My uncle, Martin Luther King Jr., believed deeply in the promise of the American Dream. We can make it happen
With 2022 now in the rearview mirror, 2023 is already ablaze with celebrations and controversy. Last week, as I looked ahead to the annual Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday and March for Life events, I had to admit that the election of a new Speaker of the House is a breath of fresh air.
At the end of the day, only God knows what lies ahead for America. Where peripherals collide, convergence is imminent — and the new year gives us an opportunity to reflect on that truth and reorient ourselves to God.
One thing is certain: We should all add more prayer to our agendas. We must worship God first and foremost; then, and only then, can we act accordingly.
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The March for Life and the Martin Luther King holiday are bookmarked on America’s calendar every year. With the Supreme Court’s decision in Dobbs v. Jackson’s Women’s Health Organization last year, standing firm at the state level in defense of the sanctity of life and against the radical late-term abortion proposals of the Left is more important than ever.
Meanwhile, this August will mark 60 years since my uncle stood on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial and delivered his famed “I Have a Dream” speech, which opened the nation’s eyes and presented a vision of unity, peace, and hope to an intensely divided people.
One line always stands out to me. In his address, he said that “when the architects of our republic wrote the magnificent words of the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence, they were signing a promissory note to which every American was to fall heir.”
My uncle went on to declare this note was a promise “that all men [meaning all people] — yes, Black men as well as white men — would be guaranteed the unalienable rights of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.”
During his lifetime, as I was growing up, I could see firsthand how deeply my uncle truly believed in the promise of the American Dream. He did not believe our nation was irredeemably stained by racism and prejudice; instead, he laid out a vision where people could come together under our shared values and pursue one American Dream.
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Of course, we have never fully reached this vision. After all, truth must be upheld, and victory must be won anew in every generation. Yet, my uncle’s dream of a nation where people are not “judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character” is undoubtedly r than it was before.
American Civil Rights leader Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. (1929 – 1968) speaks at a rally held at the Robert Taylor Houses in Chicago, Illinois, 1960s.
( Robert Abbott Sengstacke/Getty Images)
We as a people have made enormous progress in uniting behind one shared American Dream where values — not race — come first. And thankfully, we are finally recognizing that the human race transcends racial categories, as well all share common ancestry going back to the birth of mankind. It’s a spiritual and scientific fact that humanity is one blood/one human race.
That’s part of the reason it is so horrifying to see so much of the progress we have made get rolled back in front of our very eyes and the American Dream becoming impossible for so many.
The Biden administration has abandoned the policies that led to spectacular growth and prosperity from 2017–2019 when income growth hit record highs and poverty rates across all demographics hit all-time lows. Instead, the Biden administration has blindly pursued a left-wing ideological agenda that has given us decades-high inflation, skyrocketing gas prices, a crisis at the southern border, increasingly out-of-reach homeownership, failing public schools, and abortion radicalism that disproportionately targets minority communities.
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On the other hand, when our nation had America First leadership in the White House, we had leaders who put the uplift of forgotten communities first and a policy platform that delivered. From new investments into impoverished communities through Opportunity Zones, to the First Step Act’s historic criminal justice reform, to record-lows for unemployment for minority groups, to increased funding for Historically Black Colleges and Universities, and an embrace of school choice, we saw the sort of policies that worked — and can work again.
This embrace of freedom, and the ability for every individual to pursue the American Dream, is the sort of vision that can both deliver for the Black community and unite the nation.
In my mind, when we unite as one people behind a shared understanding of the American Dream, there is no room left in our hearts for prejudice.
Let’s embrace the truth that we are the one-blood human race. Our nation can never be strong, great, or independent when it fails to uphold the dignity of all God’s children, from the womb to the tomb and beyond.
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This is the blueprint for making the American Dream accessible to every citizen today, and this is the vision we need from our leadership to unite as one people. Then, and only then, can my uncle’s dream be fully realized in every generation as we embrace life and human dignity from the womb to the tomb.
Then we can join hands and sing the words my uncle proclaimed from the steps of the Lincoln Memorial nearly 60 years ago: “Free at last, free at last. Thank God almighty, we are free at last.”
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