by Rod D. Martin
January 15, 2007
The achievement of full civil rights for blacks was one of America’s singular accomplishments in the 20th Century, overcoming centuries of prejudice and oppression and adopting a fully Christian view of the majority’s fellowman: i.e., that race is irrelevant, that creed is everything. God Himself adopts children of all races without distinction. Why should America act differently?
One beautiful expression of this idea which will be much quoted today is Martin Luther King’s “I Have a Dream” speech, delivered August 28, 1963 from the steps of the Lincoln Memorial (the monument to the Republican President who freed the slaves over the violent opposition of both the pro-slavery Democratic Party in the North and the secessionist Democratic Party regime in the Confederate South).
But an even better — and less well-remembered — statement of the importance of full equality was another of King’s writings, his “Letter From the Birmingham Jail“. Every American should read this, yearly if possible.
We have these available — not just on special occasions but all the time — at RodMartin.org. While we certainly don’t condone the positions of some of King’s heirs, men who want nothing so much as a new Jim Crow favoring themselves, we are strongly committed to the abolition of racism, not just from our laws but from our hearts. People are people are people: they are all flawed, they are all sinners, and they should all be judged on their own merits and their own behavior. Arbitrary distinctions of color and race are the stuff of the Old World, the Europe our fathers left behind. America, by contrast, is an idea, very much like the Kingdom of God: it is not a nation in the sense of blood and soil, but a covenant of believers, in ideas both ennobling and empowering and far far greater than themselves.
Here we stand. We can do no other.
Happy King Day.