Comments about ‘In our opinion: Martin Luther King Jr.'s 'dream' 50 years later’

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Published: Wednesday, Aug. 28 2013 12:00 a.m. MDT

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Nate
Pleasant Grove, UT

There's a right way to do welfare, and a wrong way. The way that incentivizes fathers to go absent, and mothers to bear children without the benefit of marriage, is the wrong way. The American welfare state has done immense harm to the family -- particularly to the black family.

Look to the Latter-day Saints for a better model. Martin Luther King's dream can only come to fruition if we are equal in both spiritual and temporal things.

one vote
Salt Lake City, UT

No one has the courage to take his approach anymore.

2 bits
Cottonwood Heights, UT

It's good to look back on what was said 50 years ago. They were wise words.

It's good to look at what progress we've made in the past 50 years, and what we hope for the future.

I'm glad President Obama is finally going to make a speech on this subject. I've been waiting one term and a half for him to finally even say something to try to deliver on his promise to be the President uniquely qualified to help solve America's racial divide.

I HOPE his speech is a POSITIVE message of unity and togetherness and cooperation (as Dr MLKs was) and not just another of his divisive political blame-everything-on-Republicans speeches. I especially hope it doesn't become just another blame-white-people speech. We've had quite enough of these from Al Sharpton, Jessie Jackson, Van Jones, lately. We could use a POSITIVE message for a change.

President Obama has had a few chances to speak on racial issues. Every time he has pre-judged and and come out with a divisive comment (and later had to retract it when he got the full story). Gotta do better this time.

MaxPower
Eagle Mountain, UT

We have come a long way since 1963, but we still have a ways to go before we can realize Dr. King's dream. Only when we can all be truly equally free, put our prejudices behind us and see each other as the Sons and Daughters of God we all are can we truly live this lofty dream.

Thank you Dr. King for your great contribution to society. Millions today are much closer to living your dream thanks your efforts.

Edgar
Samaria, ID

Thanks DN for this fitting essay on the long struggle for acceptance of all as equal citizens of this nation.

"It likely wouldn't have happened in today's world, where viral YouTube videos and Tweets can have a greater impact than a march and where traditional media often lacks the patience for well-crafted, lengthy speeches."

Unfortunately I think you are right about that circumstance, but for those who have had the privilege of standing on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial and looking out over the Reflecting Poll and to the Washington Monument beyond, then imagining the 300,000 plus that were in attendance that day, it is breathtaking to consider. The power of words is an awesome power and for those, like Dr. King, who chose to use words, rather than weapons, to fight their battles, we should be grateful for his example..

2 bits
Cottonwood Heights, UT

Talking, protesting, and passing laws, etc, may help. But keep in mind the natural fact that the only heart that you can actually change is your own. You can't require everybody else change first. So people who are kinda racist themselvs (like Al Sharpton) have a hollow voice when they insist OTHERS discard their racist views first. I don't think Dr MLK had that problem. He really saw all people as equal regardless of their skin color (not all white people are bad, etc).

IF you do anything... remember to change yourself first. Then worry about others.

Once YOU have changed, then you can be an example to others. And that... would do more to help change others than all the speeches, laws, and guilt trips in the world.

Dr MLK was different for his day. It was obvious HE had changed (and no longer saw the color of a man's skin). So people listened to him when he spoke about this. I don't know if Barack Obama or Al Sharpton can pull that off. From what they've said before... I'm not convinced they don't see skin-color first.

Tyler D
Meridian, ID

@Nate – “There's a right way to do welfare, and a wrong way… The American welfare state has done immense harm to the family.”

Couldn’t agree more Nate! Daniel Moynihan (a liberal democrat) presciently pointed this out in 1965, but his report fell on deaf ears.

And I wish these were the sorts of conversations we were having in our public arena – a focus on pragmatic, non-ideological, problem solving.

We kinda, sorta did this in the 90’s (e.g., Welfare reform) and for a short period of time it looked like the best conservative ideas might be combined with the compassionate instincts of a “new Democrat” president, but all too quickly the partisan politics of destruction reared its ugly head again and we’ve been there it seems ever since.

@2 bits – “IF you do anything... remember to change yourself first.”

Perhaps because MLK embodied Sermon-on-the-Mount values and went to school on Gandhi (who said the same thing you did over & over).

Many of the black leaders today seem to be more in the Malcolm X camp (a follower of Islam – coincidence?).

Anti Bush-Obama
Washington, DC

It's a shame that race hustlers like Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson are doing everything they can to tarnish the reputation, race relations and the progress that is Martin Luther Kings.

UtahBlueDevil
Durham, NC

He dared to dream of a day when people associated with each other with out regard to their religion, the color of their skin, or ethnic origin of their parents.... that people would be judged by what they did... not where their parents came from. For that he was branded a socialist, a communist, and a threat to the American way.

Fortunately in many ways we have moved forward towards that lofty goal. We are not there, not sure we will ever be there. People for what ever reason need to feel superior to others because of factors that have little relavence to their true charecter. But slowly, bit by bit, generation by generation, we inch closer to having the fulfillment of that dream on our horizon.

Until then, the fight must continue to hold off those that would mask self serving hate under the guise of conserving tradition and heritage.

patriot
Cedar Hills, UT

I do believe MLK was a sincere man who wanted to improve his people and lift them out of poverty. I also believe that today the race hustlers (Sharpton, Jackson, MSNBC) are destroying Kings dream by ensuring black people stay enslaved in poverty and government dependence. MLK wanted his people to rise up and be an ambitious, self reliant people not a lowly generational welfare people who would rather collect an Obama check than work. The race hustlers get paid mega bucks by ensuring black people stay chained to the democrat party and generational welfare. Just follow the money.....Take a look at the stats.... 70% of all black children are born illegitimate. Do you think Dr king would be proud of that? Take a look at the inner city black on black murders...it is sickening and almost war like. Rap music lyrics are pornographic and violent and King would be opposed to both.

MLK did great things but many of his predecessors are imposters ...including the guy in the White House.

2 bits
Cottonwood Heights, UT

UtahBlueDevil,
I too am not sure we will ever ALL get there. But what you need to ask yourself is...are YOU there yet? That's the most important thing, and all that YOU can control.

Think about it... If we ALL ask ourselves that question... then MAYBE will will all get there someday.

But if we just point the finger at someone else and say, "HE's not there yet"... or "Republicans are not there yet"... or Tea Party people are not there yet"... we will not get there.

IMO The "Fight" that must continue... should be the fight within yourself (not a fight with others). You can't "fight" or "Force" anybody else to change to the way you want them to be. That fight is destined to fail. But the fight to change yourself CAN succeed.

Until every individual takes responsibility for getting themselves there (and not blaming somebody else, or some other race, or some other group)... we have not hope of getting there.

UtahBlueDevil
Durham, NC

@2bits..... the answer to that question would be yes.... I have a multi-racial family.... Can't say I don't see color... but can say it doesn't make much of a difference.

"You can't "fight" or "Force" anybody else to change to the way you want them to be. "

I respectfully disagree. There were those in our immediate family that didn't agree with our decision to create a multi-racail family. Some stood steadily against it. We "forced" them to face what they thought was true... and slowly over time, many have realized that what they thought to be true... were not. Not everyone.... but I can tell you, the use of the N-word by extended family has all but gone away.... which I can tell you wasn't the way it was 10 short years ago.

Change takes courage.... standing up for others whose rights are oppressed should never be something we think is someone else's job.

DeseretDebbie
Corona, CA

What a bunch of BS to claim: "Marchers in 1963 weren't concerned about family issues because traditional families remained largely solid regardless of race. But today family disintegration is a problem with far more damaging effects than the blatant discrimination faced all those years ago, and yet few people seem to take notice of it."

Social issues were huge!
Traditional families remained not because it was moral but because laws forbade divorce, women were not in the work force, women who did divorce were left in poverty due to ... no jobs.

Family is not biological it is built upon support of individuals. I am of the Christian family but I am not the daughter of Jesus of Nazareth. I am a daughter of Christ by choice and support of others not by biology.

Family disintegration is far more damaging today than the blatant discrimination of the 1960s? Hangings, beatings, bombings in the South not as damaging as family disintegration?

2 bits
Cottonwood Heights, UT

UtahBlueDevil,
Then I dare think those family members in the end changed their own hearts (YOU didn't force them to do it). You may have encouraged them (and that's good). But in reality... they decided to change, you didn't force them to change.

I'm not saying it's someone elses job. I'm just saying YOU can't change someone elses heart against their will. You can HELP them, but they have to do it. You can't force them to change.

Thinking you can FORCE people to change does not acknowledge the natural fact that we ALL have "free will" (which is a fundamental characteristic of every human being). You can encourage and help, but each individual has to decide they want to change (YOU can't force them).

I'm not putting the responsibility on somebody else. I'm just putting the responsibility for ME on me (and YOU on you). You can't force someone to be Conservative, or Liberal, or race agnostic, or even a good person. You can help others learn, but pretending you can force others to change into what you want them to be is the delusional "Crusade" mentality.

UtahBlueDevil
Durham, NC

@2bits... I don't discredit what you say... someone has to be willing to change.... but often that change doesn't happen by itself. It needs a catalyst. A spark. A reason to do something other than what feels natural. A reason to question. Things don't change direction or trajectory without something to instigate that change.

Very seldom does change just spontaneously happen... it needs a reason.

Attitudes are hard to change.... resistance to change is just part of human nature.

Samson01
S. Jordan, UT

2 bits - UtahBlueDevil

You are both saying the same things. You both are right.

I remember my grandmother telling me that "black people are just as good as we are"

I kinda laugh at her statement now because it was wrongheaded. But the point is that she was trying to overcome her prejudices. The courage of MLK to stand and speak was that catalyst for her. She had to be pushed in that direction. But, to 2bits point, she had to choose to listen and then act. I am not sure she ever made to the "content of their character" concept but she tried.

I am grateful she made that effort.

Samson01
S. Jordan, UT

Another thing...All week on NPR they have featured interviews with those who were at that march. I was dismayed that so many of them failed to see the progress that has been made.

We have a black president. We have had black Sec.s of state. We have black professors, doctors, lawyers, and every other profession.

I admire Colin Powell, Bill Cosby, Condoleezza Rice, Clarence Thomas, Ben Carson, President Obama, and many others who are not white(not just black, but all races, one of my favorite local representatives is Asian.) In the world that MLK lived in, this was not possible. Do we have farther to go? Well, hatred in any form is something to overcome.

We should honor the message of MLK by celebrating how far we have come and keep striving!

UtahBlueDevil
Durham, NC

@Samson01.... Agreed and well put.

Strider303
Salt Lake City, UT

I think we are obliged to be polite, respectful and have a peaceable demeanor about us, slow to take offense, quick to forgive and life our own lives as we see the path. I object to group think, and being politically correct.

Much of what is said about those times, and on this comment page, is from people who were not even alive when the march occurred and they rely upon others who probably were not alive in the turbulent 60's.

Be that as it may, this quote from the Op Ed disturbs me: "The federal government reports that 72 percent of black babies born in 2010 were born to unwed mothers, compared to 29 percent for non-Hispanic white babies." If we are supposed to be inclusive, why does the government further divide us by race? Why are Hispanics (a rather broad category of Spanish speaking peoples) segregated out from "White" i.e., Caucasian? Are they the "Other White" race? Apparently to the government they are.

You can talk of equality and inclusiveness ad nauseum, but until we stop dividing and subdividing our society, all the talk is bogus

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