MLK Day: A Few Thoughts On an Old Article

Last year, a liberal, left-wing, professor of African-American history at Rutgers University, Donna Murch, published an article in the Washington Post entitled “Five myths about Martin Luther King.” Ironically, the first “myth” that she addressed in her article was the truth I wanted to discuss this morning.

As I understood it, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. dreamed of a color-blind society.  In his 1963 speech in front of the Lincoln Memorial he famously said:

“I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.”

Now, I’m not a linguist, nor am I an expert in African American history, but it would seem clear to me that not judging someone by the color of his skin equates with “color blind.” However, the good professor at Rutgers who regularly teaches classes on the Black Panthers and mass incarceration said this was not so. Referring to King’s “dream” as myth #1, Dr. Murch wrote:

“Since his death, King has emerged as a triumphalist figure, used to reassure us that the United States has transcended its history of racial strife. Of all the minister’s powerful oratory, [those] words from his speech at the Lincoln Memorial in 1963 are some of the most cited … But King knew that the economy wasn’t color-blind, and he believed that the Civil Rights and Voting Rights acts would not eliminate racial disparity.”

I’m sorry, Professor Murch, but didn’t Dr. King say, “I have a dream“? Isn’t it possible to hope for something that has not yet come to pass? Just because King may have recognized certain disparities, did it mean he couldn’t dream of a day when those disparities were erased?

Dr. King and I would disagree on some issues, particularly some theological ones (because even though he was a Baptist, not all Baptists agree on topics such as a “social gospel”). However, had I been alive back then, or if Dr. King were alive and here today, we would both find solid common ground where race and character are concerned.

Racism is wrong. Period.

We are ALL made in the image of God,  and we’re loved by Him so much that John 3:16 actually happened.

As a matter of fact, all the people groups of the world, no matter the color, are represented in Scripture, and from each one there will be those who worship Jesus Christ in unity.

And they sang a new song: You are worthy to take the scroll and to open its seals, because you were slaughtered, and you purchased people for God by your blood from every tribe and language and people and nation. – Revelation 5:9 CSB

Beyond that, I have just one more thing to say. It would be nice if the intellectual elites like Dr. Donna Murch, Ph.D., would get the name correct – Martin Luther King was Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s daddy.



Filed under Christian Unity, current events

8 responses to “MLK Day: A Few Thoughts On an Old Article

  1. Thanks for posting. I devour myth-busting. In our shared effort to step away from racist thinking and grouping individuals into herds, let’s encourage each other to drop terms such as “intellectual elites” and “left-leaning liberals.” Labels like these generally do not help us love people. Right?

    • Thanks for the comment. I appreciate. However, let’s meet halfway on this. I’ll drop the intellectual elite part, but “left-leaning liberal” should be a given for that professor…she got her Ph.D. from UC Berkeley… and you should see the list of courses she teaches. I’m sure “liberal” is a badge of honor 😉

  2. I find Dr. King’s life and speech inspiring. His dream lives on, even today. Of course, I grew up in the deep south and was 9 when he gave his speech. America, due to his activism, has come a long way.

    Thanks for busting the myth.

    Be blessed and don’t worry about the use of the labels. Jesus used them quite frequently. 🙂

    • Anonymous

      Jesus wants us to love—and demonstrate that love to—the professor who teaches The History of Sexual Bondage to college students using taxpayers’ money. Yes, to the intellectual elites and the left-leaning liberals (and don’t kid yourself;there will be some in heaven!)

      He wants us to invite her (and individuals much more out there) to lunch and build relationship—true friendship— to demonstrate Christ’s love.

      They are “the sick” of our society and need His healing.

      How many friends (not a family member) do you have who is a left-leaning liberal? I hope several because it’s hard to share the Gospel with them if you have no relationship.

      Our primary mission is to reach the unreached. Let’s get moving! :-)))

  3. Hi, your post prompted me to take a look at her c.v. and reach out to Prof. Donna Murch. I sent her an email inviting her to lunch. I explained that I am a middle-aged white woman trying to raise two African-American teens and confided that I have a lot to learn. She replied immediately, very kind response. We’ll have to wait as she is on sabbatical this year. I am eager to hear what she has to say when we meet when she returns. Thank you for bringing her to our attention.

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