“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. (1963)
Fifty years ago, Martin Luther King, Jr., gave a famous sermon at the Lincoln Memorial. I’ve read this sermon several times and once organized a one-day conference where actors read famous speeches, such as the Gettysburg Address and King’s “I Have a Dream” speech. The young black actor who performed the King speech was electrifying. I will never forget it.
Much progress has been made in terms of racial equality. People of any race can vote, stay at any hotel, attend any sports event and achieve any success in life. We have even elected a black president. But there is also failure, even after years of new legislation and sometimes because of it. Affirmative Action, which requires employers and institutions to give special preference to minorities, produces unintended consequences of high unemployment and lower income among blacks and Latinos. All too often, minorities are held back by their own government, or by lacking a good education because of the welfare-nanny state.
In the early 1990s, my wife and I wrote a pamphlet, “Persuasion vs. Force,” where I referred to the King speech of 1963. At the end of the pamphlet, I wrote this:
King said that he had a dream about the Promised Land. Well, I too have a vision of an ideal society.
I have a vision of world peace, not because the military has been called in to maintain order, but because we have peace from within and friendship with every nation.
I have a vision of universal prosperity and an end to poverty, not because of foreign aid or government-subsidized welfare, but because each of us has productive, useful employment where every trade is honest and beneficial to both buyer and seller, and where we eagerly help the less fortunate of our own free will.
I have a vision of an inflation-free nation, not because of wage and price controls, but because our nation has an honest money system.
I have a vision of a crime-free society, not because there’s a policeman on every corner, but because we respect the rights and property of others.
I have a vision of a drug-free America, not because harmful drugs are illegal, but because we desire to live long, healthy, self-sustaining lives.
I have a vision of an abortion-free society, not because abortion is illegal, but because we firmly believe in the sanctity of life, sexual responsibility and family values.
I have a vision of a pollution-free and environmentally sound world, not because of costly controls and arbitrary regulations, but because private enterprise honors its stewardship and commitment to developing rather than exploiting the earth’s resources.
I have a vision of a free society, not because a benevolent dictator commands it, but because we love freedom and the responsibility that goes with it.
The following words, taken from an old Protestant hymn whose author is fittingly anonymous, express the aspiration of every man and every woman in a free society.
Know this, that every soul is free
To choose his life and what he’ll be;
For this eternal truth is given
That God will force no man to heaven.
He’ll call, persuade, direct aright,
And bless with wisdom, love, and light,
In nameless ways be good and kind,
But never force the human mind.
To read the full essay, go to http://www.mskousen.com/persuasion-vs-force-by-mark-skousen/.
You Blew It! Where Was the GOP at the 50th Anniversary of King’s Speech?
When Martin Luther King Jr. organized the 1963 March on Washington in support of equality of the races, he knew that the vast majority of people who would join the march would be African Americans. But he made a point to reach out to Americans of all races, and a number of white people were invited and attended. Among the celebrities who were invited include the great actor Charlton Heston, who was an early supporter of civil rights.
Unfortunately, the organizers of the 50th anniversary event at the Lincoln Memorial forgot that message of Martin Luther King. All of the prominent Democrats were invited, including Presidents Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton. President Barack Obama was there. And yes, former Republican President George W. Bush was invited, but when he declined due to recent heart surgery, they made no attempt to replace him.
The speakers at the King anniversary emphasized equal treatment and opportunity of all races, all religions, all genders… but apparently not all political parties.
Admittedly, the Republican Party is known to be the party which opposed the Civil Rights Act of 1964, but that was only because the high-profile Republicans such as Barry Goldwater chose not to support it. The fact is that a greater percentage of Republicans on Capitol Hill voted for the Civil Rights Act of 1964 than the Democrats. They deserved to be there on the podium.
To read my e-letter from last week’s Eagle Daily Investor, please click here. I also invite you to comment about my column in the space provided below my Eagle Daily Investor commentary.
In liberty, AEIOU,
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