On his birthday, let us remember the great accomplishments of the Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr., and look closely at his message, as best expressed in his famous speech in 1963 at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, DC.
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.
I have a dream today.
I have a dream that one day, down in Alabama, with its vicious racists, with its governor having his lips dripping with the words of interposition and nullification; one day right there in Alabama, little black boys and black girls will be able to join hands with little white boys and white girls as sisters and brothers.
I have a dream today.
Don’t you see it?
Rev. King loved all people equally. Not one race or skin color over another. Not one income level or ‘class’ over another. Not one ability or educational level over another. Not one religion or faith over another. Not one gender over another. Not one occupation or educational level over another. And not one political party or philosophy over another.
Rev. King had a dream.
And in a divided nation in 1963 suffering from racism, intolerance and violence, his dream was a wonderful and unifying message. He didn’t preach hatred, divisiveness, or call for retribution or violence. He didn’t believe one group must be pulled down to advance another–that just creates new divisions and hatred.
That dream is why he was respected. And he helped make that dream into the reality of racial equality that all enjoy today.
Rev. King strove for excellence. Character. Honesty. You can bet he would not be pleased at today’s culture of superficiality. Of “intersectionality,” where you are branded as a permanent “victim” if you have a certain skin color, economic status, gender, political affiliation, etc., or you are branded as a permanent oppressor should you have been born with a different skin color, economic status, gender or political affiliation.
Rev. King didn’t believe in low expectations–that if you were born with certain characteristics of color, class, gender, etc, you were locked forever as a victim and incapable of bettering your lot in life through the strength of your character.
Read his words again, and read his entire historic “I have a dream” speech again as if for the first time.
On the birthday of this great man, let’s look anew at our fellow Americans. Go ahead–give a new look at your neighbor, coworker, everyone on the street and in church, and even the down and out. Don’t look at their skin color (or gender, class, religion, etc.) but at their character. Just their character! That’s the only way that everyone will ever live in harmony and equality.
That is how the Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr. would want you to celebrate his birthday and his great accomplishments for racial unity and equality.
Today, it’s our responsibility to help make his dream a reality.
Art Harman is the President of the Coalition to Save Manned Space Exploration. He was the Legislative Director and foreign policy advisor for Rep. Stockman (R-Texas) in the 113th Congress, and is a veteran policy analyst and grass-roots political expert. His expertise includes foreign relations, border security/amnesty, national security, transportation, foreign broadcasting and NASA/space policy.
He has travelled the world and been behind the Iron Curtain during the Soviet era, witnessed the fall of the Berlin Wall, was arrested by the KGB, and stood in the footprints of those who sacrificed everything for freedom at Tiananmen Square.
Mr. Harman developed the strategy to kill the 2013 Senate “gang of eight” amnesty bill as violating the Constitution’s Origination Clause, and provided policy advice to the Trump campaign, transition and the White House. He wrote what became the ‘bible’ for post-Brexit trade relations which was introduced in 2016 by Sen. Mike Lee as S. 3123, the United Kingdom Trade Continuity Act, and he advised the Trump administration to return Americans to the Moon by 2024–now official policy. Harman is a frequent guest expert on radio shows on key policy issues, and is an award-winning fine-arts photographer.