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'Dream' words misused, Minorities still abused

by Melanie Eversley, Marcus Franklin Friday, Aug. 29, 2003 at 4:44 PM

King's son lamented the deliberate twisting of his father famous speech -- renews nationwide effort to address inequality including a suspicious hanging in Florida

'Dream' words misuse...
dream_dc.jpg, image/jpeg, 200x265

'Dream' words misused, King says

Melanie Eversley, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, August 29, 2003

WASHINGTON -- Forty years to the day after the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. laid out his dream for America, the son of the civil rights leader admonished people who use King's words to advance causes he said King would not have supported.

Martin Luther King III, president of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, said he is offended when opponents of affirmative action quote the line from his father's "I Have a Dream" speech that Americans should be judged "not by the color of their skin but by the content of their character." His father delivered the speech at the culmination of the Aug. 28, 1963, March on Washington.

The younger King made the comments in a news conference at the National Press Club in Washington, where he spoke about his father's legacy and where America stands in terms of civil rights.

"In recent years, I confess that I personally have gotten pretty annoyed when opportunistic politicians have attempted to twist the meaning of some of the words of my father's, particularly in the 'I Have a Dream' speech, to fit their political agendas," King told reporters.

"You really just can't take a part of that vision," he said. "You must embrace the entire vision to understand who he was and what he envisioned and what he felt could make our nation and our world a better place for all of God's children."

King was joined by the Rev. Walter Fauntroy, a former District of Columbia congressman who helped organize the original March on Washington; activist Dick Gregory; and the Rev. E. Randel Osburn, executive vice president of the SCLC. All are part of the new "Coalition of Conscience" that King has helped organize since last Saturday's commemoration in Washington of the 40th anniversary of the march.

On Thursday, the coalition launched a 15-month "rolling mobilization" in which it will visit cities that have experienced racial tension, beginning with Cincinnati, where African-Americans and police have clashed.

In mid-September, the group plans to visit Belle Glade, Fla., where local authorities ruled an African-American man's hanging as a suicide, though others suspected foul play.

Fauntroy also announced that the coalition is moving toward ensuring that as many people as possible register to vote on Jan. 15 as a present to the late King on his birthday


Hanging awakens ghosts of past

Marcus Franklin, St. Petersburg Times, August 28, 2003

A black man's death has split Belle Glade along racial lines. While an inquest ruled it suicide, many contend he was lynched.

BELLE GLADE - The tale bears elements of another era: a black man's death by hanging, rumors of intimacy between him and a white woman, and palpable racial tension and distrust.

But the setting is not Jim Crow Mississippi. It's this modern-day Everglades farming town of 15,000 on the southern shore of Lake Okeechobee in western Palm Beach County.

The first spark flared one rainy morning in May when Bernice Golden found her 32-year-old son hanging from a schefflera tree in the expansive yard outside his grandparents' home.

After the medical examiner ruled Feraris S. "Ray" Golden's death a suicide, after investigators insisted no evidence of foul play turned up and after a circuit judge took the extraordinary step of holding a public inquest and concluded Golden killed himself, some still refuse to accept the official version.

Insisting police botched the investigation, they leave room for the possibility that someone lynched Golden, that his 5-foot 6-inch, 131-pound body became, in the words of singer Billie Holiday, strange fruit.

Three months later, Golden's death and the outcry that followed have crystallized divisions among Belle Glade residents, largely along racial lines. With some exceptions, black and white residents have retreated into two visible camps: The former, suspicious of a nearly all-white Police Department, believes Golden could have been lynched, possibly for dating a white policeman's daughter. The latter thinks Golden committed suicide and that should be the end of it.

A black state representative has called for the resignation of the city's white public safety director. A white city commissioner called the representative an outsider, prompting comparisons to segregationists who used the word to deride civil rights activists. The public safety director has accused some of exploiting the issue for political gain. Now, agencies outside Belle Glade, including the FBI and the U.S. Civil Rights Commission, are investigating.

The events also have lifted the cover of calm off the city's stark racial disparities....


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Listed below are the 10 latest comments of 53 posted about this article.
These comments are anonymously submitted by the website visitors.
Nightmare Karlos Friday, Aug. 29, 2003 at 7:46 PM
So, Sally can wait N. Gallagher Friday, Aug. 29, 2003 at 8:01 PM
Sherman's mum Sherman's mum Friday, Aug. 29, 2003 at 8:09 PM
Is he dead then? Jess Wunderin' Friday, Aug. 29, 2003 at 8:33 PM
I'M dead nonanarchist Saturday, Aug. 30, 2003 at 5:00 AM
fake nonanarchist nonanarchist Saturday, Aug. 30, 2003 at 5:02 AM
nonanarchist Scottie Saturday, Aug. 30, 2003 at 5:08 AM
fake Scottie nonanarchist Saturday, Aug. 30, 2003 at 6:12 AM
nonanarchist Scottie Saturday, Aug. 30, 2003 at 6:59 AM
MLK, Jr dreams Saturday, Aug. 30, 2003 at 10:15 AM
OneEyedMan KPC Saturday, Aug. 30, 2003 at 1:41 PM
That's an interesting interpretation, KPC. nonanarchist Saturday, Aug. 30, 2003 at 4:14 PM
i am the smartest of them all non anarchist brain Saturday, Aug. 30, 2003 at 4:51 PM
Not at all, non anarchist brain. nonanarchist Saturday, Aug. 30, 2003 at 5:10 PM
King never confused the Dream with American reality Paul Rockwell Saturday, Aug. 30, 2003 at 7:09 PM
MLK Jr chico Sunday, Aug. 31, 2003 at 6:16 PM
Quotes from MLK Martin Luther King Jr Sunday, Aug. 31, 2003 at 6:38 PM
And another thing... Martin Luther King Jr. Sunday, Aug. 31, 2003 at 6:40 PM
King sdjljsdh Monday, Sep. 01, 2003 at 2:46 AM
Killing The Dream 1984IShere Monday, Sep. 01, 2003 at 10:42 AM
MLK dream was Affirmative Action for whites merit and "character" for eveybody e White flight = white theft Monday, Sep. 01, 2003 at 11:53 AM
Forget the dream, I'll take the nightmare White flight = white theft Monday, Sep. 01, 2003 at 12:09 PM
white flight nonanarchist Monday, Sep. 01, 2003 at 1:44 PM
The Dream Was Dead Before It Was Even Conceived sj;lfjsdj Monday, Sep. 01, 2003 at 2:34 PM
nonanarchist White flight = white theft Monday, Sep. 01, 2003 at 3:03 PM
sj;lfjsdj White flight = white theft Monday, Sep. 01, 2003 at 3:32 PM
white = sdfklsafkl Monday, Sep. 01, 2003 at 5:18 PM
White flight = white theft just wondering Monday, Sep. 01, 2003 at 6:00 PM
DR. Most Rite Reverend K. Fremont Monday, Sep. 01, 2003 at 6:19 PM
sdfklsafkl White flight = white theft Monday, Sep. 01, 2003 at 6:33 PM
nonanarchist/sdfklsafkl/just wondering White flight = white theft Monday, Sep. 01, 2003 at 7:23 PM
white= jflksdjfk Tuesday, Sep. 02, 2003 at 2:53 AM
white= just wondering Tuesday, Sep. 02, 2003 at 3:04 AM
All right, white flight... nonanarchist Tuesday, Sep. 02, 2003 at 9:07 AM
jflksdjfk/just wondering/nonanarchist White flight = white theft Tuesday, Sep. 02, 2003 at 11:35 AM
White flight nonanarchist Tuesday, Sep. 02, 2003 at 2:25 PM
white+ sdflkjffl Tuesday, Sep. 02, 2003 at 2:36 PM
white flight=white theft Leroy Tuesday, Sep. 02, 2003 at 3:22 PM
^ White flight = white theft Wednesday, Sep. 03, 2003 at 1:08 PM
^ sdflkjffl Wednesday, Sep. 03, 2003 at 1:14 PM
Yeah, I'm getting bored with your... nonanarchist Wednesday, Sep. 03, 2003 at 1:26 PM
OneEyedMan KPC Wednesday, Sep. 03, 2003 at 1:33 PM
"Lying shit"? nonanarchist Wednesday, Sep. 03, 2003 at 1:39 PM
OneEyedMan KPC Wednesday, Sep. 03, 2003 at 1:47 PM
Well, then... nonanarchist Wednesday, Sep. 03, 2003 at 2:30 PM
white = sdlkfjks Wednesday, Sep. 03, 2003 at 2:42 PM
OneEyedMan KPC Wednesday, Sep. 03, 2003 at 3:28 PM
Bobby Kennedy who ordered Hoover to spy on King history buff Wednesday, Sep. 03, 2003 at 3:54 PM
well, of course Sheepdog Thursday, Sep. 04, 2003 at 4:23 AM
Burden of Proof Burden of Proof Thursday, Sep. 04, 2003 at 1:25 PM
^ sdlkfjks Thursday, Sep. 04, 2003 at 1:41 PM

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