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.
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