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Celebrating Martin Luther King, Jr.

By Tony Lee, host of the Tony Lee Show KNZR | 1560AM | 97.7FM



Tony Lee explores with us the most famous of Dr. King’s speeches that includes, “I have a dream…”. Please be thinking about the many implications of the “Dream” speech for the 21st century. Has the dream been realized? Why or why not? What are we called to do to realize King’s dream today? Has the concept of “white privilege” raised our awareness? Many questions we can ask and be ready to explore.
Transcript:
10:41:47 Well, thank you. You know, every time I come here a couple of things happen.
10:41:54 You know one I get to see some faces I've seen before, and people that I've come to really love and treasure.
10:42:01 So it's really a pleasure. And it reminds me, you know, the times they get out there in the world, and I kind of feel like we're going to, you nowhere in a handbasket.
10:42:13 But you guys always remind me that there are some good folks in the world.
10:42:19 I'm very grateful for that
10:42:23 60 years. That's a long time
10:42:29 And 60 years ago this congregation was founded.
10:42:36 Yeah.
10:42:38 63. Honest of 63. A lot of things were happening.
10:42:48 American truths were in love in Cambodia, trying to assist you.
10:42:58 Startling Communist forces from taking over that country. It was what later became known as the Vietnam War.
10:43:10 I was part of that campaign. I was in the U. S.
10:43:14 Navy at the time, and to believe so. The navy way of saying, we go on vacation, and I was visiting my parents, my grandparents, who had moved to Los Angeles a lot of stuff was happening.
10:43:33 There was a guy, a preacher, Atlanta, Georgia, in August, 1963, and he went to Washington.
10:43:44 He went to Washington, DC. To give speech. He was talking about the labor issues where people of my Eraage people, a lot of folks week for them.
10:43:57 We got all kinds of names where African Americans were. Blacks it's almost like a Highness.
10:44:03 57. Theirs. Whatever you choose to call us, I guess.
10:44:07 But you know, these guys were having problems with labor. They couldn't get jobs when they got jobs.
10:44:14 They couldn't get the same benefits that people who happen to be white could get.
10:44:20 They were just all kinds of issues. So this guy is preaching decided he was going to go through his support to all of the Americans of African descent in Washington, DC.
10:44:33 And all across the country to try and demand that things got better.
10:44:39 Things changed, and the more equality took place
10:44:44 There were 260,000 people listening to his speech.
10:44:51 Yes, sizable number
10:44:57 That preacher's name was Michael King, Junior, Jr. Because his father's name was Michael King as well.
10:45:08 Michael King's senior, also Richard
10:45:13 And it stayed that way for one while. This kid Michael, he was 28 years old before somebody finally realized oops.
10:45:26 We made a mistake. So they went down to the bureau of Records.
10:45:30 They got a big PIN and black gang they scratched out the name.
10:45:37 Michael, because it wasn't the right name. They put on his birth certificate, and they wrote in Martin Luther, okay, shoot your
10:45:52 He had a dream, he said, that's what he told these thousands of people that had come out to see him.
10:45:59 He said he had a short
10:46:04 Gonna tell you the whole speech you've heard of probably heard it more than I have.
10:46:08 When he talked about this dream, that he had, and one of the things he said is that someday he was dreaming of this time, where people were no longer judged by the color of their skin.
10:46:24 But there would be judged by the contents of their heart
10:46:30 Now these were the days when there were places, people who looked like me could not live.
10:46:38 We don't have to live in certain other neighborhoods, it doesn't matter how much money you might have had.
10:46:44 You just couldn't live in that neighborhood. There were places we couldn't go.
10:46:49 There were restaurants we could not eat in when we took a trip when my folks drove from Texas to Chicago we couldn't go into the restaurants along the way we had to fry chicken or something that would stay good for 3 or 4 days, and drive over in a
10:47:12 Farmer's field and start and have a bite to eat.
10:47:15 One of the chicken that we brought potato salad and if you had to go to the bathroom while that same Farmer Speed was about the best we could get, you could not go to the local restaurants or to the hotels or to the gas stations and use the restrooms in fact if you
10:47:33 Drove through a town that had a restroom. They had to one, said White.
10:47:40 The others had collared. People like me could only go into the one that set of color same thing.
10:47:46 If you went to the movie theaters. There was an entrance around, back and down at the bottom for those of us who were black.
10:47:53 We had to use the one that set colored, and we had to sit in the balcony.
10:47:58 Couldn't sit down. The mean audience with everyone else. If one's swimming in the summer it can be a 100 gazillion degrees out there.
10:48:07 But you've got to find a pool that says color.
10:48:10 We couldn't swim in the same water with people who were not black.
10:48:15 If you go to the beach the same thing happened. You couldn't call it the same end of the beach.
10:48:20 Where white folks went got to go to the beams that says Collar, and that was all.
10:48:26 Across the country. But most of the prevalent in the South, and you get into places like Chicago and New York.
10:48:33 There were areas where things were beginning to change. But in 1,963, many of us are old enough to remember.
10:48:42 Things were not good. So that's why this preacher, Martin Luther King that's why he had a dream.
10:48:52 He wanted us to someday come out of that, and someday come to the point where we can set shoulder to shoulder, armed in our our kids can play together
10:49:04 You know. Sometimes I live through those happy birthday. I'm trying to catch up with you
10:49:16 Sure that's a horrible thing to say, because the truth is, I think I'm older than you way older
10:49:21 But you know, I may be gonna be in here in a couple of days.
10:49:27 Couple of I don't know what a month or something like that, and so I remember those days.
10:49:33 I remember those signs. I remember the first television set, my family got, and we were looking at TV, and they had a contest and we didn't have Google.
10:49:47 You couldn't Google stuff back. Then we had the Encyclopedia Britannica.
10:49:52 We had the world Book Encyclopedia. So there was something you wanted to know.
10:49:58 You'd have to go to these books to these encyclopedias to find it, and they ask a question on this television program that we were watching.
10:50:05 And I had the answer, because I got the inscyclopedia birth Aga.
10:50:09 So I got the answer. I called him up on the phone and I said, Here's the answer to that question.
10:50:14 They said, You're right. You now have one, a membership in our wonderful established exercise.
10:50:24 Love well, I was a skinny little kid. I could use that.
10:50:29 You know, so I probably hopped on the city bus and went on Devon there to get my membership started and drew a little exercising, and I got to the door, and the guy says, what the heck are you?
10:50:41 So I told him. I'm the kid that just won your contest.
10:50:46 This is for white folks. You can't come in here.
10:50:50 Okay, so I lost out on that one. So at 8 years old I had my first run in with that sort of thinking.
10:51:01 You know they're thinking that there's some inherent difference between people who are white and people who are black.
10:51:09 And this was before I had the pleasure of hearing Martin Luther King's speak.
10:51:15 When I did hear that speech about his dreaming. That's one heck of a dream.
10:51:23 But I couldn't see whether or not I mean I was a little kid.
10:51:27 I didn't know if that could ever happen. I had never seen it.
10:51:30 I was still used to seeing the news reports of blacks from being home, from trees like strange fruit.
10:51:40 Being police by pretty much anybody else wanted
10:51:45 Being, you know, just sort of excluded from pretty well everything that there was that one wanted to be part of it. That's what I was accustomed to, because I was born and raised in the South.
10:52:00 Where that sort of thing was very, very prevalent. So when Mountain Luther King talked about having a dream, when I thought of an animal man, if only that could happen!
10:52:11 If only that could really be the world that we live in, where we're all equal, and I can go anywhere.
10:52:16 You can go. I can do any of the things you can do I thought that would be wonderful.
10:52:24 Well, today, 60 years downstream, I think we have to look back and ask ourselves, where is the dream? Today?
10:52:38 You know, we've talked a lot about white privilege the last time I had the honor and privilege of coming here.
10:52:44 That was what we talked about, trying to understand what is white privilege, because there are people that say, Well, I'm like not privileged.
10:52:53 I still have to get up more. My folks were just dirt poor, with merely hit breakfast every morning.
10:53:00 I don't have a privilege. Well, you have the room, not have to worry about me unleashed, getting beat up by a bunch of teenagers that just want to go out and beat somebody up, and so let's go to the black neighborhood and get some of those people I mean there are
10:53:19 Things that people don't have to think about don't have to worry about, and that's a privilege to not have to worry about those things, to go to any swelling pool.
10:53:29 You want. You go to any movie theater you want any restaurant you want.
10:53:33 Then nobody can tell you. Don't come in here because of your father.
10:53:36 Well, of course there are laws now that prevent that sort of thing.
10:53:41 So things have gotten some change. But the question based on what Dr.
10:53:45 Martin Luther King said, I have a dream. The question is, are we still dreaming?
10:53:53 Are with sleep. Did we realize that dream? So it's no longer necessary
10:54:02 Did we climb to ourselves in a Utopia. As a result of it?
10:54:09 Or did that dream turn into a nightmare in some areas in some ways
10:54:15 We can look at the problem from so many different angles.
10:54:20 Any way we want any day of the week. But what I came to do today was not to to teach, to preach.
10:54:29 I really didn't come for that. What I came to do here today is to learn from you.
10:54:37 I would like to know from you for you to actually yell it out and tell me, where do you think we are?
10:54:46 Because I do believe each and every one of us walking on the earth today, especially here in the United States of America. I will.
10:54:54 We all have not only the option to do something about whatever we see that's wrong in our world to face it to help change it, but we have the obligation to do that, and those of us who are older.
10:55:13 You know, I'm like 3 days older than dirt, so I guess I'm one of those guys.
10:55:18 It's our obligation to teach our young people coming up because isn't that how racism started?
10:55:25 Didn't it start with the older people teaching the young people oh, no, you can't be that Guy's friend.
10:55:31 You have to hate that guy. He's less than you.
10:55:34 We taught people to be racist? Can we teach them?
10:55:39 Can we teach young people something that are something different? I think, no matter who we are, have kids or not, we have friends, we have neighbors the way we act in the world in which we live teaches people, something about us, and people will either say I want to be like that.
10:55:58 Or they're going to say I don't want to be like him either way.
10:56:03 We're teaching as we go through our lives. So it's up to us to decide how that we want to live our lives.
10:56:11 What lesson will we give to those around us? What will we teach to those who see us encounter us?
10:56:19 Talk with us, work with us, play with us. What are we going to say to them by what we do and what we say, by what we do?
10:56:27 So I want to ask you guys, and I would like for you to tell me, because there may be things that I missed somewhere along the way.
10:56:33 I'm sure there are. What are the problems that we face today? Did that come up against Martin Luther King's
10:56:43 The things where we are not yet looking at a person, and judging them by the content of their heart.
10:56:53 And not by the color of their skin. Could anybody tell me that I mean just anything that you've seen, that you've heard and even something that we may have inadvertently done.
10:57:08 That doesn't give the message we really want to give, because we just weren't thinking right at that time.
10:57:14 But what things can we change? And I'm sure you guys all know something.
10:57:18 But I just want to get it back from you. I want to hear from you.
10:57:22 What can we change? We're are the problems today. Does anybody have any thoughts
10:57:32 Yes, implicit bias, the model
10:57:39 Is there? It is there
10:57:42 White for drill, for agility, you know, white people is so defensive when we talk about race, I have the honored privilege of being a superior court judge, and I see it myself in the courtroom of the Home court staff anytime the issue of race comes up oh, my God I can't be
10:58:04 Racist. How could you say that about me? They jump up on their eyewitness to give real defensive.
10:58:11 They tell, people can just sit and listen to somebody else's story I just feel like we're not getting there.
10:58:19 What is that statue about? There's a statue of a one with a scale which is a blindfold what's the blindfold?
10:58:29 All the time
10:58:36 No, but that's see it a lot a lot with white people with an issue of race or races of discrimination or anti-semitism.
10:58:50 It doesn't matter what the issue is whatever it's something like that.
10:58:55 I just don't think white people are at a point where they will listen.
10:58:58 Something I really see. Can you, can anyone suggest why? That is because you're right, I think.
10:59:04 And I think also, it's on the black side as well, because I think black people also have a mindset in many cases, and that mindset present prevents them from really looking at the other person or at the issue.
10:59:19 And separating the color of that person's skin. So it's not just whites.
10:59:24 We have that kind of thought. It is also those of us who are black, just sort of I'm a good person.
10:59:37 They're not yeah. Which goes back to Nancy's thought about the idea that there's an issue between police as well.
10:59:45 Yes, ma'am, I think a lot of it has to do with just are implementing.
10:59:52 Naturally inclinations and otherwise. So if we can blame another group problems, that this place is our own personal
11:00:07 Yes, but I look at the polarization in the way books that we think either my way of the highway often is the monster that the initial and we're unconscious of that.
11:00:23 My way's got to be the right one, and when it and the inability to stop and listen carefully and and love the person just because there is really tough especially if they're saying all the things you don't funny here and you've got your opinion on what is right I have to say to myself
11:00:48 Frequently. Oh, darn the world, according to Saint Karen, is
11:00:56 Yeah. An equity months just impoverished people across the board.
11:01:05 But you see higher levels of braces in the porous white folks.
11:01:13 It's like a fight over monetary. And so it's easier to blame other people when you don't feel like your needs are met almost like a very primal reaction to not having enough, because all the wealth in this country is really segregated that a very small personage and they are
11:01:36 And someone over a good point, I guess I've heard that there's still a problem with a person fills out an apple.
11:01:50 If their name looks like they might be a black person, yeah, no, they suddenly can't.
11:01:55 Get a rental before a jogger for them to buy a house.
11:02:03 These sorts of things. That's what they used to call redlining.
11:02:07 I mean, there were certain places that the realtors were not allowed to show when a black person came in.
11:02:14 Yeah, they were on to show it, or if you call like you said they would say, I'm sorry we don't have anything available in that neighborhood.
11:02:20 Yeah. And someone else said, Yes, please.
11:02:27 Not going to live
11:02:32 Yeah, some of these things. All of them are people.
11:02:38 And all the prejudices were brought out. Another thing he was done, but and you have some other other things
11:02:54 For that. Again a reminder kind of talk about a reminder.
11:02:59 And we need a reminder that it's forever, you know.
11:03:02 So, but that leads me to my next question, though, which is, what do we do about it?
11:03:08 I mean, we know there's a problem. We know that it still exists, but is it the other guy that's going to fix it, or is it us?
11:03:15 Is there something we can do individually? I want to know what your thoughts are about, that what can we do to make dreams like that?
11:03:29 Any other thoughts on what we can do
11:03:49 . We're a special LED and Media in that realm.
11:03:55 Not looking at what's possible
11:04:05 Ryan. Yes, okay. People that are right.
11:04:20 Now, yeah.
11:04:26 Good morning, California.
11:04:28 What's your thought? Yeah, no, I think she's absolutely right, because voting, that's where we need decide who is going to ming the laws that we have to live under and or get rid of the laws that we already had that we shouldn't have.
11:04:43 And those are the people that I think we're pretty important in that regard.
11:04:46 So it's up to us as citizens, as voters to vote for the person that speaks our mind.
11:04:52 Whatever that may be. So we got a rotten Joe in there.
11:04:57 I must have some rotten thoughts in there if I voted for that guy.
11:05:00 Yeah Kathleen. Anyway, I I don't want you to use my own experience to see, to look at how things.
11:05:11 Why in my life, but my family feathers are really the people that they were extremely
11:05:25 Yeah, her being that
11:05:37 California.
11:05:44 I. So I had this family but my father was like an Archie bomber, almost.
11:05:55 He had a name for everybody here who you are, and my immortal Santa Fe.
11:06:07 My mother would go back through homeland, Louisiana, with her family every Sunday.
11:06:13 I can give. Yeah. And I saw black man
11:06:32 Well, he's trying to find Red
11:06:46 To.
11:06:55 But so
11:07:00 I have seen drivers, I've seen problems with great animals.
11:07:04 Why? Because the nation creation, I think, are things to let go of some of these cultural.
11:07:17 With, but it happens over
11:07:28 Group people like Unitarians they were not in how they thought for social justice.
11:07:39 , but that was my biggest pleasure in the that makes me feel really good to be standing here among you all, because those are the kind of people I think we need exactly any other thoughts.
11:07:54 Yes, think I mean lot of different ways to approach it. But there's the systems approach that you can.
11:08:03 So, for example, I'm in an organization from seats but it works collaboratively with dozens of other organizations.
11:08:12 We've been trying to be very proactive around the approach, likely, and we know that there's a lot of reference to disparate impact.
11:08:21 When you look at data, and I think what you do is you want to be proactive you want to listen to the voices of those people who are, in fact, then you put together your goals and you decide that you're going to keep changing things with values she used the final around some of that so for us it has to
11:08:45 Do with access and start our delivery system of support, and we know that we have lots more.
11:08:55 Black who are impacted other than home, who were experiencing homelessness relative to what you would expect that's harder for me to address there's a whole lot of streaming stuff that causes that.
11:09:12 But what I can try to do is try to make sure that there's not just equal access when it comes to resources to addressing those issues, but trying to be as proactive as I can, so really making sure that those folks who feel very alienated may not necessarily little I mean to all spaces they feel
11:09:37 Comfort they feel like there's access information that we're addressing.
11:09:42 They want address, and that takes on heavy list. But you have to decide.
11:09:49 This is going to be a whole 5 year process something that you can.
11:09:54 But establish those things.
11:09:59 And some of those over here. Yes, I don't know.
11:10:05 I keep forgetting that we have folks who are at home who are not with us.
11:10:11 But, Nancy, please, we can do what Dr. Kings adjusted, and leave in March, and there is a large tomorrow of Martin Luther King, and the information, I think, was in debates for Speaker either paper or online as much join them with the people who have been Margin things years and years and heart shown with some
11:10:41 Politics , 1,968. Yeah.
11:10:59 Your office. I think the only other thing that I would like to throw in if we would think about it in terms of some of us don't know what to do.
11:11:09 Some of us. There are those things that come along out there, and we think, Well, what can I do?
11:11:13 And that is a hard question sometimes to answer, but I think it is the responsibility of each and every one of us to do whatever we can.
11:11:24 And all long time ago there was a kid that he was younger than me, I think at the time much wiser that I had a little quantry going on.
11:11:32 I was kind of in a spot I couldn't think of how to get myself out of it, and he didn't even know what the issue was, but he could see on my face the look of the angst.
11:11:44 He said, do something about the thing over which you have control, and as nebulous as that may sound.
11:11:54 I think if we look at whatever issue is before us, and look at it with a true and open heart, I think we'll find that there may be some little piece, some little thing that we have control over, and we can do that.
11:12:08 Whatever that is, and it will be a positive step to a solution, and those around us who see that action, they will do likewise.
11:12:19 So we begin to start the domino effect, and hopefully, this time 60 years from now, we won't have to be having a conversation like this.
11:12:30 Yes, definitely, you know, as in sort of thinking.
11:12:36 One of the things
11:12:42 But one thing that struck true is
11:12:54 Yeah.
11:12:57 Right. So again, I want to thank all of you for all of what you've given to me.
11:13:02 Me move. You've given me an inspiration
11:13:07 A genuine sense of peace, calm pleasure, just by being here in front of you.
11:13:13 So I thank you, and I encourage you to keep being who you are.
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