What Happened to the Dream of MLK Jr.? [Video]

Martin Luther King Jr.January 20, 2020, was the official recognition holiday of the life of the late Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. It is intended to be a time of remembrance and celebration of a life courageously given to make a simple but monumentally profound dream into a reality.

However, MLK Day should not stop with a moment or two of reflection, though the reflection is appropriate. As noted in this journal previously, King was a childhood idol of mine, and I was crushed when he was assassinated in 1968, less than five years after he gave voice to his righteous dream in the nation’s capital.

Rev. King’s most famous speech is known as the “I have a dream” address on August 28, 1963, in front of 250,000 people in Washington D.C. at the official end of the “March on Washington.” His most famous quote is from that speech,

I have a dream that one day my four little children will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character I have a dream today.

His dream was a powerful and iconic ideal set before a people who were languishing in the evil of racial oppression and sensed the winds of history were poised to sweep away the injustice of racism. A dream of such potency that it could not be ignored, especially when spoken with the force and elegance only Dr. King could invoke as the man God chose for that time.

Identifying the Dream of Liberty

There remains no better person to articulate and identify the noble dream of Dr. King than King himself. Here is a video capturing the entire address on the mall in front of the Lincoln Memorial to the quarter-million listeners in D.C. and the millions watching on television, who hung on every word.

If you have never heard this astonishing address in its entirety I would urge you to view and listen to it carefully. It has the additional grace that most great speeches throughout history in that King’s words are inspired but brief at just over 17 minutes in length.

In my time as a pastor, I preached over a thousand sermons both inside and outside of a church sanctuary. There were two comments I would invariably hear spoken to me after almost every one of those messages, and I wager that many of the readers could easily guess the content of those comments.

I would hear, sometimes from the same person, the words, “Good sermon,” and “You really stepped on my toes today.” Sometimes, in my efforts to be cordial, I would thank the person and I always tried to make sure I verbally gave all the glory to God, where it rightly belonged.

However, many times I would be dismayed by those comments and would often reply, “If I stepped on your toes I missed my target because I was aiming for your heart.” Dr. King presented a sermon before his audience that hot August day in 1963 and did what I often longed to do, hit the target at which God was aiming, the human heart.

The ideal, the dream set forth before the world by Dr. King carried the power of profundity with the force of the Divinity straight to the hearts of his listeners. Moreover, even today, over 46 years after the profession of his dream and through the filter of technology, the power of King’s dream can still grip our souls anew, if we will but listen anew.

As Dr. King set forth God’s message, he built an eloquent case for the righteousness of the dream that people would be regarded as equally human by each other just as they were so regarded by the LORD. Though he targeted the condition of America specifically, his speech was a worthy ideal for all the world to emulate.

Pursuing the Dream

Martin Luther King Jr.It is one thing to identify and masterfully present an idealistic goal to any audience. It is another matter entirely to actively pursue that goal with sincerity and integrity.

The biggest reason Dr. King drew such crowds in 1963 was that he went far beyond just talking about it. He pursued it with deeds that risked his alienation and much worse from his opponents.

He had built support starting with his first noteworthy act of civil disobedience, the Montgomery, Alabama bus boycott of 1955-56. He helped organize the boycott through his organization the Southern Christian Leadership Conference which virtually shut down the city busing industry there.

The boycott took place from December 5, 1955, to December 20, 1956, and is regarded as the first large-scale U.S. demonstration against segregation. Four days before the boycott began, Rosa Parks, an African-American woman, was arrested and fined for refusing to yield her bus seat to a white man. The U.S. Supreme Court ultimately ordered Montgomery to integrate its bus system, and one of the leaders of the boycott, a young pastor named Martin Luther King, Jr., emerged as a prominent leader of the American civil rights movement.

Dr. King suffered for his actions as did many of those who were his supporters. On one such occasion, he was arrested and thrown into a jail cell in Birmingham, Alabama for organizing demonstrations against the racial injustice of that city in 1963.

Dr. King had read of a public statement “of concern and caution” about the demonstrations released by eight white religious leaders in the South shortly before his arrest and he wrote a lengthy response, Letter from a Birmingham Jail. The letter was a brilliant defense of non-violent action aimed at the religious leaders’ objections as well as educating all who read it about the specific goals and methods of their actions.

In any nonviolent campaign there are four basic steps: collection of the facts to determine whether injustices are alive, negotiation, self-purification, and direct action. We have gone through all of these steps in Birmingham. There can be no
gainsaying of the fact that racial injustice engulfs this community.

Dr. King then continues to specifically list the problems and steps that had already been taken to address the racial injustice.

Birmingham is probably the most thoroughly segregated city in the United States. Its ugly record of police brutality is known in every section of this country. Its unjust treatment of Negroes in the courts is a notorious reality. There have been more unsolved bombings of Negro homes and churches in Birmingham than in any other city in this nation. These are the hard, brutal, and unbelievable facts. On the basis of them, Negro leaders sought to negotiate with the city fathers. But the political leaders consistently refused to engage in good-faith negotiation.

When negotiations with the city failed, King and his followers went to step three, the step he called “self-purification.” King described what that process entailed as a prerequisite to demonstrations.

We started having workshops on nonviolence and repeatedly asked ourselves the questions, “Are you able to accept blows without retaliating?” and “Are you able to endure the ordeals of jail?”

The careful preparations of both body and spirit were necessary for what those who followed Dr. King to fully participate in non-violent civil protest without reservation. As King realized, his was not the only movement against the oppression of blacks which garnered significant support.

Opposing and Reviving the Dream

Louis Farrakhan, the current leader of the Nation of Islam

Dr. King was virulently opposed by racists from groups like the KKK, and worse by black groups who advocated violence such as the original Black Panthers and the Black Muslims, aka the ‘Nation of Islam’ under Elijah Muhammed. Contrary to the urgings of King and others, black leaders on the other side demanded that civil rights be fought for “by any means necessary,” in the words of Malcolm X.

The great civil rights leader rightly feared the probable outcome of violent demonstrations against forced segregation and ‘Jim Crow’ laws that kept black people disadvantaged. Dr. King wrote that the groups advocating violence were,

…made up of people who have lost faith in America, who have absolutely repudiated Christianity, and who have concluded that the white man is an incurable devil. … There is a more excellent way, of love and nonviolent protest. I’m grateful to God that, through the Negro church, the dimension of nonviolence entered our struggle. If this philosophy had not emerged, I am convinced that by now many streets of the South would be flowing with floods of blood.

Today most of us rightly give respect to the accomplishments of Dr. King who gained more for the rights of black Americans than all the calls to “Black Power” and violence have ever done. Yet the minions of those who call for violence today, such as the group “Black Lives Matter,” and the so-called ‘woke’ groups of “Antifa” insist that non-violence is impotent in present-day America.

Tragically, both the violent means and the societal goal are directly in opposition to the principles embraced by Dr. King a half-century ago. In an excellent piece by Dr. Eric Wallace of the “Freedom’s Journal Institute,” he compares the stance of BLM versus that of Dr. King’s strident non-violence, specifically the dream of being judged not by color but character.

But with what measure are we to be judged today? How are the demands of today’s “Woke” culture or the Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement representative of a people who continue to thrive in the face of injustice? Needless to say, neither of these movements proclaim a biblical foundation or Christian roots.[1] In fact, one could argue that these contemporary movements demand the opposite of what Dr. King stood for and fought to accomplish. Many in these groups are quick to judge White people by the color of their skin while insisting they have “white privilege,” which automatically makes them guilty of racial injustice simply because they are White. This reasoning turns Dr. King’s words on their heads. Thinking that one is guilty simply because he or she is White or another is oppressed simply because he or she is not is the opposite of what King preached.

The lifelong quest of Dr. King for racial justice and equality through non-violence has been largely spurned by those who claim to speak on behalf of the black population in America today. It is past time for that righteous dream to be revived if we are going to continue moving toward a more just society instead of careening down a steep slope toward racial anarchy and destruction.

Fortunately, King’s dream is still alive and growing though it has taken President Trump’s administration to move it off of life support. Ironically, it is a person the Left constantly berates and accuses of being the biggest racist in world history who has brought more opportunity and prosperity to minorities than any administration in our history.

Those among the minority population, other than the mind-controlled minions of the MSM, have seen these results from the Trump administration and are leaving the Leftist Democratic [but I repeat myself] plantation in droves. The support for President Trump has risen to unprecedented levels among blacks in America as evidenced by a number of recent polls and is consistently above 30% today.

While 30% is far from a majority, consider that President Trump won in 2016 with just 8% of the black vote. As noted in a recent piece at Real Clear Politics,

Even 20 percent African-American support for Trump would all but dismantle Democratic Party presidential hopes for 2020.

This is truly good news for the promise of the profound dream of Dr. King. I hope and pray that the re-election of President Trump will take place and move America closer to the point of true racial justice and harmony.

But let justice roll down like waters, and righteousness like an ever-flowing stream. Amos 5:24 [ESV]

D.T. Osborn

Sources: The Holy Bible, English Standard Version, Crossway Bibles, 2001

Featured and Top Image courtesy of Mike’s Flickr page – Creative Commons License
Inset Image 1 courtesy of Mike Licht’s Flickr page – Creative Commons License
Inset Image 2 courtesy of Public.Resource.Org’s Flickr page – Creative Commons License

All other sources linked or cited in the text

Originally published in TIL Journal

 

Advertisements

All The World’s A Stage

All The World’s A Stage

By William Shakespeare

All the world’s a stage,

And all the men and women merely players:

They have their exits and their entrances;

And one man in his time plays many parts,

His acts being seven ages. At first, the infant,

Mewling and puking in the nurse’s arms.

And then the whining school-boy, with his satchel

And shining morning face, creeping like snail

Unwillingly to school. And then the lover,

Sighing like furnace, with a woeful ballad

Made to his mistress’ eyebrow. Then a soldier,

Full of strange oaths and bearded like the pard,

Jealous in honour, sudden and quick in quarrel,

Seeking the bubble reputation

Even in the cannon’s mouth. And then the justice,

In fair round belly with good capon lined,

With eyes severe and beard of formal cut,

Full of wise saws and modern instances;

And so he plays his part. The sixth age shifts

Into the lean and slipper’d pantaloon,

With spectacles on nose and pouch on side,

His youthful hose, well saved, a world too wide

For his shrunk shank; and his big manly voice,

Turning again toward childish treble, pipes

And whistles in his sound. Last scene of all,

That ends this strange eventful history,

Is second childishness and mere oblivion,

Sans teeth, sans eyes, sans taste, sans everything.

Continue reading

Changes

Don’t scare of change.

Life is all about change.

You’ll change.

Everybody will change.

Everything will change.

Look around you, you’ll always find changes.

You can’t stop the medium of change.

Nobody can stop it either.

Change is the universal law.

This is the truth of life.

Source: POSITIVE THOUGHTS OF SELF-MOTIVATION! Only you can motivate yourself… Only you can bring positive changes in your life…. Birister Sharma

To Buy this Book- POSITIVE THOUGHTS OF SELF-MOTIVATION!

Thank you for reading. Let us make a beautiful world together. God bless!

Follow me On Twitter

Follow me On Facebook

COPYRIGHT © Shubham Verma

Failure

Failure is important in your life.

Without relishing the bitter taste of your failure, You’ll never get the sweet taste of your success.

Failure doesn’t break you down, But failure makes you stronger and solid.

Don’t scare of your failure. Make your failure as the stepping stone of your great success.

Discover the new ways of your grand success and glory on the path of your greatest failures.

Source: POSITIVE THOUGHTS OF SELF-MOTIVATION! Only you can motivate yourself… Only you can bring positive changes in your life…. Birister Sharma

To Buy this Book- POSITIVE THOUGHTS OF SELF-MOTIVATION!

Thank you for reading. Let us make a beautiful world together. God bless!

Follow me On Twitter

Follow me On Facebook

COPYRIGHT © Shubham Verma

Thoughts…. Success by #ShobhaIyer

SUCCESS is getting what you want…HAPPINESS is wanting what you get…

“The things that makes your heart beat faster and your eyes glow when you do it or talk about it, no matter if it’s hiking, yoga, gardening, painting, meditation, love, photography, going for walks, helping others – do that. Do it as often as you can. Because that’s what life is about. Creating as many passionate, happy moments as possible. Don’t let anyone stop you from doing the things you love – not even yourself.”

Read Full Post Here ☟☟☟

https://wp.me/p9hC3T-11G

‘Giving a minimum time to God’ should be our daily activity- TanusriSen

When someone is taking two-three months leave from his/her office, colleagues remember him/her till the time colleagues are dependent on him/her for the office works. When there is no dependancy for work, colleagues forget him/her. When you continue your writing, commenting on other’s blogs, you have interaction with other bloggers. As soon as you will stop writing and stop commenting, other bloggers will forget you.….

Read Full Post Here☟☟

https://tanusrirchokhe.com/2019/04/13/giving-a-minimum-time-to-god-should-be-our-daily-activity/

Words can change our present reality

Dear friends,

How are you all doing?  I am sure you are reading and learning something new every day.

Recently, I was reading the “Rich Dad’s Guide to Investing” by Robert T. Kiyosaki.  I had been meaning to read the “Rich Dad Poor Dad” for a very long time but finally got around to reading this book of his. Just few pages into the book and I read something that I felt was relevant for me.

One of the lines that caught my attention was “If you want to see a person’s past, present and future, just listen to his or her words.”

This line is not to judge anybody. If we apply this to our life, we definitely see a connection  between our choice of words and who we have become.  This also means that if we don’t like who we have become, it can be changed by changing our choice of words.

In my case, I used to be a very negative person.  If anything happened in my life, good or bad, my first thought would always be negative. Now, how was that possible? For example, if something bad happened then it was easy to be negative but if something good happened (suppose I scored very good marks) then I would be scared that it would go away (what if next time I did not do well?).

I still do have a little bit of negativity in me but there has been a considerable improvement in how I see myself now.  There are days when I feel low and I use demotivating words, but now I am conscious about them and try to come out of them as soon as possible.

Another powerful line from the book:

“Words form thoughts, thoughts form realities and realities become life. The primary difference between a rich person and a poor person is the words he or she uses.  If you want to change a person’s external reality, you need to first change that person’s internal reality.  That is done through changing, improving or updating the words he or she uses.”   

So to be a happy person, I need to use happy and positive words which will raise my vibrations  and take me into a positive zone.  That is why gratitude is considered to be the first step in becoming a positive person.  It helps us see our blessings, whatever maybe our situation, and this in turn sets momentum for more blessings to come into our lives.

To bring about a change in our present reality, we have to change ourselves internally and first thing that can be done is use of positive or constructive words.  These words will start giving shape to our thoughts and before we know we will start seeing the positive changes in our lives.

It is very important for us to have more positive words in our vocabulary.  Just think whether you speak more positive words or negative words.  We are so used to talking about the problems happening around us, that at times we have long conversations just discussing problems – our life, the society, the nation, the world at large. Increasing the vocabulary of positive words will keep us in a positive frame of mind eventually making us  happy persons.

I had read a similar thing in “The Power of Positive Thinking” by Norman Vincent Peale where he gave a method to come out of a negative state of mind.  He said  to become positive , one exercise to do was to make a list of all positive words that we could think off till we became positive.  So once when I was not in a good mood, I started typing all the positive words that I knew and by the time I wrote some fifteen words, my mood had changed. Now I know more positive words than I have ever known.

Positive affirmations  are another powerful tool to stay positive and believe that things are working out in the best possible manner for us. Affirmations are positive words put together but they become powerful when we believe in them and then let go.

So what can you do about it?  How can you change your use of negative words into positive? Here are few things that you can do.

  1. When you feel negative, first accept it and don’t fight it. The more you fight it, the more intense it becomes. Take slow steps to convert it.
  2. Think about a positive word, look at its meaning and then use it in a sentence. By the time you do the same exercise for 2-3 words, your mood will begin to change; or just like me start making a list of all the positive words you know, you can even google and find new words.
  3. Then, start writing gratitude for at-least 5 things that you remember at that moment. This will make you feel good about what you currently have.
  4. Then dance, hear music, go for a walk, meet friends etc.  Do whatever you feel like doing.  (I used to crochet because it used to divert my mind from negative thoughts into positive and happy thoughts.  I now hear songs that motivate me and uplift me.)
  5. By this time you will be in a very happy state and to further enhance it start saying some powerful affirmations for health, career, relationships etc. Repeat them again and again till they feel real to you and then let go.

All these steps together won’t take a lot of time and before you know you will be in a positive mind frame.

Gradually, you will start noticing a shift in your overall thought process as well.  The negative thoughts will be replaced by more positive ones.  If anything bad happens, you will be calm and you will try to look for something good in it.  Also, if  you do get negative thoughts, you will immediately realize it and automatically take steps to change your thoughts instead of worrying about them.

Words have great power.  So let us use them carefully and positively for our own good and for the world at large.  Let us pray for peace and harmony rather than discussing wars.

Love,

Rashmi