How Much Progress Have We Made Since Martin Luther King’s “I Have a Dream” Speech?
With today being the fiftieth anniversary of the March on Washington and Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I have a dream” speech, opinion polls are asking how much progress we’ve made since 1963.
According to an NBC/WSJ Poll, 54% of Americans agree with the statement that in America, people are judged by their character and not the color of their skin. However, 79% of African-Americans disagreed with that statement.
Our local daily paper has an online poll asking:
“At this 50th anniversary of Martin Luther King Jr.'s ‘I Have a Dream’ speech, how much progress toward his ‘dream’ of racial equality do you think America has achieved?”
With 757 responses, the results are:
A lot — 47.2%
Some — 29.7
A little — 16.0
None at all — 5.9
Undecided — 1.2
Because of this fiftieth anniversary, there are tons of articles on this subject. Among them:
“Were Republicans really the party of civil rights in the 1960s?” There are some excellent points in this article. These are facts we all need to be aware of; facts that the Rightwing Spin Machine doesn’t want us to remember.
And speaking of rightwing talking points based on lies: No, Martin Luther King Jr. was NOT a Republican.
This sounds like a story from The Onion, but it’s for real. The National Black Republican Association (nope, that was not a typo) has a billboard saying “Martin Luther King Jr. was a REPUBLICAN.”
And without bothering to do any fact-checking, ABC News published this comment from a black member of the Republican National Committee: “Most people don’t talk about the fact that Martin Luther King was a Republican.”
[head spinning] [eyes rolling]
To set the record straight, Martin Luther King Jr. was neither a Republican nor a Democrat. He was non-partisan and never endorsed any political candidate. In a 1958 interview, he said: “I don’t think the Republican party is a party full of the almighty God nor is the Democratic party. They both have weaknesses…And I’m not inextricably bound to either party.”