I Have a Dream: Where are We Now? | PART TWO

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Photo courtesy @unseenhistories

Athena Pappas | Patriots Freedom

In my LAST ARTICLE I shared my thoughts on a recent documentary titled Uncle Tom, which included conversations with several prominent black conservatives. 

After watching the film, I wondered what Martin Luther King Jr. would think about it. So, I revisited his famous “I Have a Dream” speech, which was delivered in front of 250,000 people at the 1963 March on Washington. 

There were many famous speakers and singers at that event, but you never heard about any of their other speeches or songs. The most important words to come out of that day were spoken by this passionate Baptist minister, who wove together references to our Founding Fathers, words from the Bible, and his own personal dreams of what equality would look like in a futuristic America. 

In this remarkable speech, King poured out his heart about his children. One of his oft-quoted lines wasn’t even in his scripted text. When he 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,” he was speaking straight from the heart.

Tonight, in reading through King’s speech from top to bottom, I was captivated by a few lines I hadn’t noticed before. They resonated with me because they remind me of Larry Elder, Brandon Tatum, and Candace Owens, my heroes from the spell-binding Uncle Tom documentary. 

King said: “There is something that I must say to my people who stand on the warm threshold which leads into the palace of justice. In the process of gaining our rightful place we must not be guilty of wrongful deeds. Let us not seek to satisfy our thirst for freedom by drinking from the cup of bitterness and hatred. We must forever conduct our struggle on the high plane of dignity and discipline. We must not allow our creative protest to degenerate into physical violence. Again and again we must rise to the majestic heights of meeting physical force with soul force.

“The marvelous new militancy which has engulfed the Negro community must not lead us to a distrust of all white people, for many of our white brothers, as evidenced by their presence here today, have come to realize that their destiny is tied up with our destiny. And they have come to realize that their freedom is inextricably bound to our freedom. We cannot walk alone.”

Tonight I realized that many great conservatives—like Larry Elder—are following in King’s footsteps, whether we’ve realized it or not. They are bravely stepping out, pushing distrust and violence aside, replacing those divisive tools with what King called “soul force.” They are daring to believe that arms must be linked between black and white communities, and that our collective freedoms are inextricably bound, just as King said, that we are a community, not of black and white, but of Americans. 

This isn’t a popular stance, which makes their journey even more admirable. 

In an interview to promote the documentary, Elder said: 

“I don’t expect people to love me. I feel the way [conservative activist] Candace Owens does in the film where she says, ‘I’m like an alarm clock.’ It may tick you off in the morning, but you know you have to get up and do what you have to do. I’m not here to be popular. I would love to be loved. But I know that’s not going to happen, because I’m telling people stuff that they don’t want to hear.”

Sometimes it’s the things we don’t want to hear that we need to hear the most. Thank you, Larry (and others), for speaking it so eloquently in this stunning film. I can’t help but think Martin Luther King Jr. would be very proud. 

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