National Center staff member Bethany Whitlock wrote this blog post.
With the recent national observance of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day and with all of the events that have strained race relations over the past year, many people are probably asking the question: “What would MLK say?”
This year, his words were definitely quoted repeatedly — but they were almost certainly uttered with very different intentions depending on the person saying them.
I think I know exactly what [Dr. King] would say. You know, when you think about everything that is going on in this country, especially with [Eric] Garner and… what happened at Ferguson… America is not perfect, but we’ve come so far and we are growing.
Day also lamented on how she saw the racial divide in America decreased and tensions eased over the past few decades only to “fall apart” in just the last few years.
After the election of President Obama, she said, hopes were high that he would be able to build upon and strengthen the foundation. It seems, however, that the result was actually quite the opposite.
Whatever people may have interpreted as to what Dr. King might say if he were still alive and commenting the nation’s current situation, there’s no denying what he actually did say in his famous “I Have a Dream” speech on August 28, 1963. His words were: “But there is something that I must say… In the process of gaining our rightful place… We must forever conduct our struggle on the high plane of dignity and discipline.”