Who Hijacked Our Country

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

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.”

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Blogger Life As I Know It Now said...

For those who give up just a little power, and become just a little more just, it can seem, for them, that they have given a lot. For those who get just a little justice it is not and can never be enough. Equal power and justice is the goal and hell no, we aren't there yet!

August 28, 2013 at 3:56 PM  
Blogger Mr. Charleston said...

We haven't accomplished much in the way of ending racism only now, it's the blacks who are the primary racists. They have squandered the opportunity gained from the civil rights movement and they blame it on us whites. I run into a lot of young people who are color blind. Let's hope the next generation can make a real change. Or, maybe it simply takes generations to make those kind of changes and nature will run its course.

August 28, 2013 at 6:52 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well Tom if you didn’t want me to answer you shouldn’t have posted this:

they had to go use this line: “I have a dream that my four 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,”

It has been twisted so much, I almost wish King hadn’t said it, but how did he know that 50 years later that the Conservatives would center on that line and twist it to mean that King wanted a color blind society and therefore the way to achieve it was to get rid of these trouble some Civil Rights/Affirmative Action laws that subjugate white people. Few people remember the full content of Kings speech and I’m sure Conservatives are fuming over lines like:

“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 that has come back marked ‘insufficient funds."

Almost sounds like reparations


“Those who hoped 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”

I think of they read the speech to those they polled then asked, there would might have been a different response (especially after getting over their shock by reading the full text of the speech)


August 28, 2013 at 11:21 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Republicans for Civil Rights? Not as Obvious as it seemed. If you read Robert Caro’s books on LBJ and others you would have had an idea of what’s going on:

The Southern Democrats were blamed for all the obstructions to Civil Rights and yes that’s true but what many people didn’t know is they had help from either indifferent or opinionated Midwest and Southwest Republicans (like Goldwater). The Liberals were Northern Democrats and Republicans along with a smattering of Midwesterners (Like Democrat Hubert Humphrey and Republican George Romney - Mitt’s Dad) and the west.

Goldwater’s Libertarian ideas back then may sound a lot of like what Rand Paul is saying today. Goldwater relented, Paul has not. In “A Conservative with Conscience” Goldwater said that he agreed with “Brown” and integration, he just didn’t believe of telling the state of Mississippi what to do with it’s Negro’s, a class Liberation belief that was misguided because one wonders would he still say it if he was a Mississippi resident and the state decided to lynch him. People forget he did integrate the Arizona National Guard as Governor before Truman did the Armed forces, but those who knew him said he didn’t expect what happened at the 1964 Convention in San Francisco (yes San Francisco) with the fight with the Liberal Conservative Wing (called the Rockefeller wing) and the growing Conservative wing that fought over Civil Rights among other things. He watched the Conservatives win, he watched Klan rally in San Francisco in support of him, Black Republican Delegates and Newsmen, evicted from the Convention. The Man who nominated Goldwater, Ronald Reagan was becoming a favorite of Stom Thurmond (who favored him over Nixon), and opposing the State’s recently passed anti-discrimination laws, helped drives all the Blacks and Liberals out of the California Republican Party.

Nixon came in 1968 and coaxed more dixiecrats to the Republican Party promising them no platform on Civil Rights. But I agree with historians that this change happened earlier as the Republican Presidents like from (TR) Roosevelt to Hoover were never supporters of Civil Rights and they never fielded a candidate to counters FDR’s popularity with Blacks. Eisenhower wasn’t a supporter either.


August 28, 2013 at 11:54 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Black Republicans came out with a recruiting website years ago that said among other things - King was a Republican! I wish you would post it as it has a lot of warped things made to recruit a Black person into the Republican Party - provided they can keep a straight face if he’s stupid to sign up.

For Examples:

“The Democrats were the Anti Civil Rights party, Republicans were not!” What that Post doesn’t tell you, is that The SOUTHERN Democrats were the Anti Civil Rights Party! And what happened to those Southern Democrats? They later became Republicans! And now the Republican are the Anti Civil Rights Party.

“Earl Warren was a Republican” totally true, Earl Warren was a progressive Republican from California. What it doesn’t say is that Earl Warren is the most vilified Republican of the 20th and 21 Century, the party has totally disowned him. Interesting that if a young Conservative heard that, he might be inclined NOT to sign with the Republican party.

“FDR appointed a Klansman to the Supreme Court” absolutely true! Hugo Black was a Southerner and former Klansman who had to join with they were a power party in the South (he didn’t wear a hood) He denounced the Klan and was approved with bipartisan support. He later became part of the “Liberal” Warren Court. Gee we need more ex-Klansman like Hugo Black.

Finally King a Republican? Daddy King was a Republican, one of the few hangers on after Roosevelt (Other noted Black Republicans of that day were Jessie Owens and Jackie Robinson). The misunderstanding may have came when King was arrested and put in jail. Candidate JFK called Coretta and expressed sympathy for her incarcerated husband and won him a lot of Black vote over Nixon who was known as the point man with the Black Community during Eisenhower (Does that scare you?).

They had some other highly inaccurate post. You have ask, how can they sleep posting these lies?


August 29, 2013 at 12:13 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mr Charleston?
Who “squanders their rights!” And does that give anybody a right to take them away? All the “rights” granted during the 60's were the same ones granted during reconstruction, yet they were taken away by law and court decision while a white person never had to worry about his rights being taken away. It just seems when it comes to people of color in this country the rights customarily given to white people have to be earned or be “squandered”

Ronald Reagan won huge elections implying that the country has “had enough” and that non whites were parasites of sorts, taking away from those who really worked hard for the country. Of course this favorite of the Dixiecrats never supported any Civil Rights laws of any type, not anti discrimination, interracial marraige, voting rights, housing rights, none of them!

As he and the Republicans have worked hard in Congress, in States, in the Courts to peel back the Civil Rights laws to the good old days of 1896, you say they were “squandered!” hope you never squander yours.


August 29, 2013 at 12:28 AM  
Blogger MRMacrum said...

Fifty years has passed. My how time flies. Of course there have been positive changes. Changes in the laws will do that to the physical interactions of people. The entrenched racial barriers in either race however are a different story. That will take longer, much longer. Hopefully in a few generations, folks of either color will open that history app regarding Race and chuckle at our stupidity.

August 29, 2013 at 8:04 AM  
Blogger Tom Harper said...

Life: I have to agree, we're not there yet.

Mr. C: I know there's a lot of resentment among blacks, but I have to disagree that they're "the primary racists." On the surface we've made a lot of racial progress in 50 years, but there are still a lot of prejudices and resentments simmering underneath. I hope we'll become a color blind society at some point, but it'll probably take a few more generations.

Erik: Interesting quotes from MLK. I didn't know about them. It figures that conservatives would focus exclusively on that one famous quote from his "I have a dream" speech. Sort of like the way Biblehumpers keep repeating the same few fire-and-brimstone passages from the Bible and ignore the other 99% of it.

There actually are quite a few black Republicans/conservatives. It's a tiny percentage though. I can't imagine the attraction; sort of like Jews being for Hitler. The new senator from South Carolina -- Jim DeMint's replacement, I forget his name -- he's black, and if anything he's even further to the Right than DeMint.

MRM: "Hopefully in a few generations, folks of either color will open that history app regarding Race and chuckle at our stupidity."

My sentiments exactly. I hope you're right.

August 29, 2013 at 1:32 PM  

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