Monday, January 21, 2008

Martin Luther King Day

OK, I can't resist posting something on "inyana d'yoma". LBJ's "we shall overcome" speech following the racial violence in Selma in 1965 is a classic:

But rarely in any time does an issue lay bare the secret heart of America itself. Rarely are we met with a challenge, not to our growth or abundance, or our welfare or our security, but rather to the values and the purposes and the meaning of our beloved nation. The issue of equal rights for American Negroes is such an issue. And should we defeat every enemy, and should we double our wealth and conquer the stars, and still be unequal to this issue, then we will have failed as a people and as a nation. For, with a country as with a person, "what is a man profited if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?"

There is no Negro problem. There is no Southern problem. There is no Northern problem. There is only an American problem....

What happened in Selma is part of a far larger movement which reaches into every section and state of America. It is the effort of American Negroes to secure for themselves the full blessings of American life. Their cause must be our cause too. Because it's not just Negroes, but really it's all of us, who must overcome the crippling legacy of bigotry and injustice.

And we shall overcome.


  1. Good for you and yasher koach.

  2. Anonymous8:16 PM

    MLK was far superior to his successors.

    One of my Jewish roommates in college was generally a happy-go-lucky prankster, but I believe he had participated in some civil rights activities in the 60's. At the memorial gathering on campus after MLK was murdered, he broke down and cried like many others.