What did MLK mean when he spoke of "content of character" in the famous "I Have a Dream" speech? Fifty years after Martin Luther King, Jr. gave his famous speech, the question persists: should America be color-blind? Many conservatives, including this one, say yes. The constant focus on race only serves to highlight differences in skin color. Who cares? Americans should embrace their history and diversity, while recognizing that without equality of opportunity, true equality will always be elusive.
The phrase has been "controversial" because it seemingly conflicts with the ideas espoused by some to justify government programs like affirmative action. More recently, this oft-quoted part of King's speech conflicts with "disparate impact" laws, a concept that Paul Sperry of Invester's Business Daily describes as a "dubious legal theory that many argue is unconstitutional." Under these laws, the Obama administration has vowed to sue employers for discrimination, reminiscent of the types of lawsuits that led to the 2008 economic collapse.
Fifty years ago, Martin Luther King, Jr. said:
"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."
CBSNews asks, "As we mark the King holiday, what might he ask of us in a time when both the president and a disproportionate number of people in poverty are black?" The answer most likely does not lie in "identity politics," which will, as pointed by Roger Clegg from National Review, "inevitably cause friction, as do laws that divide up opportunities by race and ethnicity."
How would Martin Luther King, Jr. feel about programs that seek to protect black Americans? It is hard to say. He most likely would believe that while America has come a long way, there is still work to be done. America, and the world, can thank Martin Luther King, Jr. for his enduring legacy. Hopefully, the day will come when "content of character" truly is the only criteria for which a person is judged.
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