Martin’s Last Speech

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

MLK speaking at his last speech

Just recently, America celebrated the 50th anniversary of Martin Luther King, Jr’s “I Have A Dream” speech. It was a speech that changed the nation, a speech that shook the conscience of the United States. In fact, scholars have ranked this speech the no. one speech of all time, and I can’t help but agree.

I remember the first time I read the speech, I was awed. Each single letter held tremendous power, each single phrase moved my heart. Perhaps the beauty came from the fact that this was a man who stood up and sacrificed himself for what was right. And then for many nights after that, I would try to make a speech that could match his power. No matter how desperately I wrote, thought, or performed, I just couldn’t reach that speech’s kind of level.

So I thought, if I can’t reach that level, perhaps someone else did. So I searched, went on Youtube, and finally I found one. And guess who it was by? Martin Luther King himself. Again. This was Martin’s last speech, the speech he gave before he was assassinated. And after reading/ watching the speech, one might realize that it seemed as if Martin knew he was going to die soon. But that was what it made so moving- the fact that he was going to die, but telling us that we will reach there. In fact, I would say that this speech was my favorite, even over “I Have A Dream.”

So here is the not-as-famous speech “I’ve Been To The Mountaintop.” I would highly recommend you go watch videos of the speech, in fact just even clips of it, and it will just move you and make you cry.

Thank you very kindly, my friends. As I listened to Ralph Abernathy in his eloquent and generous introduction and then thought about myself, I wondered who he was talking about. It’s always good to have your closest friend and associate say something good about you. And Ralph is the best friend that I have in the world.

I’m delighted to see each of you here tonight in spite of a storm warning. You reveal that you are determined to go on anyhow. Something is happening in Memphis, something is happening in our world.

As you know, if I were standing at the beginning of time, with the possibility of general and panoramic view of the whole human history up to now, and the Almighty said to me, “Martin Luther King, which age would you like to live in?” — I would take my mental flight by Egypt through, or rather across the Red Sea, through the wilderness on toward the promised land. And in spite of its magnificence, I wouldn’t stop there. I would move on by Greece, and take my mind to Mount Olympus. And I would see Plato, Aristotle, Socrates, Euripides and Aristophanes assembled around the Parthenon as they discussed the great and eternal issues of reality.

But I wouldn’t stop there. I would go on, even to the great heyday of the Roman Empire. And I would see developments around there, through various emperors and leaders. But I wouldn’t stop there. I would even come up to the day of the Renaissance, and get a quick picture of all that the Renaissance did for the cultural and esthetic life of man. But I wouldn’t stop there. I would even go by the way that the man for whom I’m named had his habitat. And I would watch Martin Luther as he tacked his ninety-five theses on the door at the church in Wittenberg.

But I wouldn’t stop there. I would come on up even to 1863, and watch a vacillating president by the name of Abraham Lincoln finally come to the conclusion that he had to sign the Emancipation Proclamation. But I wouldn’t stop there. I would even come up to the early thirties, and see a man grappling with the problems of the bankruptcy of his nation. And come with an eloquent cry that we have nothing to fear but fear itself.

But I wouldn’t stop there. Strangely enough, I would turn to the Almighty, and say, “If you allow me to live just a few years in the second half of the twentieth century, I will be happy.” Now that’s a strange statement to make, because the world is all messed up. The nation is sick. Trouble is in the land. Confusion all around. That’s a strange statement. But I know, somehow, that only when it is dark enough, can you see the stars. And I see God working in this period of the twentieth century in a away that men, in some strange way, are responding — something is happening in our world. The masses of people are rising up. And wherever they are assembled today, whether they are in Johannesburg, South Africa; Nairobi, Kenya; Accra, Ghana; New York City; Atlanta, Georgia; Jackson, Mississippi; or Memphis, Tennessee — the cry is always the same — “We want to be free.”

And another reason that I’m happy to live in this period is that we have been forced to a point where we’re going to have to grapple with the problems that men have been trying to grapple with through history, but the demand didn’t force them to do it. Survival demands that we grapple with them. Men, for years now, have been talking about war and peace. But now, no longer can they just talk about it. It is no longer a choice between violence and nonviolence in this world; it’s nonviolence or nonexistence.

That is where we are today. And also in the human rights revolution, if something isn’t done, and in a hurry, to bring the colored peoples of the world out of their long years of poverty, their long years of hurt and neglect, the whole world is doomed. Now, I’m just happy that God has allowed me to live in this period, to see what is unfolding. And I’m happy that He’s allowed me to be in Memphis.

I can remember, I can remember when Negroes were just going around as Ralph has said, so often, scratching where they didn’t itch, and laughing when they were not tickled. But that day is all over. We mean business now, and we are determined to gain our rightful place in God’s world.

And that’s all this whole thing is about. We aren’t engaged in any negative protest and in any negative arguments with anybody. We are saying that we are determined to be men. We are determined to be people. We are saying that we are God’s children. And that we don’t have to live like we are forced to live.

Now, what does all of this mean in this great period of history? It means that we’ve got to stay together. We’ve got to stay together and maintain unity. You know, whenever Pharaoh wanted to prolong the period of slavery in Egypt, he had a favorite, favorite formula for doing it. What was that? He kept the slaves fighting among themselves. But whenever the slaves get together, something happens in Pharaoh’s court, and he cannot hold the slaves in slavery. When the slaves get together, that’s the beginning of getting out of slavery. Now let us maintain unity.

Secondly, let us keep the issues where they are. The issue is injustice. The issue is the refusal of Memphis to be fair and honest in its dealings with its public servants, who happen to be sanitation workers. Now, we’ve got to keep attention on that. That’s always the problem with a little violence. You know what happened the other day, and the press dealt only with the window-breaking. I read the articles. They very seldom got around to mentioning the fact that one thousand, three hundred sanitation workers were on strike, and that Memphis is not being fair to them, and that Mayor Loeb is in dire need of a doctor. They didn’t get around to that.

Now we’re going to march again, and we’ve got to march again, in order to put the issue where it is supposed to be. And force everybody to see that there are thirteen hundred of God’s children here suffering, sometimes going hungry, going through dark and dreary nights wondering how this thing is going to come out. That’s the issue. And we’ve got to say to the nation: we know it’s coming out. For when people get caught up with that which is right and they are willing to sacrifice for it, there is no stopping point short of victory.

We aren’t going to let any mace stop us. We are masters in our nonviolent movement in disarming police forces; they don’t know what to do, I’ve seen them so often. I remember in Birmingham, Alabama, when we were in that majestic struggle there we would move out of the 16th Street Baptist Church day after day; by the hundreds we would move out. And Bull Connor would tell them to send the dogs forth and they did come; but we just went before the dogs singing, “Ain’t gonna let nobody turn me round.” Bull Connor next would say, “Turn the fire hoses on.” And as I said to you the other night, Bull Connor didn’t know history. He knew a kind of physics that somehow didn’t relate to the transphysics that we knew about. And that was the fact that there was a certain kind of fire that no water could put out. And we went before the fire hoses; we had known water. If we were Baptist or some other denomination, we had been immersed. If we were Methodist, and some others, we had been sprinkled, but we knew water.

That couldn’t stop us. And we just went on before the dogs and we would look at them; and we’d go on before the water hoses and we would look at it, and we’d just go on singing “Over my head I see freedom in the air.” And then we would be thrown in the paddy wagons, and sometimes we were stacked in there like sardines in a can. And they would throw us in, and old Bull would say, “Take them off,” and they did; and we would just go in the paddy wagon singing, “We Shall Overcome.” And every now and then we’d get in the jail, and we’d see the jailers looking through the windows being moved by our prayers, and being moved by our words and our songs. And there was a power there which Bull Connor couldn’t adjust to; and so we ended up transforming Bull into a steer, and we won our struggle in Birmingham.

Now we’ve got to go on to Memphis just like that. I call upon you to be with us Monday. Now about injunctions: We have an injunction and we’re going into court tomorrow morning to fight this illegal, unconstitutional injunction. All we say to America is, “Be true to what you said on paper.” If I lived in China or even Russia, or any totalitarian country, maybe I could understand the denial of certain basic First Amendment privileges, because they hadn’t committed themselves to that over there. But somewhere I read of the freedom of assembly. Somewhere I read of the freedom of speech. Somewhere I read of the freedom of the press. Somewhere I read that the greatness of America is the right to protest for right. And so just as I say, we aren’t going to let any injunction turn us around. We are going on.

We need all of you. And you know what’s beautiful tome, is to see all of these ministers of the Gospel. It’s a marvelous picture. Who is it that is supposed to articulate the longings and aspirations of the people more than the preacher? Somehow the preacher must be an Amos, and say, “Let justice roll down like waters and righteousness like a mighty stream.” Somehow, the preacher must say with Jesus, “The spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to deal with the problems of the poor.”

And I want to commend the preachers, under the leadership of these noble men: James Lawson, one who has been in this struggle for many years; he’s been to jail for struggling; but he’s still going on, fighting for the rights of his people. Rev. Ralph Jackson, Billy Kiles; I could just go right on down the list, but time will not permit. But I want to thank them all. And I want you to thank them, because so often, preachers aren’t concerned about anything but themselves. And I’m always happy to see a relevant ministry.

It’s all right to talk about “long white robes over yonder,” in all of its symbolism. But ultimately people want some suits and dresses and shoes to wear down here. It’s all right to talk about “streets flowing with milk and honey,” but God has commanded us to be concerned about the slums down here, and his children who can’t eat three square meals a day. It’s all right to talk about the new Jerusalem, but one day, God’s preachers must talk about the New York, the new Atlanta, the new Philadelphia, the new Los Angeles, the new Memphis, Tennessee. This is what we have to do.

Now the other thing we’ll have to do is this: Always anchor our external direct action with the power of economic withdrawal. Now, we are poor people, individually, we are poor when you compare us with white society in America. We are poor. Never stop and forget that collectively, that means all of us together, collectively we are richer than all the nations in the world, with the exception of nine. Did you ever think about that? After you leave the United States, Soviet Russia, Great Britain, West Germany, France, and I could name the others, the Negro collectively is richer than most nations of the world. We have an annual income of more than thirty billion dollars a year, which is more than all of the exports of the United States, and more than the national budget of Canada. Did you know that? That’s power right there, if we know how to pool it.

We don’t have to argue with anybody. We don’t have to curse and go around acting bad with our words. We don’t need any bricks and bottles, we don’t need any Molotov cocktails, we just need to go around to these stores, and to these massive industries in our country, and say, “God sent us by here, to say to you that you’re not treating his children right. And we’ve come by here to ask you to make the first item on your agenda fair treatment, where God’s children are concerned. Now, if you are not prepared to do that, we do have an agenda that we must follow. And our agenda calls for withdrawing economic support from you.”

And so, as a result of this, we are asking you tonight, to go out and tell your neighbors not to buy Coca-Cola in Memphis. Go by and tell them not to buy Sealtest milk. Tell them not to buy—what is the other bread?—Wonder Bread. And what is the other bread company, Jesse? Tell them not to buy Hart’s bread. As Jesse Jackson has said, up to now, only the garbage men have been feeling pain; now we must kind of redistribute the pain. We are choosing these companies because they haven’t been fair in their hiring policies; and we are choosing them because they can begin the process of saying, they are going to support the needs and the rights of these men who are on strike. And then they can move on downtown and tell Mayor Loeb to do what is right.

But not only that, we’ve got to strengthen black institutions. I call upon you to take your money out of the banks downtown and deposit your money in Tri-State Bank—we want a “bank-in” movement in Memphis. So go by the savings and loan association. I’m not asking you something we don’t do ourselves at SCLC. Judge Hooks and others will tell you that we have an account here in the savings and loan association from the Southern Christian Leadership Conference. We’re just telling you to follow what we’re doing. Put your money there. You have six or seven black insurance companies in Memphis. Take out your insurance there. We want to have an “insurance-in.”

Now these are some practical things we can do. We begin the process of building a greater economic base. And at the same time, we are putting pressure where it really hurts. I ask you to follow through here.

Now, let me say as I move to my conclusion that we’ve got to give ourselves to this struggle until the end. Nothing would be more tragic than to stop at this point, in Memphis. We’ve got to see it through. And when we have our march, you need to be there. Be concerned about your brother. You may not be on strike. But either we go up together, or we go down together.

Let us develop a kind of dangerous unselfishness. One day a man came to Jesus; and he wanted to raise some questions about some vital matters in life. At points, he wanted to trick Jesus, and show him that he knew a little more than Jesus knew, and through this, throw him off base. Now that question could have easily ended up in a philosophical and theological debate. But Jesus immediately pulled that question from mid-air, and placed it on a dangerous curve between Jerusalem and Jericho. And he talked about a certain man, who fell among thieves. You remember that a Levite and a priest passed by on the other side. They didn’t stop to help him. And finally a man of another race came by. He got down from his beast, decided not to be compassionate by proxy. But with him, administering first aid, and helped the man in need. Jesus ended up saying, this was the good man, this was the great man, because he had the capacity to project the “I” into the “thou,” and to be concerned about his brother. Now you know, we use our imagination a great deal to try to determine why the priest and the Levite didn’t stop. At times we say they were busy going to church meetings—an ecclesiastical gathering—and they had to get on down to Jerusalem so they wouldn’t be late for their meeting. At other times we would speculate that there was a religious law that “One who was engaged in religious ceremonials was not to touch a human body twenty-four hours before the ceremony.” And every now and then we begin to wonder whether maybe they were not going down to Jerusalem, or down to Jericho, rather to organize a “Jericho Road Improvement Association.” That’s a possibility. Maybe they felt that it was better to deal with the problem from the causal root, rather than to get bogged down with an individual effort.

But I’m going to tell you what my imagination tells me. It’s possible that these men were afraid. You see, the Jericho road is a dangerous road. I remember when Mrs. King and I were first in Jerusalem. We rented a car and drove from Jerusalem down to Jericho. And as soon as we got on that road, I said to my wife, “I can see why Jesus used this as a setting for his parable.” It’s a winding, meandering road. It’s really conducive for ambushing. You start out in Jerusalem, which is about 1200 miles, or rather 1200 feet above sea level. And by the time you get down to Jericho, fifteen or twenty minutes later, you’re about 2200 feet below sea level. That’s a dangerous road. In the days of Jesus it came to be known as the “Bloody Pass.” And you know, it’s possible that the priest and the Levite looked over that man on the ground and wondered if the robbers were still around. Or it’s possible that they felt that the man on the ground was merely faking. And he was acting like he had been robbed and hurt, in order to seize them over there, lure them there for quick and easy seizure. And so the first question that the Levite asked was, “If I stop to help this man, what will happen to me?” But then the Good Samaritan came by. And he reversed the question: “If I do not stop to help this man, what will happen to him?”

That’s the question before you tonight. Not, “If I stop to help the sanitation workers, what will happen to all of the hours that I usually spend in my office every day and every week as a pastor?” The question is not, “If I stop to help this man in need, what will happen to me?” “If I do not stop to help the sanitation workers, what will happen to them?” That’s the question.

Let us rise up tonight with a greater readiness. Let us stand with a greater determination. And let us move on in these powerful days, these days of challenge to make America what it ought to be. We have an opportunity to make America a better nation. And I want to thank God, once more, for allowing me to be here with you.

You know, several years ago, I was in New York City autographing the first book that I had written. And while sitting there autographing books, a demented black woman came up. The only question I heard from her was, “Are you Martin Luther King?”

And I was looking down writing, and I said yes. And the next minute I felt something beating on my chest. Before I knew it I had been stabbed by this demented woman. I was rushed to Harlem Hospital. It was a dark Saturday afternoon. And that blade had gone through, and the X-rays revealed that the tip of the blade was on the edge of my aorta, the main artery. And once that’s punctured, you drown in your own blood—that’s the end of you.

It came out in the New York Times the next morning, that if I had sneezed, I would have died. Well, about four days later, they allowed me, after the operation, after my chest had been opened, and the blade had been taken out, to move around in the wheel chair in the hospital. They allowed me to read some of the mail that came in, and from all over the states, and the world, kind letters came in. I read a few, but one of them I will never forget. I had received one from the President and the Vice-President. I’ve forgotten what those telegrams said. I’d received a visit and a letter from the Governor of New York, but I’ve forgotten what the letter said. But there was another letter that came from a little girl, a young girl who was a student at the White Plains High School. And I looked at that letter, and I’ll never forget it. It said simply, “Dear Dr. King: I am a ninth-grade student at the White Plains High School.” She said, “While it should not matter, I would like to mention that I am a white girl. I read in the paper of your misfortune, and of your suffering. And I read that if you had sneezed, you would have died. And I’m simply writing you to say that I’m so happy that you didn’t sneeze.”

And I want to say tonight, I want to say that I am happy that I didn’t sneeze. Because if I had sneezed, I wouldn’t have been around here in 1960, when students all over the South started sitting-in at lunch counters. And I knew that as they were sitting in, they were really standing up for the best in the American dream. And taking the whole nation back to those great wells of democracy which were dug deep by the Founding Fathers in the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution. If I had sneezed, I wouldn’t have been around in 1962, when Negroes in Albany, Georgia, decided to straighten their backs up. And whenever men and women straighten their backs up, they are going somewhere, because a man can’t ride your back unless it is bent. If I had sneezed, I wouldn’t have been here in 1963, when the black people of Birmingham, Alabama, aroused the conscience of this nation, and brought into being the Civil Rights Bill. If I had sneezed, I wouldn’t have had a chance later that year, in August, to try to tell America about a dream that I had had. If I had sneezed, I wouldn’t have been down in Selma, Alabama, been in Memphis to see the community rally around those brothers and sisters who are suffering. I’m so happy that I didn’t sneeze.

And they were telling me, now it doesn’t matter now. It really doesn’t matter what happens now. I left Atlanta this morning, and as we got started on the plane, there were six of us, the pilot said over the public address system, “We are sorry for the delay, but we have Dr. Martin Luther King on the plane. And to be sure that all of the bags were checked, and to be sure that nothing would be wrong with the plane, we had to check out everything carefully. And we’ve had the plane protected and guarded all night.”

And then I got to Memphis. And some began to say the threats, or talk about the threats that were out. What would happen to me from some of our sick white brothers?

Well, I don’t know what will happen now. We’ve got some difficult days ahead. But it doesn’t matter with me now. Because I’ve been to the mountaintop. And I don’t mind. Like anybody, I would like to live a long life. Longevity has its place. But I’m not concerned about that now. I just want to do God’s will. And He’s allowed me to go up to the mountain. And I’ve looked over. And I’ve seen the promised land. I may not get there with you. But I want you to know tonight, that we, as a people, will get to the promised land. And I’m happy, tonight. I’m not worried about anything. I’m not fearing any man. Mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord.

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Uncle Sam, Stop Spying On Me!

Currently raging in the news is the breach on the individual privacy. It has been leaked that the government has been tracking American phone calls and American conversations through phone (specifically Verizon) and internet services. A scandal has broken out where the government was allegedly tracking newspaper reporters’ phone calls. As one sees this pattern, one begins to see that our constitutional rights are being ignored- more namely, our right to privacy.

The fourth amendment- “The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.”

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What All This Spying Is Doing Essentially

Obviously, this amendment is bullshit to the the government. Tracking American phone calls…. that’s not a reasonable search… in fact those are  “unreasonable searches.” It’s not like all Verizon phone users are planning to destroy America. If they were, then yes, this tracking is reasonable and therefore constitutionally valid. But the fact its, that’s not the case. Same thing with the newspaper reporters. It’s not like they did anything illegal. So the reason for tracking their phone calls is “unreasonable” and therefore constitutionally invalid.

Now, before I go rambling on, let’s take the root of this. Why did all of this spying start in the first place? The answer is simple and infamous: the 9/11 terrorist attacks. Right at that moment, American government policy changed forever. Soon, airplane checks were more tight, the Department of Homeland Security was established, and agencies such as the CIA and the FBI were granted (unconstitutional) access to phone calls, private conversations, etc. All resulting from the fear of a terrorist attack happening again.

Now, seriously, America (or at least the government) has to stop being overdramatic. Yes, the 9/11 attacks were sad. Yes, they were horrible. But that doesn’t mean the American government can all of a sudden go crazy and take away all constitutional rights. It’s like a mother, after seeing her child being killed by a gangster, starting a full-scale program aimed at destroying all the gangs in the world, thinking she would be able to prevent anything like her child’s death from happening again.

Obviously, the mother won’t be able to truly destroy all the gangs in the world. Similarly, America can never eliminate terrorism and violence. Think about it: did all this spying and surveillance stop the Boston Marathon Bombings? No. The Newtown Tragedy? No. All the various other bombings/shootings that happened in America? No. Simply put, we have proof that this spying doesn’t work the way it’s supposed to be.

I also want to bring out Osama Bin Laden. Why did he initiate the 9/11 attacks in the first place? Because, he wanted to destroy American morale. To destroy the American spirit. He wanted America to suffer. He wanted America to not be  America anymore. Did he achieve these goals? So far, it seems so. How, you might ask?

Well, what does it mean to destroy America? Is it to actually explode the whole continent literally? If that was how Bin Laden thought of it, then he is one stupid guy to think just one terrorist attack would destroy a whole continent. So if this is not the case, then what is it? Well, what embodies America? What makes it different from other nations? The answer is that we have a constitution, we have rights that are actually recognized, and that those rights are actually respected. To destroy America, then, would mean to take away these rights.

Overall, this is perhaps what Bin Laden wanted. And it sure is coming true, given all this spying. That’s one right taken away- the right to privacy. In fact, other rights have been also been violated, too- the torture of terrorism supsects, the targeting of Muslim Americans, etc. Man, Bin Laden is sure cackling delightfully in his afterlife.

Of course, now the question is this: which is more important- constitutional rights or national security? Let’s compare the costs of these two, in general for America. Let’s say we lean to constitutional rights. There will perhaps be more terrorist attacks. But would you say terrorist attacks are that bad? For the individual, yes, but for America as a whole, I actually find it quite positive. I mean, look at the aftermath of 9/11. America saw a sense of patriotism that hadn’t been seen for a long time.

Now, what happens if we lean to national security? There will be more violations of constitutional rights. You might say what’s the big deal, but let me show you. Remember Hitler? During his rise to power, the legislature decreed that because of a national emergency of the various nations posing a threat to Germany, they would grant Hitler unprecedented power for four years, and he could overpower the constitution. Later, they extended that to four more years, then another four more years, but essentially it said that Hitler could do whatever he want for the rest of his time in office. In other words, Hitler could disavow all constitutional rights and do whatever he wanted. Now, we all know what happened: Hitler exploited this and Germany became the infamous Nazi Germany and the national emergency was all an excuse.

This is reminding me of America’s current situation. Because of a the 9/11 national emergency, the government could be granted unprecedented power over the constitution, such as spying on private conversations, torturing terrorist prisoners, etc. If we continue on this trend, it is possible that more rights will be disavowed, and perhaps even the whole constitution, all because of a national emergency. Politicians will exploit this so-called national emergency to encroach on more rights so they can have more power. America might even become an authoritarian state like Nazi Germany- in other words, sort of like a police state, in which all citizens are being watched and have to do what the government constrains them to do. I don’t know about you, but I don’t want America to be like Nazi Germany. To me, the costs of this is much more serious than the costs of a few terrorist attacks. Because America won’t be America anymore.

Overall, leaning to constitutional rights is perhaps the better decision. If we lean the other way, then Bin Laden has won.

Republicans & Gay Marriage

Something big is about to happen in America. Something that will change American society forever. Just now, the Supreme Court of the United States has decided to take in the case of gay marriage. Its desicion can declare whether gay marriage is constitutional, unconstitutional, or the court can in fact avoid ruling on it at all. But even it does, it will still have an impact on America. So now society is bitterly divided again: one for gay marriage, the other anti-gay. In other words, one Democrat, and the other Republican, respectively. And the Democrats have the upper-hand on this one.

Now, I’m not saying here that I’m being stereotypical about the parties. Yes, I do know that some Republicans are pro-gay (such as Portman) and that some Dems are anti-gay. But the fact is that the general GOP is anti-gay and the general Democrat Party is pro-gay.

And again, the Dems have the upper-hand on this. In other words, the GOP is on the wrong side of the table. Why? First of all, in order for the GOP to be anything of a notable party, it has to win elections. And it especially has to win presidential elections at least once in a while. The problem? More and more young people are becoming pro-gay, or at least more tolerant of gays. The fact that the GOP is pushing against this tide is not a good sign for them, as that will mean less young voters for them. Yes, the Grand Old Party does have an advantage among old people, but so what? These old voters are all gonna die off soon and won’t be hanging around much longer.

So what makes the GOP less attractive to young voters  than Dems? This leads to the second problem of the GOP- it is too religion-based. It seems almost as if the Christian religion has become a policy of the Republicans, and perhaps the reason for this is that the GOP is based primarily on its evangelical base. Think about it- anti-abortion, anti-gay, all of these positions are mostly Christian ones. You might think this is going to attract Christian youth, but hey, I’m a Christian youth and I don’t like the GOP. Look, I love the Christian religion, but I hate it when Christianity gets into politics. And that is what exactly the GOP is doing here. So it seems that this evangelical base is the problem- the GOP, in order to survive, will have to change a few positions without alienating their evangelical base. But that’s going to be a really hard thing, which leads to…

Rob Portman

The third problem- the GOP is just simply too conservative. Or perhaps another better word- stubborn. Especially the hard-core Republican evangelical base. Again, look at Rob Portman. After having realized his own son as gay, he then decided to become pro-gay. My first thought was that his own party would help him come through this hard realization. But what did the GOP do? Why, they shunned him! He wasn’t invited into CPAC; in fact, he was viewed as a traitor! Man, that is one stubborn case right there. Perhaps the only thing that will move this base is if each and every one of their sons became gay. In other words, they need personal experiences.

So these three problems I have mentioned are big damn problems. So what has the GOP resorted to doing? Making lame comebacks saying why gay marriage is bad. One popular reason they say- will, it’s simply just immoral, according to the Bible. Okay, look, I don’t like it when Christianity is involved with politics. Oh yeah, by the way, not everybody’s Christian. Nice try with that reason. And by saying that something’s simply immoral is not enough. I need more to be convinced.

Another lame comeback- A Supreme Court decision in favor of gay marriage will “forever sever the ties between marriage and children” and discourage heterosexual couples from marrying. Yes, those are the same exact words in which Republicans have said it. Either the GOP has become so desperate or so insane that they came up with this lame reason. Hello, but the logic doesn’t make sense. Just because the Supreme Court says gay marriage is constitutional does not mean all of a sudden I will become gay myself. I will still remain heterosexual, whether gay marriage is approved or not. And I’m pretty sure tons of heterosexual couples will still keep on marrying.

There are much more other lame combacks from the GOP, but for now, I will not post anymore. The last straw of anti-gayness that the GOP has been holding on to is that the federal court is overreaching into the gay marriage case. In other words, the government is getting too involved. To me, this sounds like the GOP is wimpering this because they know they will lose. Is the federal court truly overreaching? I think that now is the perfect time to settle this case. I think gay marriage truly is a constitutional issue, because a fair amount of discrimination is being involved here. Now is the time to settle gay marriage, and put an end to the bickering between anti-gays and pro-gays. Just like the Supreme Court ended the civil rights issue by putting once and for all that blacks are equals, so should it do the same for gays. Because I believe this pro-gay movement is a civil rights movement, a movement demanding equality for all, regardless of sexual orientation. And to the GOP- good luck, because they’ll need it.

Racism Will Always Exist And Our Need To Embrace It

One of the most touchy subjects, especially in America, is the subject of race. Ever since the beginning of civilization, racism existed. Yet, gradually, reforms were being made. First came the abolishing of  slavery in many nations, and next came civil rights movements across the world, including Africa and America. The result from all these civil rights leaders was a theoretically color-blind society.

Many of these leaders, such as Martin Luther King, called for an end to racism and to discrimination. Yes, these goals were good and had high morality, yet there is one problem: the society we live in today is not an Utopian society. Racism will always exist, and exists to even this very day. Many optimistic people might believe that this is not the case, but let me point out a few examples.

One minor example happened in my class this morning, in which my history teacher was white and most of my classmates were Asian. We were talking about World War II, when all of a sudden one of my classmates, (let’s call him Evan) made a funny face. My history teacher told him to stop making that funny face. Soon after, another Asian classmate (call him Chang) made the comment that he looked like an Asian with his narrow eyes. I was thinking that if the history teacher had made that comment, he would have been in big trouble. However, Chang was able to comment as such simply because he was Asian himself. Why, I thought, this is not fair. Either everybody can’t make that comment, or everybody can. The fact that certain people can make certain type of racist comments just shows how society is still concerned with race. In a sense, this is racism- we are differentiating between the races.

Travyon Martin (right) and George Zimmerman

Perhaps a better example is the Travyon Martin case. Just because a half-white guy (George Zimmerman) shot an African-American doesn’t mean that the shooter is a racist. Yet, sadly, the media and many people are portraying him as such. Why so? Perhaps because society notices these differences in the race of the victim and the race of the offender, and so the stereotypical situation arises, in which whenever a white shoots a black, the white is a black-hater. As a result, a big irony comes out- in the process of society trying to portray Zimmerman as a racist, society becomes racist itself.

The best example I have seen is the elections, specifically the 2012 presidential elections. Many, more than many times have I seen the media talking about Latinos for Obama, women for Obama, white males for Romney, blah, blah, blah, etc. It may be a fact that there are more Latinos rooting for Obama, but isn’t this supposed to be a color-blind society? Aren’t we supposed to not classify voters based on their race, and in some cases gender? Isn’t this how it’s supposed to be?

Again, this goes back to my statement that we are not living in an Utopian society. Racism will always exist, because it is inevitable that we notice the difference of skin color between different people. So what do we do now? Rather than see all racism as bad, we have to embrace it. Not embracing the intolerance sort of racism, such as hating all Asians. Nor the racism encountered in the Travyon Martin case. Rather, society should embrace the differences. Let it be okay for a white man to make an Asian race comment, as long as it is not demeaning to Asians. Let it be okay to classify voters based on ethnicity. Let us consider all of us racists, and let us consider that a good trait, for by noticing the differences between race is one exposed to the incredible diversity of society. Racism is not always a bad thing. In fact, it is perhaps necessary for a good, diverse society.

A Civil Rights Story

Hello everybody. Today America celebrates Martin Luther King Jr. Day. However, I have one objection to make: I don’t like the name. It’s not I don’t like the holiday, but that I think it misrepresents the civil rights movement. The civil rights movement for racial equality was not just only about Martin Luther King. Maybe it is true that he made perhaps the biggest sacrifice, but there were other African Americans and minorities as well that also sacrificed their well-being for the greater good. If I could, I would change this holiday into being called “Civil Rights Day.”

Basically, there are much more stories out there besides MLK’s. One story I found in the Los Angeles Times. It was an obituary on an African-American who has died just last Thursday, by the name of James A. Hood. Everybody has heard of Martin Luther King and Rosa Parks, but yet this man is equally important to the Civil Rights Movement and should be honored on equal measures too.

If you don’t recall this in your history class, James Hood was one of two black students who were blocked from entering the University of Alabama by infamous Governor Wallace. President Kennedy had to send armed troops to let them enter in, and it quickly became an important civil rights topic.

Read the LA Times obituary on James Hood here: James A Hood Obituary. (click link)

I don’t know why, but I feel touched by this story. Despite Governor Wallace being a racist and despite James being prevented from enrolling by him, they later had a long-lasting friendship. This is perhaps representative of the American Dream- where two people, once split by their skin color and by their attitudes, eventually become friends and can mingle with one another. As in the quotes of Martin Luther King, “I have a dream that one day the state of Alabama, whose governor’s lips are presently dripping with the words of interposition and nullification, will be transformed into a situation where little black boys and black girls will be able to join hands with little white boys and white girls and walk together as sisters and brothers.” What a beautiful picture. Anyway, happy…

P.S. Note that the “governor” MLK was referring too was actually Governor Wallace himself.