A dream deeply rooted in the American dream

Happy Martin Luther King Day — or as Hillary Clinton likes to call it, Lyndon Baines Johnson Day! ;)

Just kidding. In all seriousness, today we celebrate Dr. King’s birthday, and in his honor, I always like to take 16 minutes out of my day each year to listen once again to his greatest speech, the “I Have A Dream” speech. This year, for the first time, I’ll be listening to it from the South, indeed from within the same state as one of the places he mentioned in it. Anyway, here’s the video clip:

And here’s the audio clip:

source file
MP3 File

It never fails to give me goose bumps.

38 Responses to “A dream deeply rooted in the American dream”

  1. 4-7 says:

    Not to detract from Dr. King’s commemoration, but tomorrow a different commemmoration will occur – the 35th anniversary of Roe v. Wade. Legally-sanctioned racism is now a thing of the past, thankfully, but an entire class of individuals continues to be excluded from participation by the illicit freedom legitimacized as a matter of constitutional law by the Supreme Court in Roe v. Wade. The fruits of Dr. King’s successes will continue to ring hollow in part until the United States complements the Civil Rights movement with the recognition of the right to life.

    Consider this: this is the first year in which a child aborted after Roe could have been eligible to serve as president. And we wonder where the good candidates are ? They never were.

  2. JT says:

    Said in another way – Not to detract from Dr. King’s commemoration, but I think I will anyway by trying to equate the inequatable and in so doing trivialize the struggles and accomplishments of the civil rights movement.

  3. 4-7 says:

    Whatever floats your boat friend. Good thing people weren’t so fatalistic in the 60s. Some said slavery would never end too I’m sure, and Slavery had its Dred Scot just like Abortion has its Roe. Keep up with the denial, though, I am sure it’s better for your sleep than Lunesta, with no long term side effects (other than ignorance).

  4. 4-7 says:

    JT and Marty, does this suit you better:

    Martin Luther King’s efforts are for $hit until we stop the wholesale slaughter of unborn children and end the plague of ignorance and selfishness (one largely affecting minorities over whites and continuing the generational poverty cycle) represented by abortion. Yeah, maybe I should have been more clear.

  5. 4-7 says:

    sigh. Why did you have to awaken the beast in me ? alright, back to work. Have fun in the threads any offendees.

  6. MM says:


    Here’s a quote and link from Dr. Alveda King, neice of MLK:

    “How can the “Dream” survive if we murder the children? Every aborted baby is like a slave in the womb of his or her mother. The mother decides his or her fate”


  7. Condor says:

    Simply an amazing speech.

  8. JT says:

    I would warn you against attributing the quotes of MLK’s kids to MLK himself. As someone that lives in Atlanta, I’ve had the joy of watching his kids fight over what to do with the King Center.

    The cycle of poverty is a huge problem in this country that I’m 100 percent for doing something about. Now, explain to me how outlawing abortion will end the cycle of poverty. I’m guessing that better birth control and less unwanted pregnancies would actually help end the cycle of poverty.

  9. 4-7 says:

    for one, living with the promise that acts (sex) don’t have consequences (life, pregnancy) that require the assumption of personal responsibility and holistic and life-changing sacrifice, but rather can be redressed by easy-fix procedures, is a structure that perpetuates poverty. Abortion and birth control have been in legal acceptance for more than thirty years. The poor are still conceiving children far, far in excess of their ability (or interest) in caring for such children. The culture has been morally poisoned by abortion. The mere fact that abortion and birth control (in theory) could be used as tools to eliminate poverty, does not mean they were so used, are so used, or will be used.

  10. 4-7 says:

    Also JT, MM didn’t attribute the quote to MLK. that comment clearly attributed the quote to his niece. Necessarily the poster accepted the disability in limitation in the comment that such was not the quote of MLK himself. As an Atlanta resident, you should indeed be well apprised that many people in the modern civil rights movement consider those persons who knew MLK or his immediate family have relevant opinions on his legacy. A niece is not a daughter, and a daughter may not be a wife, but we will always attribute some significance to the commentary of the family of the famous, even if at times no significance should be due at all (Ronald Reagan’s liberal son, e.g.). This is not one of those times of familial irrelevance.

  11. Marty West says:

    So 4-7, abortion and BC can be used to eliminate poverty? Wow. Anything you say from here on out has absolutely NO merit.

  12. JT says:

    We obviously disagree on abortion, which is fine. My real problem is you hijacking MLK’s legacy in order to make a case for your pet cause. I also have a problem with qualifying a post to say you don’t intend to do exactly what you then do. It’s like saying: “I don’t mean to be sexist, but women can’t drive.” Or: “I don’t intend to be mean, but you’re ugly.”

    Is there an equivilent to Godwin’s law on Hitler references on message boards for MLK comparisons on message boards?

  13. JT says:

    PS – You’ve appointed MLK’s homophobic Sam Brownback supporting niece as the carrier of his legacy when his own wife makes comments like this one:

    “Gay and lesbian people have families and their families should have legal protection, whether by marriage or civil union. A constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriages is a form of gay-bashing and it would do nothing at all to protect traditional marriages.”

  14. Chachi says:

    What a beautiful speech by a good man.

  15. MM says:

    Equate the inequatable?? Roe v. Wade has a lot to do with civil rights and MLK. Margaret Sanger, founder of Planned Parenthood and the Negro Project, was a devout racist and eugenicist who wanted to exterminate the black population. Planned Parenthood, the largest abortion provider in the U.S., continues to target the Black community. 78% of their clinics are in minority neighborhoods. The Black community is the only minority in the U.S. on the decline. Nothing to do with civil rights? I’m sure MLK would’ve had something to say about Black genocide via abortion going on today.

  16. 4-7 says:


    Your intent not to allow causes to be hijacked for the wrong reasons is legitimate, but your use here is inappropriate. People invoke Godwin’s law because the reference to Nazism (more accurately, the genocide and murder of more than 6 million people) usually has absolutely zero congruence to the issue at hand – whether Grand Theft Auto San Andreas is better than Grand Theft Auto Almeida County, e.g.

    My original and well-meaning post was simple: ~~~~ “reminder world – Dr. King’s legacy is not complete. Let us celbrate his acheivements but recognize that there are still persons who do not have freedom.” While any group (homosexuals, victims of religious or political persecution, victims of war, Iraqis, the impoverished) could use this advocacy by extension, it is particularly apropos today for the pro-life movement because the annual March for Life is tomorrow in washington DC which I believe corresponds to the approximate date in 1973 when Roe v. Wade was handed down.

    You don’t agree that King’s words about freedom and the true vision of freedom of the great United States experiment should be extended to the helpless unborn ? Ok. Fine, but I don’t think you can deny that it is legitmate for someone who accepts the premise that the unborn should have the right to life to stand on the shoulders of civil rights greats to acheive progress in the still incomplete portrait of authentic human freedom. Why re-invent the wheel ? Can you think of a more appropriate suffrage tradition for sincere pro-lifer’s to invoke ? The native american diaspora ? Pro-lifers invoke the Nazi holocaust often. Is that illegitimate too – premises assumed ? Aren’t you just arguing your personal opinion that unborn babies are not entitled to the same freedom MLK fought for for blacks and other minorities (until they are born, reach third trim, or are wanted by the mother – your cup of tea governer)? Would you deny gays or other groups asserting claims to civil rights the right to stand with the ghost of MLK – especially when the focal day of their movement immediately follows the nation’s civil rights hero ?

  17. 4-7 says:


    If I wrote posts to try to convince you, I would find myself in a psych ward near a Starbucks with Wi-Fi and a contraband laptop. Not seeing any white walls, I don’t think I’m there quite yet.

    I was responding to your friend JT’s comment that “I’m guessing that better birth control and less unwanted pregnancies would actually help end the cycle of poverty.” Now perhaps you should ask JT what he or she meant by that. I think JT’s point has logic in theory, albeit a logic proved wrong in fact. JT is right that in theory, the ability to prevent an unwanted or imprudent (financially speaking) pregnancy through abortion or birth control would allow the poor to shag off to their substantive-due-process delight (as they apparently do) without consequences to themselves (other than mental, physical, and spiritual of course) or society. My point was that (a) the poor apparently didn’t get the message because they are still outpacing the Western birth rate average in spades (and logically, more kids in a poor family means poorer family, eh ?); and (b) the no-consequences, Planned Parenthood can solve your little bundle-of-inconvenience problem with a snip and a tuck (or stab, for those later term babes), mentality has poisoned our culture generally. The poor, needing hope, education, and Ben-Franklin-grade wisdom and prudence more than anyone, are going to be more affected by societal poisons, aren’t they.

    Did you forget some words in your post ? Because I don’t get it otherwise.

    Again my sweet Marty, I would never presume to be so powerful in prose to convince you of anything. So forgive me if I write in derogation of your disability.

  18. 4-7 says:

    great comment MM. Your comment about Planned P. targeting blacks underscores what I’ve been attempting to do with my original post and without any hostility to the MLK commemoration. What better way to commemorate MLK than to find identify groups with legitimate civil rights claims in this country. The only wholesale marginalization of persons going on in this country today is abortion. Gays, Blacks, hispanics – all are politically and economically powerful by actual representation in the halls of government (or by proxy) and in business. A black man is very close to being elected president by whites. One of the richest people in the US (a black woman named Oprah Winfrey) is supporting him. One of the most material issues in our current debate is the rights of immigrants and suspects of terrorism. It seems progress is near at hand for all persecuted groups – save one, again. The destruction of the hidden unborn in their warm wombs continues, and a million tiny babies are destroyed every year to add to the 40 million and mounting toll of citizen-almosts who were destroyed since 1973 (not to mention the tens of million of unique human embryos, each capable by genetic fact of becoming life if properly cared for by nature’s rule) all so we could have alternatives to botox, infertility, and death-and-degeneration-at-90, that have been destroyed or frozen with no hope of receiving nature’s sustenance).

  19. 4-7 says:

    JT, I hope my exposition here (and that of MM) has given you some basis to question whether the right to life of the unborn is a “pet” cause. Regardless, as your neighbor Michael Vick is aware, it is against the law to execute pets. When he did so he lost tens of millions of dollars, perhaps hundreds of millions in opportunity costs, his freedom, and his dignity. I would beg for unborn children to receive a few scraps from the table of that “pet” cause. Unfortunately, while one will go to jail for executing a pet, one is entitled to kill their unborn human baby as a matter of constitutional law and if you interfere with that right, you might be liable to the aborting party in civil damages. Nay, mine is a “human” cause, as you know, but perhaps it could do for some analogy to the right of pets. I hereby retract all blog posts above and will resubmit with your permission when Brendan posts an article about the life of Spuds Mackenzie.

  20. 4-7 says:

    Marty, I like a good contest-of-wills, but man, you just overwhelm me sometimes (read all the time) with pity for you.

  21. Marty West says:


    Your comments are flat out ignorant. They usually are. (read all the time too) To compare abortion to someone killing pit bulls is asinine. It shows how narrow-minded you really are.

    My girlfriend volunteers at a Planned Parenthood here in Philadelphia…in one of the more urban neighborhoods. Too suggest that they are “targeting the Black community” clearly shows your lack of knowledge on the subject. The only targets I know of are the people who work and volunteer in these facilities who are harassed on a daily basis by Bible thumping losers. These “religious” people have gone as far as finding out our home address and sending us some lovely letters with some lovely pictures in them. Just what my 4 year old needs to see when we open the mail. Get a fucking clue.

  22. 4-7 says:

    Marty, I am sorry for my ignorance. I did not realize that my comments would affect you personally. Please let me say (1) I am glad that your wife does volunteer work in the community (has she ever expressed an interest in soup kitchens or the Salvation Army ? I bet they need help too); and (2) I am glad that you and your wife accepted the gift of life into your family and are nurturing that gift through concerned parenting. That’s all the positive commentary I could draw from the things you just said.

    P.S. Does it ever make you wonder why you constantly need to go to the knife when arguing with me whether that has any relation to the legitimacy of your positions ? Until next time man.

  23. David K. says:

    4-7, although I agree with you on abortion, I don’t think this was the right place to put the comments.

    Marty, you are a flat out asshole. 4-7 put forth arguments and you put forth, well nothing. If he’s flat out ignorant then you should easily be able to demonstrate it by countering his arguments with your own, not telling him he needs to get laid. Grow up.

  24. 4-7 says:

    David, your comment is fair, but do you think you would see it as inappropriate that you may now if it was only my original comment above and not this flame war that unfortunately erupted ?

  25. 4-7 says:

    recall that the pro-life annual march is tomorrow in DC, so the two commemorative events are proximately close in time and I’ve made the argument above that the two issues are at least marginally related as a matter of civil rights. Two halves equal a whole this time ? I hope so.

  26. Brendan Loy says:

    4-7, your comment was bound to trigger a flame war. That was completely inevitable. So it’s totally pointless, and insulting to your and our intelligence, to ask someone to judge your words on the basis of how they would seem if no flame war had erupted. The whole entire reason they’re seen as inappropriate is precisely because they take a thread that should have been noncontroversial, and injected into that thread an unrelated, controversial topic that was — from the moment you clicked “Post” — one hundred percent certain to completely and utterly distract from the original, noncontroversial topic of the thread (i.e., Martin Luther King was a great man, the civil rights movement was a great thing, etc.).

    And yes, I said “unrelated.” Because it objectively is. It’s only related in the loose sense that all sorts of unrelated issues can be made “related.” It would be like, on a post mourning the loss of someone who died in Iraq, talking about how the U.S. isn’t doing enough to stop the genocide in Darfur. Can I make an argument that those things are related? Absolutely. Am I right? Of course not. And neither are you.

    Now, does the fact that you hijacked this thread make you a bad person? No, of course not. Nor is it some high moral outrage. You feel strongly about this issue, and you guessed, perhaps correctly, that this was your best chance to get a discussion going about it here on the blog. Fine. But at least own up to the fact that thread-hijacking is indeed what you did, and the ensuing flame war wasn’t some collateral consequence, but the completely foreseeable and inevitable result of your own comment.

  27. Andrew says:

    …the original, noncontroversial topic of the thread (i.e., Martin Luther King was a great man, the civil rights movement was a great thing, etc.).

    Apparently some people still disagree. And I wonder sometimes why my wife says she’ll never live in the South….

  28. 4-7 says:


    I can concede that I should have foreseen this, but I really did not intend to provoke a discussion at all. I posted offhand when I got into work and really did not intend to spend so much time today on this. Ok, I will own up that I was naive in not foreseeing this, but did I intend to tick people off ? No. No. and No.

    But at the end of the day we even disagree on the merits of your comment. I admit this is bias, and I would probably be as perturbed as you in your Darfur-Iraq hypo, but I have no guilt over interrupting Dr. King’s memorial post. This is the greatest country in the world and in history, but it is ridiculously incomplete, and it is always nigh-time for a wake up call for civil rights advocates zealous for more racial progress in a nation where Barack may just beat Hillary on white votes, but indifferent or hostile to the plight of the unborn. This is abortion. There may be more than 50% scandalized by it whether it’s the March for Life or dinner conversation but I’m not going to shelve it out of respect for MLK. If he is the man evinced in the words of the speech video you posted, he would be fair-teeming scandalized at the abomination that the Supreme Court visited on this nation in mid-January of 1973.

    Peace out.

  29. 4-7 says:

    and I do not mean to suggest that you or anyone else specifically is the civil rights activist described in my post immediate above. Just that I want people reflecting on King to reflect on the unborn, whatever their position.

  30. 4-7 says:

    I just had a thought, Brendan. What about in the future when a flame war erupts on a “noncontroversial” thread, you could move the flame war to a side discussion under a new article title if you think it worthy of continued discussion, sort of like how you “bump” stuff sometimes. I am being serious here. Just an idea.

  31. Marty West says:


    It’s my girlfriend. I’m no married. And she is not the mother of my son. His mother and I chose to have him. We were both sophomores in college when we had him and I wouldn’t change a thing in retrospect.

    The fact that some people choose the alternative is there own choice. Regardless of what you think it is them that have to live with that decision.

    I apologize for the name calling and immature comments but this is a subject that has hit close to home.

  32. 4-7 says:

    I also would like to apologize for distracting from Brendan’s purpose in posting this thread. I believe my thoughts did have a place on the topic, but this is not my blog. I appreciate the opportunity to have my comments considered and reflected upon. I wish everyone peace of heart and mind as we turn in for the evening.

  33. Brendan Loy says:

    Re: 4-7’s 10:19 PM comment: Alas, I can’t do that on TypePad. :(

  34. Brendan Loy says:

    Apparently some people still disagree. And I wonder sometimes why my wife says she’ll never live in the South….

    Yeah, because the South is the only place you’d ever find a group of 30 white supremacists. You’d certainly never find any such thing in, say, Orange County


  35. Brian Foster says:


    Abortion is not an issue about which I feel particularly strongly, but I recognize the need for, and welcome, intelligent discussion of the issue. In that regard, I just wanted to say that I thought you did really fine, first-rate work in this thread, detractors notwithstanding.


    4-7, your comment was bound to trigger a flame war. That was completely inevitable. So it’s totally pointless, and insulting to your and our intelligence, to ask someone to judge your words on the basis of how they would seem if no flame war had erupted.

    Even if it is true that a flame war was “inevitable,” I don’t see why that inevitability should render “pointless” or “insulting” 4-7’s request to be judged on the merits of his position, and not the resulting flame war.

    That is to say, if the flame war was “inevitable,” then presumably it would have erupted even if 4-7’s original comment was made on an abortion-themed post such that there could be no possible argument that he had “hijacked” the thread or trampled on some other allegedly uncontroversial point. The flame war would have been just as “inevitable” then as it supposedly was now. Would that similarly make it “insulting” and “pointless” for 4-7 to ask to be heard and judged on the merits of his position?

    The whole entire reason they’re seen as inappropriate is precisely because they take a thread that should have been noncontroversial, and injected into that thread an unrelated, controversial topic

    A review of the “flame” will reveal that it was approximately equal parts objection to the “hijacking” and objection the merits of 4-7’s position. So, no, the hijacking was not the “whole, entire reason” for the rejoinders to 4-7’s original post.

    And yes, I said “unrelated.” Because it objectively is.

    I don’t find it objectively unrelated. Neither does 4-7. Neither does MM. And mind, as I said, I don’t “feel strongly” about abortion — which is a nice way of saying that while I think Roe is an abomination of constitutional law and should be overturned for that reason, I don’t particularly see anything wrong with abortion as a medical option. In other words, I cannot be lumped in with 4-7 and MM to dismiss my difference of opinion on this supposedly “objective” reality because we’re all “pro-life nutcases” or whatever. Rather, it seems to me to be an extremely open and debatable question whether there is a relation worth mentioning here.

    Certainly, the analogy drawn between the civil rights movement in the 60s and the pro-life movement of more recent years is far closer than your attempt at setting up a comparison between a death in Iraq and the genocide in Darfur. In the former case, the topic is about extending the protection of the law of a single country first to one group historically denied its sanctuary, and then — relatedly — to another. In the latter case, the topics arise in different cultures, conflicts, and countries, and exist on vastly different scales — a single death of a soldier in a combat zone v. the wholesale slaughter of thousands or more. Clearly — one might even say objectively, if one wanted to exaggerate and overreach — the civil rights-abortion leap is a much, much smaller and more sensible one than the Iraq-Darfur leap.

    And even then, I could nonetheless see the case for a Darfur comment being “related” to the mourning-death-in-Iraq post, if, for example, the Darfur commenter lambasted the Iraq-death-mourner for being all choked up over the loss of a single life without being moved by the genocide occuring a few states to the southwest.

    All of which is to say, it’s well-nigh impossible to declare that something, anything, is “objectively unrelated” to anything else. All depends on the perspective, point, and purpose of the speaker making the connection. (See, e.g., my discussion with David K about “anonymous ND homers” where his comment certainly appeared, and turned out actually, to be a completely unrelated non-sequitur, but there was at least one possible interpretation that made the comment logical and relevant to the discussion then ongoing.)

    Here, 4-7 has made a very strong case that his topic is related to commemoration of MLK’s legacy — indeed, he was careful to say he did not want to detract from that commemoration, but rather he wanted to continue the good work of the good Doctor by extending that legacy to the next (last? one can hope) frontier of less-than citizens.

    We can disagree over whether it’s a legitimate extension / analogy / parallel all we want, but we cannot haughtily dismiss it out of hand as “objectively unrelated.”

  36. 4-7 says:

    Thanks Brian. Your analysis is careful and in many ways objective. Given your stated general disposition on the issue, I am grateful that you have shown such open-mindedness to the positions of others.