johnson Presidency and Vietnam's tearing the country apart.

      I went to Southern Illinois University in Carbondale in the early 60's and had a chance to see something first hand that I hadn't witnessed before. Some restaurants downtown had signs in the windows that said "We reserve the right to refuse service to anyone.". The Illinois Central Rail Road tracks ran through the middle of downtown Carbondale and I learned rather quickly there was a "right side" and the "wrong side" of the tracks. One side being all white and the other all black. No one talked about it very much, and I never saw any KKK parades, but everyone understood it was the dividing line.

      Through it all there was Martin Luther King, demanding equal rights under the law and the Constitution. Preaching non-violence in an era when African-Americans had every right to be outraged. He didn't ask for affirmative action, or welfare, all he asked and fought for was equal freedom for blacks, freedom to eat in a public restaurant, freedom to send their children to public schools, freedom to vote for whom they pleased and freedom to express their opinions. When he spoke, it was always in the most reasonable terms, asking for nothing more than we ourselves took for granted, equal opportunity and equal treatment under the law. Martin Luther King was a voice of reason in very turbulent times. He was a hero to his people and a role model for us all.

      America is the poorer for having lost this great man.

    50. Lwesson, Tejas says:

      All comments at 8:56AM, how interesting. Is this the time that the FBI had King on record saying the most awful things about…?

      I tried to "join" the ah, "conversation", but only to find the Soviet Union Police State modulators reviewing your site. Glad that they have a job. Their great ancestors murdered the Czar and his family but now they can modulate. Future Gulags await their employment.

      At some point the fraud of King will be revealed, as sure as truth cannot be hidden forever as much as The "American" "Heritage" Foundation tries to hide it. I'll take the real Franklin or Jefferson ANY day of the week and you would NOT quote them other than in choice snippets!!!

    51. JPBV Vienna VA says:

      MLK may have said some wonderful things, but he did not live up to his own words. As one who lived through that whole era, who participated in protests for desegregation, I also remember the real MLK.

      Per the words of the Rev. Abernathy shortly after the asssination, he was an adulterer, whoremonger, and a woman beater. He voiced support for our enemies during the Viet Nam War by vilifying our soldiers; he was a Communist sympathizer. He was a plagiarist: if anyone else had authored his dissertation it would have been thrown out.

      His creed was do as I say not as I do. He was a Black Elmer Gantry.

    52. Ian, Clarkdale, AZ says:

      I love everyone. Remember my fellow Americans it was Rodney King who even stated, "why can't we all just get along?"

    53. Blair Franconia, NH says:

      Affirmative action's the opposite of Martin Luther King Jr.'s dream. Instead of judging

      people on the content of their character, it judges them on the color of their skin. Is that fair? The Bakke decision from 1978, in which the Supreme Court declared the

      quota system implemented by the University of California, Santa Rosa, unconstitutional. It's time we got rid of affirmative action and lived up to Martin Luther

      King, Jr.'s dream.

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