Did Martin Luther King’s ‘Dream’ Come True?

Respectfully Submitted by Lawrence Rafferty (rafflaw)-Guest Blogger

On Monday we celebrate the life of the Reverend Martin Luther King and honor him for his work with the Civil Rights movement.  One of his most famous speeches was the 1963 “I Have A Dream” speech that he gave in Washington, D.C. to a crowd of thousands.  In that speech he laid out his vision and hopes for the Civil Rights movement.  I would like to review some of his words and discuss if his dream came true for African-Americans and minorities throughout our country. “I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: “We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal.” ‘ Huffington Post

Those words seem clear enough, but at the time Rev. King gave this speech, it had been 100 years since Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation and the African-American was not free and equal to the white man in this country.  Jim Crow laws throughout the South kept African-Americans isolated and humiliated.  Lynchings and beatings were still far too common.  So how has the South progressed since Dr. King expressed his dream?

It seems clear that life in the South has improved for African-Americans.  African-Americans have become professionals and teachers and even Mayors of cities and towns throughout the South.  Black Congressmen and women have been elected from the South and Jim Crow is but a remnant of the history books.  In the North, Blacks have also progressed in all walks of life.  One African-American of mixed heritage grew up to be elected to the Illinois State House and the United States Senate and made it all the way to the White House.  The ability of Barack Obama to become President was made possible by Dr. King and his comrades who brought the Civil Rights movement to all of our doorsteps.

Do these successes mean that Dr. King’s ‘Dream” did come true?  I submit that at least one aspect of his dream is partly unfulfilled.  While African-Americans have made significant progress, they still lag financially behind their white counterparts.  “The gap between Black and white household [accumulated] wealth quadrupled from 1984 to 2007, totally discrediting the conventional wisdom that the U.S. is slowly and fitfully moving towards racial equality, or some rough economic parity between the races. Like most American myths, it’s the direct opposite of the truth. When measured over decades, Blacks are being propelled economically downward relative to whites at quickening speed, according to a new study by Brandeis University.”  Alternet   Without equal opportunity in the financial arena, can it truly be said that Dr. King’s dream has come true?

“A huge wealth gap has opened up between black and white people in the US over the past quarter of a century – a difference sufficient to put two children through university – because of racial discrimination and economic policies that favour the affluent.  A typical white family is now five times richer than its African-American counterpart of the same class, according to a report released today by Brandeis University in Massachusetts.  White families typically have assets worth $100,000 (£69,000), up from $22,000 in the mid-1980s. African-American families’ assets stand at just $5,000, up from around $2,000. A quarter of black families have no assets at all. The study monitored more than 2,000 families since 1984.  “We walk that through essentially a generation and what we see is that the racial wealth gap has galloped, it’s escalated to $95,000,” said Tom Shapiro, one of the authors of the report by the university’s Institute on Assets and Social Policy.”  Guardian

While significant progress has been made in many areas, the African-American is still trailing far behind his white brothers and sisters financially.  If that huge disparity in income and assets can’t be shrunk, will the Black man ever be truly free?  Dr. King initiated a huge improvement in the freedom for many, but his work is not completely done.  When we celebrate the day set aside to honor his legacy, maybe we should think of ways that the financial gap between blacks and whites can be narrowed.  Without all people being equal in all areas, how can any of us really be free?  What ideas do you have?

Additional reference:  US Constitution.net


75 thoughts on “Did Martin Luther King’s ‘Dream’ Come True?

  1. There can be no liberty without equality nor can there be justice. As Mary Wollstonecraft said, “Virtue can only flourish among equals.”

  2. The “financial gap” called out in this post is the hardly the most meaningful measure of equality, but regardless is a direct result of government policy: the War on Drugs.

    More here, and from Democracy Now:

    The sprinkling of people of color through elite institutions in the United States, due to affirmative action policies and the limited progress of middle-class and upper-middle-class African Americans, creates the illusion of great progress. It helps to mask the underlying racial reality, which is that a racial caste system has been reborn in the United States. Young men of color, in particular, are labeled as felons, labeled as criminals, at very young ages, often before they even reach voting age, before they turn eighteen. Their backpacks are searched. They’re frisked on the way to school, while standing waiting for the school bus to arrive. Once they learn to drive, their cars are searched, often dismantled in a search for drugs. The drug war waged in these poor communities of color has created generations of black and brown people who have been branded felons and relegated to a permanent second-class status for life.

  3. Did any of you hear about the black Fort Wayne, Indiana mom who made her 14 yr old son stand on a busy street corner, holding a sign that said ” I lie, I steal, I sell drugs. I don’t obey the law”. She and her children live 30 minutes south of my family, in what is known to be the “scary” side of Ft.Wayne.

    I admire her for doing this for her son. She wants help for him. She turned down money for interviews on tv networks, as money won’t save this boy. There is talk of her going on the Dr Drew show to create a plan of action for her son.

    Several members of the community have also reached out, offering help, if needed.

    Story can be found on WANE.com

  4. I agree with Raff’s premise and congratulate him for posting it. The media would have us think that ati-Black racism is a thing of the past.Despite superficial gains, MLK’s Dream has not come to pass. The evidence of economics proves it, but then so does Puzzling’s reference to Black imprisonment. What has been gained since MLK is superficial in that it has only driven overt racism underground and purportedly ended “Jim Crow”. We are, however, still a mostly a racist, segregated society, “papered” over by a little observed national holiday and commercials showing Blacks and Whites as friends.

  5. There is a reason the blacks and whites don’t get along. The black people are infurior to whites otherwise they wouldn’t have been slaves. There wouldn’t have been laws barring blacks to marry whites.The black people of africa were centries behind the whites. They couldn’t build boats or invent the wheel. They want to mix with the whites to improve their IQ. Mixing with blacks or Mexicans will lower the whites IQ.

  6. Roger,

    I know many blacks who have not only a higher I.Q. than those who insecurely cling to falsehoods like you set forth, but who are also socially advanced over your ideology.

  7. “Mixing with blacks or Mexicans will lower the whites IQ.”


    Writing with an obvious IQ of about 75, you’re not exactly a great catch.

  8. roger gunderson
    1, January 15, 2012 at 4:35 pm
    There is a reason the blacks and whites don’t get along.

    assholes like you

  9. Although Roger is most likely just a troll, it is shameful to know that such hateful and bitter people exist.

    What people like that are to stupid to realize is that no race is pure, as several of our ancestors have had interracial relationships over the past several hundred years. So none of us are really just black, white, or brown.

  10. And on the other side for the conspiratorial version…..Was James Earl Ray hypnotized to shoot King or this:

    “A second boost to the legitimacy of the King conspiracy theories came the following year when Attorney General Janet Reno reopened a limited investigation into the assassination in August 1998. And finally, in Dec. 1999, a Memphis jury awarded the King family a symbolic $100 in a wrongful death suit. The jury professed that the murder was indeed a conspiracy involving bar owner Lloyd Jowers…..

    Read more: Martin Luther King, Jr.: Assassination Conspiracy Theories — Infoplease.com http://www.infoplease.com/spot/mlk1.html#ixzz1jZV3gDUM… to …

    For those that do not remember history are deemed to repeat it…..I suppose that is why Mississippi has a dual designation:

    WHEREAS, the Legislature has designated the third Monday in January as the day for the observance of the birthdays of ROBERT E. LEE and DR. MARTIN LUTHER KING, JR., and under the provisions of Section 3-3-7, Mississippi Code of 1972, is a legal holiday in the State of Mississippi;


  11. “They couldn’t build boats or invent the wheel.”

    While the location of the invention of the wheel is a debatable topic, the fact that Africans migrated to Australia some 40,000 years ago completely belies the assertion they couldn’t build boats. That or they were able to breathe salt water. Either way, an impressive feat. Boats being the more impressive feat when you consider it’s not enough to build a boat and put it in the ocean, you have to know where you are going as well or you can’t get back to where you started. This indicates both a knowledge of astronomy and mathematics. In fact, one of the oldest henges in the world is found in the Nabta Playa basin of central Africa. It was built by the neolithic culture of sub-Saharan Africa almost 2000 years before Stonehenge was built on the Salisbury plain of England. Africans also invented the practices of agriculture and were the first people to raise coffee, grains, cotton, yams, beans, rice and flax. Much of the differences in technological developments have nothing to do with race or intrinsic intelligence and everything to do with environmental pressures. Tropical cultures tend to be less technologically advanced than temperate cultures because it’s easier to live off of the land in tropical climates. Necessity is the mother of invention.

    As to Roger, he’s proof that ignorance is the mother of stupidity.

  12. “I have a dream that one day even the state of Mississippi, a state sweltering with the heat of injustice, sweltering with the heat of oppression, will be transformed into an oasis of freedom and justice. 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.


    Why Is the N.Y.P.D. After Me?
    By Nicholas K. Peart
    Published: December 17, 2011

    (“Nicholas K. Peart, 23, has been stopped and frisked by New York City police officers at least five times.”)

    WHEN I was 14, my mother told me not to panic if a police officer stopped me. And she cautioned me to carry ID and never run away from the police or I could be shot. In the nine years since my mother gave me this advice, I have had numerous occasions to consider her wisdom.

    One evening in August of 2006, I was celebrating my 18th birthday with my cousin and a friend. We were staying at my sister’s house on 96th Street and Amsterdam Avenue in Manhattan and decided to walk to a nearby place and get some burgers. It was closed so we sat on benches in the median strip that runs down the middle of Broadway. We were talking, watching the night go by, enjoying the evening when suddenly, and out of nowhere, squad cars surrounded us. A policeman yelled from the window, “Get on the ground!”

    I was stunned. And I was scared. Then I was on the ground — with a gun pointed at me. I couldn’t see what was happening but I could feel a policeman’s hand reach into my pocket and remove my wallet. Apparently he looked through and found the ID I kept there. “Happy Birthday,” he said sarcastically. The officers questioned my cousin and friend, asked what they were doing in town, and then said goodnight and left us on the sidewalk.

    Less than two years later, in the spring of 2008, N.Y.P.D. officers stopped and frisked me, again. And for no apparent reason. This time I was leaving my grandmother’s home in Flatbush, Brooklyn; a squad car passed me as I walked down East 49th Street to the bus stop. The car backed up. Three officers jumped out. Not again. The officers ordered me to stand, hands against a garage door, fished my wallet out of my pocket and looked at my ID. Then they let me go.

    I was stopped again in September of 2010. This time I was just walking home from the gym. It was the same routine: I was stopped, frisked, searched, ID’d and let go.

    These experiences changed the way I felt about the police. After the third incident I worried when police cars drove by; I was afraid I would be stopped and searched or that something worse would happen. I dress better if I go downtown. I don’t hang out with friends outside my neighborhood in Harlem as much as I used to. Essentially, I incorporated into my daily life the sense that I might find myself up against a wall or on the ground with an officer’s gun at my head. For a black man in his 20s like me, it’s just a fact of life in New York.

    Here are a few other facts: last year, the N.Y.P.D. recorded more than 600,000 stops; 84 percent of those stopped were blacks or Latinos. Police are far more likely to use force when stopping blacks or Latinos than whites. In half the stops police cite the vague “furtive movements” as the reason for the stop. Maybe black and brown people just look more furtive, whatever that means. These stops are part of a larger, more widespread problem — a racially discriminatory system of stop-and-frisk in the N.Y.P.D. The police use the excuse that they’re fighting crime to continue the practice, but no one has ever actually proved that it reduces crime or makes the city safer. Those of us who live in the neighborhoods where stop-and-frisks are a basic fact of daily life don’t feel safer as a result.

    We need change. When I was young I thought cops were cool. They had a respectable and honorable job to keep people safe and fight crime. Now, I think their tactics are unfair and they abuse their authority. The police should consider the consequences of a generation of young people who want nothing to do with them — distrust, alienation and more crime.

    Last May, I was outside my apartment building on my way to the store when two police officers jumped out of an unmarked car and told me to stop and put my hands up against the wall. I complied. Without my permission, they removed my cellphone from my hand, and one of the officers reached into my pockets, and removed my wallet and keys. He looked through my wallet, then handcuffed me. The officers wanted to know if I had just come out of a particular building. No, I told them, I lived next door.

    One of the officers asked which of the keys they had removed from my pocket opened my apartment door. Then he entered my building and tried to get into my apartment with my key. My 18-year-old sister was inside with two of our younger siblings; later she told me she had no idea why the police were trying to get into our apartment and was terrified. She tried to call me, but because they had confiscated my phone, I couldn’t answer.

    Meanwhile, a white officer put me in the back of the police car. I was still handcuffed. The officer asked if I had any marijuana, and I said no. He removed and searched my shoes and patted down my socks. I asked why they were searching me, and he told me someone in my building complained that a person they believed fit my description had been ringing their bell. After the other officer returned from inside my apartment building, they opened the door to the police car, told me to get out, removed the handcuffs and simply drove off. I was deeply shaken.

    For young people in my neighborhood, getting stopped and frisked is a rite of passage. We expect the police to jump us at any moment. We know the rules: don’t run and don’t try to explain, because speaking up for yourself might get you arrested or worse. And we all feel the same way — degraded, harassed, violated and criminalized because we’re black or Latino. Have I been stopped more than the average young black person? I don’t know, but I look like a zillion other people on the street. And we’re all just trying to live our lives.

    As a teenager, I was quiet and kept to myself. I’m about to graduate from the Borough of Manhattan Community College, and I have a stronger sense of myself after getting involved with the Brotherhood/Sister Sol, a neighborhood organization in Harlem. We educate young people about their rights when they’re stopped by the police and how to stay safe in those interactions. I have talked to dozens of young people who have had experiences like mine. And I know firsthand how much it messes with you. Because of them, I’m doing what I can to help change things and am acting as a witness in a lawsuit brought by the Center for Constitutional Rights to stop the police from racially profiling and harassing black and brown people in New York.

    It feels like an important thing to be part of a community of hundreds of thousands of people who are wrongfully stopped on their way to work, school, church or shopping, and are patted down or worse by the police though they carry no weapon; and searched for no reason other than the color of their skin. I hope police practices will change and that when I have children I won’t need to pass along my mother’s advice.

    Nicholas K. Peart is a student at Borough of Manhattan Community College.

    (As you might guess, Nicholas K. Peart isn’t white.)

  13. roger: according to real scientists, you are a descendent of those ‘black’ people you denigrate. They are your own ancestors. We all come out of Africa.

    oh, and what pete said: “There is a reason the blacks and whites don’t get along”.

    assholes like you

    Maybe you have a drop too much Neanderthal blood.

  14. While it is easy to blame morons like Rodger for falling for that garbage remember, he is only a pawn in their game (thanks Mr. Dylan). We really need to call out trash like “The Bell Curve”, the scum that produced it and the scum (I’m looking at you Andy Sullivan) that continue to push this sad, discredited racist screed.

  15. As a white man I am much freer today because of Dr King and I cannot but thank and laud him for his work and courage. To me, his personal frailties only serve to remind us even more deeply how much he was able to overcome in order to bear witness to a better world for all of us.

    All men and woman have flaws, but few manage to transcend them for the greater good.

    To have lived your life as an inspiration to millions of others…what more can be asked of any human?

    Has the dream being completely realized? – of course not. Are we, because of MLK and so many others, on the path to realizing it? – absolutely.

    Eye on the prize.

  16. Want to thank all of you, for your Powerfull stand against Oboma & His Corrupted political partners.

    DR. Martin Luther King was a man that Todays WORLD Still needs and we honor Him with our Love, tears of sorrow for his Sudden Death.

    God Bless His Great Family and Dreams that LIVE forever and I Pray they have COME TRUE.

    But there is so much more we can do. Being aggressive and focusing on the facts and truth is only the first step.

    We musT follow Up with more details standing by our convictions and dont back down.

    Oboma has NOT brought CHANGE, In fact ~! ~ THE ONLY real THING needing CHANGE !….Was Barack Hussein Obama II.


    Barack Hussein Obama II ( Who hates American Values ) who is A ” SELF PROCLAIMED Enemy” ~of ALL responsible, Morally Conscious HARD WORKING Americans.

    Black Grey and White.

    oBOMAS Irresponsible & DRUG MAFIA and reckless supporters KNOW~ that Barack Hussein Obama II,

    WILL FORCE YOU to paY THEM, out of your PockeT .{ FOR all of their UNCHECKED Vices and THRILLS/

    { All on YOU

    | / At your COST & Sacrifice.

    …This UN~CHANGABLE fraud, has done His VERY BEST to Inspire VIOLENCE.

    THESE ARE OBAMAS OWN WORDS.. saying ………To his supporters.Saying “Get ready for hand-to-hand combat with your Fellow Americans”

    – Obama has ALSO DECLARED to his Supporters. “I want all Americans to get in each others faces!– Obama demands !

    “You bring a knife to a fight pal, we’ll bring a gun”

    THESE ARE OBAMAS OWN WORDS.. ANGER VIOLENCE and more taxes….. THIS IS OBAMAS Change for America /“Hit Back Twice As Hard”. He commands !

    *Shouting THAT Republican victory would mean ~ “hand to hand combat” and HE IS EXPECTING people to be on Edge and BORDERLINE killing MODE, VIOLENT / and STAND up for their immoral CAUSES and THIS IS WHAT HE LIVES FOR ./ ./ ./

    * Obama Tells democrats: “ I’m itching for a fight.” !

    ….PLEASE…. go to reXes NEW WebsiTe ~ ! Oboma *( Just like Adolf Hitler~~\oBOMA~~~ Demands ! — [ THE

    FINAL SOLUTION – for Un~Wanted Children

    Barak Obama is A MURDERER .~Torturing UNWANTED babys on DEATH ROE

    CLICK HERE http://obomlnation.webstarts.com/index.html

    OBAMA TAKES a little NEW BORN innocent child. BORN. ALIVE sTabS it iN the head and SUCKs ITS BRAINS OUT.

    This is just too wrong and horrible. Please stand for Loving Children and the USA.

    Respectfully and Thankfully Thank you ALL for your Time.

    God Bless the King FAMILY. reX and His family Loves You

  17. Pawerex Paw:

    ” Dr. Martin Luther King was a man that Todays WORLD Still needs and we honor Him with our Love, tears of sorrow for his Sudden Death.

    God Bless His Great Family and Dreams that LIVE forever and I Pray they have COME TRUE.”

    Nice Try,Don’t know how old you are but if you were around when Dr King was alive did you have those same feelings ?

    Probably not according to the rest of your post.But I will say one thing,your avatar is a symbol of what Dr Kings heart was a symbol of.

  18. Anonymously Yours 1, January 15, 2012 at 6:16 pm

    And on the other side for the conspiratorial version …
    It was proven in a court of law that the government was involved in the conspiracy to assassinate Dr. King.

    It was a state crime against democracy, a SCAD.

  19. How Fares the Dream?
    Published: January 15, 2012

    “I have a dream,” declared Martin Luther King, in a speech that has lost none of its power to inspire. And some of that dream has come true. When King spoke in the summer of 1963, America was a nation that denied basic rights to millions of its citizens, simply because their skin was the wrong color. Today racism is no longer embedded in law. And while it has by no means been banished from the hearts of men, its grip is far weaker than once it was.


  20. Good link, eniobob. Romney does not want to talk about income inequality. I wonder why. See the other very wealthy guy endorsed him.

  21. Thanks for posting the perfect song this morning, Swarthmore mom…

    (Thanks, as well for the Krugman piece and The Juan Willimams/Hill articles, eniobob and Swarthmore mom, respectively.)

    “As a nation degenerates these crimes are covered up and hidden, rather than being prosecuted as they are when a nation still has a healthy government.” -Dredd (from his link/site)



    Where do they go? Congress? Retirement in Samoa?

    America’s real heroes go to prison, are put in mental hospitals, they are assassinated, their helicopters are crashed, they die in private planes, they get mysterious illnesses. Sometimes, as with John Wheeler III, they end up in a garbage dump to be quickly forgotten, buried in lies. -Gordon Duff

  22. Monday, Jan 16, 2012

    Who are the victims of civil liberties assaults and Endless War?

    By Glenn Greenwald



    The fundamental interconnectedness between war and civil liberties abuses on the one hand, and the targeting of minorities as part of those policies on the other, is, of course, nothing new. It was most eloquently emphasized in the largely forgotten, deliberately whitewashed 1967 speech about the Vietnam War by Martin Luther King, Jr. (who himself was targeted for years with abusive domestic surveillance by the FBI’s J. Edgar Hoover). Dr. King devoted that extraordinary speech generally to the way in which the war in Vietnam was savaging not only the people of that country but also America’s national character. He specifically sought to answer his critics who were objecting that his increasingly strident opposition to the Vietnam War was a distraction from his civil rights work; instead, he insisted, his war opposition and advocacy of civil rights are, in fact, causes that are inextricably linked:

    Over the past two years, as I have moved to break the betrayal of my own silences and to speak from the burnings of my own heart, as I have called for radical departures from the destruction of Vietnam, many persons have questioned me about the wisdom of my path. At the heart of their concerns this query has often loomed large and loud: Why are you speaking about war, Dr. King? Why are you joining the voices of dissent? Peace and civil rights don’t mix, they say. Aren’t you hurting the cause of your people, they ask? And when I hear them, though I often understand the source of their concern, I am nevertheless greatly saddened, for such questions mean that the inquirers have not really known me, my commitment or my calling. Indeed, their questions suggest that they do not know the world in which they live. . . .

    It seemed as if there was a real promise of hope for the poor — both black and white — through [Lyndon Johnson’s] poverty program. There were experiments, hopes, new beginnings. Then came the buildup in Vietnam and I watched the program broken and eviscerated as if it were some idle political plaything of a society gone mad on war, and I knew that America would never invest the necessary funds or energies in rehabilitation of its poor so long as adventures like Vietnam continued to draw men and skills and money like some demonic destructive suction tube. So I was increasingly compelled to see the war as an enemy of the poor and to attack it as such . . . .

    As I have walked among the desperate, rejected and angry young men I have told them that Molotov cocktails and rifles would not solve their problems. I have tried to offer them my deepest compassion while maintaining my conviction that social change comes most meaningfully through nonviolent action. But they asked — and rightly so — what about Vietnam? They asked if our own nation wasn’t using massive doses of violence to solve its problems, to bring about the changes it wanted. Their questions hit home, and I knew that I could never again raise my voice against the violence of the oppressed in the ghettos without having first spoken clearly to the greatest purveyor of violence in the world today — my own government. For the sake of those boys, for the sake of this government, for the sake of hundreds of thousands trembling under our violence, I cannot be silent. . . .

    Now, it should be incandescently clear that no one who has any concern for the integrity and life of America today can ignore the present war. If America’s soul becomes totally poisoned, part of the autopsy must read Vietnam. It can never be saved so long as it destroys the deepest hopes of men the world over. So it is that those of us who are yet determined that America will be are led down the path of protest and dissent, working for the health of our land. . . .

    This I believe to be the privilege and the burden of all of us who deem ourselves bound by allegiances and loyalties which are broader and deeper than nationalism and which go beyond our nation’s self-defined goals and positions. We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy, for no document from human hands can make these humans any less our brothers.

    King notably added another reason why he felt compelled to prioritize issues of war: “another burden of responsibility was placed upon me in 1964; and I cannot forget that the Nobel Prize for Peace was also a commission.” As he put it: “ This is a calling that takes me beyond national allegiances.” If only that award were similarly understood today. His essential point was that nothing good could possibly happen in America so long as it continued on its path of warfare and bombing and invading foreign countries, and it was therefore necessary to prioritize protests against the war on at least equal footing with every other issue.

  23. I am reading a book written by an author who is also a professor of history.

    He wrote a book on Reagan, and one on Bob Dylan (the one I am reading).

    There is an interesting chapter about a blues singer who lived near Dr. King.

    A chapter in the book shows, whether the author intended it or not, how the paths of that blues singer intentionally diverted from the path Dr. King took.

    Bob Dylan took the path most traveled, as did the blues singer and as did the news media.

    Dr. King did not take that path.

  24. For those who still believe Ron Paul is a viable alternative to ANYONE, here are his comments of June 4, 2004. That was the day Congress hailed the 40th anniversary of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Only Ron Paul dissented. Here are his comments:

    Mr. Speaker, I rise to explain my objection to H.Res. 676. I certainly join my colleagues in urging Americans to celebrate the progress this country has made in race relations. However, contrary to the claims of the supporters of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the sponsors of H.Res. 676, the Civil Rights Act of 1964 did not improve race relations or enhance freedom. Instead, the forced integration dictated by the Civil Rights Act of 1964 increased racial tensions while diminishing individual liberty.

    The Civil Rights Act of 1964 gave the federal government unprecedented power over the hiring, employee relations, and customer service practices of every business in the country. The result was a massive violation of the rights of private property and contract, which are the bedrocks of free society. The federal government has no legitimate authority to infringe on the rights of private property owners to use their property as they please and to form (or not form) contracts with terms mutually agreeable to all parties. The rights of all private property owners, even those whose actions decent people find abhorrent, must be respected if we are to maintain a free society.

    This expansion of federal power was based on an erroneous interpretation of the congressional power to regulate interstate commerce. The framers of the Constitution intended the interstate commerce clause to create a free trade zone among the states, not to give the federal government regulatory power over every business that has any connection with interstate commerce.

    The Civil Rights Act of 1964 not only violated the Constitution and reduced individual liberty; it also failed to achieve its stated goals of promoting racial harmony and a color-blind society. Federal bureaucrats and judges cannot read minds to see if actions are motivated by racism. Therefore, the only way the federal government could ensure an employer was not violating the Civil Rights Act of 1964 was to ensure that the racial composition of a business’s workforce matched the racial composition of a bureaucrat or judge’s defined body of potential employees. Thus, bureaucrats began forcing employers to hire by racial quota. Racial quotas have not contributed to racial harmony or advanced the goal of a color-blind society. Instead, these quotas encouraged racial balkanization, and fostered racial strife.

    Of course, America has made great strides in race relations over the past forty years. However, this progress is due to changes in public attitudes and private efforts. Relations between the races have improved despite, not because of, the 1964 Civil Rights Act.

    In conclusion, Mr. Speaker, while I join the sponsors of H.Res. 676 in promoting racial harmony and individual liberty, the fact is the Civil Rights Act of 1964 did not accomplish these goals. Instead, this law unconstitutionally expanded federal power, thus reducing liberty. Furthermore, by prompting raced-based quotas, this law undermined efforts to achieve a color-blind society and increased racial strife. Therefore, I must oppose H.Res. 676.


  25. mespo, he would take us back to Jim Crow in a heartbeat on the principle that the government has no business protecting citizens from discrimination. And by extension, his professed policies could bring back lynchings if they are taken to their logical conclusion. He would deny this of course, but he is a demagogue of the most dangerous sort.

  26. OS:

    My image of him is the long-time neighbor who would pass you by while you were attempting to change your flat tire during a driving rain storm. Not my problem; gotta go.

  27. OS,

    Very good catch. I am appalled by how many people in the middle and on the left can’t see that this guy makes Santorum seem like almost a moderate in comparison and Rick is himself seriously demented.

  28. Considering the prison situation in America from a strictly racial point of view I would have to say that the dream has been in retrograde for a long time.

    Of late I’ve been reading about the expansion of the prison labor industry and the incentives (dollar and cents incentives given by government to business) to migrate their work from the free populace to the prison populous. The migration from low-wage foreign shores for call center and help-desk work is but one aspect of the problem. When a business can pick up labor for .50 cents an hour domestically you are talking about slavery. I think the good Doctor would be spinning in his grave about now.

    “Prison Labor – How it is used to eliminate the Middle Class and provide Slave Labor for Corporations”


    “New Exposé Tracks ALEC-Private Prison Industry Effort to Replace Unionized Workers with Prison Labor”

    “Many of the toughest sentencing laws responsible for the explosion of the U.S. prison population were drafted by the American Legislative Exchange Council, which helps corporations write model legislation. Now a new exposé reveals ALEC has paved the way for states and corporations to replace unionized workers with prison labor. We speak with Mike Elk, contributing labor reporter at The Nation magazine. He says ALEC and private prison companies “put a mass amount of people in jail, and then they created a situation where they could exploit that.” ”


  29. LK said, “I think the good Doctor would be spinning in his grave about now.”

    I wondered what that whirring noise was that I keep hearing.

  30. Good article Raf. I think that the wealth of Hispanic households has outpaced Black Americans in being degraded over the last 30 years, 60+ % v 50+ %. This country needs a couple of new leaders that can garner the broad popular support that MLK and Cesar Chavez had. I think a lot of people thought that a vote for President Obama was a vote for such a man.

    And a new generation of feminists to pick up the mantle from Gloria Steinem, Shirley Chisholm, Bella Abzug, Ann Lewis, and Eleanor Holmes Norton would be a good thing also IMO. Naomi Wolffe seemed to be moving into the shoes Stinehem vacated but aside from thoughtful albeit low-key feminist lit she didn’t hit the mark. She is an excellent political writer though and has given us a short, appropriate list to measure the level of destruction of a democracy. If you want to destroy democracy, this is what you do:

    1.Invoke a terrifying internal and external enemy.
    2.Create secret prisons where torture takes place.
    3.Develop a thug caste or paramilitary force not answerable to citizens.
    4.Set up an internal surveillance system.
    5.Harass citizens’ groups.
    6.Engage in arbitrary detention and release.
    7.Target key individuals.
    8.Control the press.
    9.Treat all political dissidents as traitors.
    10.Suspend the rule of law.

    I think a lot of patriots are spinning in their graves these days, I hear it too Gene.

  31. SM, dog-whistle politics and the crowd cheers and boos right on cue. The 26% never disappoint. Thanks for the link and vid.

  32. Roger Gunderson,
    “There is a reason the blacks and whites don’t get along. The black people are infurior to whites otherwise they wouldn’t have been slaves. There wouldn’t have been laws barring blacks to marry whites.The black people of africa were centries behind the whites. They couldn’t build boats or invent the wheel. They want to mix with the whites to improve their IQ. Mixing with blacks or Mexicans will lower the whites IQ.”

    Pure shit. Does anybody actually believe your mouth-breathing, bottom-feeding oral diaharea? Nevermind. I just wanted to put in my opinion that you are an asshole and also the reason the 1% find it so easy to use manipulation of the most base kind.

    “I think a lot of patriots are spinning in their graves these days, I hear it too Gene.”
    The sound is becoming louder. We should all be able to hear it. The rest of your comment is right on too.

  33. Raff,
    Excellent post. I’m with you all the way here. I also wrote a MLK post on my site and I think they are somewhat complementary. Check it out and let me know what you think.

    “So none of us are really just black, white, or brown.”

    So true. Yet it is still a maneuver used by the right to set us against each other.
    remember; they don’t really believe the lie. It’s just that blacks and hispanics are; a) mostly liberals and moderates (I can supply the emperical data upon request); b) easy targets in a nation with so many bottom feeders like Rog’ above; c) a big enough demographic to make a difference in election results and public views if allowed to express themselves as people deserving of respect.
    “So we get what we have here today; failure to communicate”
    Failure to communicate racial equality to all Americans because of right-wing propaganda.

  34. Mespo and OS,
    I have maintained for some time that the very reasonable, agreeable Dr. Paul; while seeming to be more moderate than his Republican opponents; is more than likely the most dangerous candidate running for the nomination (though having heard Santorum, I now believe they may be neck and neck for the title)

    Ron Paul can’t be known as the Intellecual Guru of the Tea Party for nothing. This man is a raging Fascist from the word go.

    I think of him as the Republican “Dream Candidate”. They would love it if he was Nominated but they really don’t expect it. So they have the basic Republican in Mitt who they don’t really want but they believe they can get nominated.

    I am currently writing an article that will examine the various Republican hopefuls and their purpose and place in the Republican big picture.

    Each one has served a purpose. Each has been carefully calculated to create an impression and make a point; I believe

    An easy and quick example of this is Herman Cain. Now I don’t doubt Mr Cain’s sincerity and I have no issue with a black president as i have oft stated but the republican party could not have believed that this guy was going to be nominated. his canidacy was intended to show that Republicans are accepting of black people and are even willing to run one for President.

    Of course they chose a man whose personal life was so riddled with ethical questions and questionable behavior that he was just a sitting duck for the Democrats to take pot shots at. he was used for a secondary purpose as well.

    Mr. Cain is a very confident; very vocal man with a tendancy to speak too quickly on subjects he really doesn’t understand.

    Placing him in the position of having to answer questions outside his area of expertise; namely business management; placed this guy in an untenneble position where he was gaurenteed to make a fool of himself thereby creating the second impression that the best black man they could find to run; is incapable of handling questions from the press much less the Presdency.

    All carefully crafted and deviously evil in it’s intent

  35. AMS, Nice posting on your site. Yes, the dearth of leaders over the last four decades is amazing in retrospect but shit, “they” killed them and that I’m sure gave all that would come after pause. Killed ’em all. The 60’s were a bitch.

    Even though I have stopped by your site and Dredd’s I can’t post comments thereon. I don’t have an account on a site that will allow me to do so. You and Dredd do good work though and I do enjoy visiting. Stay angry.

  36. “All carefully crafted and deviously evil in it’s intent”


    Brilliant. How come two old farts like us, coming from different parts of the country and different backgrounds, see what is happening so clearly?Experience, memory and wide open eyes I think.

  37. The battle continues and

    yes, yes, yes to lotta’s “ ‘they’ killed them and that I’m sure gave all that would come after pause. Killed ‘em all. The 60′s were a bitch.” … that “lone gunman” ploy worked time after time after time.

  38. Blouise, that ‘lone gunman’ was one busy sob.

    Swarthmoree Mom, the first 30 seconds of that vid you posted, which has been edited out in favor of the Juan Williams story, shows some in the audience booing when the fact is revealed that Mitt Romney’s father was born in Mexico. The 26% just hates everybody.

  39. Lotta. The majority of them are older white people who want to cling to the past. They turnout to vote in very high numbers. They voted for the Tea Party last time.

  40. AMS & Mike; I think I am a bonafide member of the OFC (Old Farts Club) as well. And like the two of you, there is nothing wrong with my memory or my situational awareness. I am worried for the health of our country, economy and the general welfare of our people. That OFC member Ben Franklin was right. Old guys seem to be more aware of long term consequences of current actions.

  41. I received this from the Alan Grayson for Congress campaign:

    In America, whites have 20 times the wealth of African-Americans. So says census data.

    Not 20% more. Not twice as much. Twenty times as much. Specifically, the median household wealth for whites in 2009 was $113,149, and the median household wealth for African-Americans was $5,677.

    When I heard this a few months ago, it was not entirely news to me. When I was in Congress, I read the reports that the Federal Reserve sent to Members; to me, that was interesting reading. In the appendix to one of those Fed reports, from a survey of respondents selected in 2007, these numbers caught my eye:

    White, non-Hispanic households – $149,900
    Hispanic and African-American households – $23,300

    So from $149,900 down to $113,149, and from $23,300 (including Hispanics) down to $5,677. These numbers confirm just how hard the Great Recession has whacked minority households.

    But there is a deeper issue. Can someone please explain to me how, in a country where we are told again and again that we are “all created equal,” one group ends up with 20 times as much as another?

    MLK’s dream was that his four young children would “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.” What are we supposed to think – that one group has twenty times as much character as another?

    In the face of incredible numbers like these, you will still find right-wingers who insist that America is now a color-blind society (except for the scourge of “reverse racism”). But the numbers tell a different story. They suggest that America is not a color-blind society, but rather a racism-blind society.

    And ask yourself: when has any elected official, ANY elected official, ever discussed this inconvenient truth, and tried to discern what should be done about it? Why is there a veil of silence over such a salient, central fact about the country we all share?

    I went to a wonderful parade on Saturday, celebrating Martin Luther King Jr.’s birthday. And if there is one thing that we know in Central Florida, it’s how to put on a parade; we have several every day. All those smiling, happy faces that I saw on Saturday.

    And it’s not my job to rain on anyone’s parade. That’s why I’m saying this today, not yesterday, when we celebrated Martin Luther King Jr.’s birthday. But here we are, 49 years later, his “four young children” as old as I am, and one of them already gone from us.

    And I have to say, about that dream of equality that he had, it’s still just a dream.

    Just a dream.


    Alan Grayson

  42. Lottakatz.

    “Even though I have stopped by your site and Dredd’s I can’t post comments thereon. I don’t have an account on a site that will allow me to do so.”

    Angry Man Speaks’ blog is hosted by WordPress as is the Turley Blog. You may be able to post as on the Turley blog by giving just an email address and your name/alias. If not it is easy to acquire a WordPress blogger id.Dredd’s site is hosted by Blogspot, ie Google, you can post if you acquire a Google blogger id.

  43. I was very moved and inspired on this Dr. King’s day. Dr. King was a very great man, and I am very disappointed that I will never get to meet him in person.

  44. Carlyle Moulton, Thanks, I’ll try AMS site again. I unsubscribed to my Google account (also Facebook) so Blogspot sites are no longer accessible to me.

  45. “EXCLUSIVE: Rarely Seen Film “King: A Filmed Record” Traces MLK’s Struggle From Montgomery to Memphis”


    “In a Black History Month Special, we air excerpts of a rarely seen Oscar-nominated documentary about Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and the rise of the civil rights movement. Produced by Ely Landau, “King: A Filmed Record… Montgomery to Memphis,” is made from original newsreel footage and other original video footage shot of marches, rallies and church services. “King” was originally screened for one night only in 1970 in more than 600 theaters across the United States, but has rarely been seen since. We air extensive footage of the film, featuring a historic look at the eight-year period that led up to the 1963 March on Washington, D.C.”

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