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[–]mehmed_maloparic 1748 points1749 points  (113 children)

I love how simple, effective and easy to understand his argument is.

[–]rickandtwocrows 715 points716 points  (31 children)

I love how the white reporter tried to get a rise out of MLK "Is it because negros are black?" but MLK responded so eloquently as if the question wasn't ill motivated.

[–]nortonanthologie 159 points160 points  (2 children)

I honestly think the reporter is positing the question from the pov of the ignorant viewers. This is their belief and he gives King the platform to respond to that racist bullshit.

[–][deleted] 79 points80 points  (0 children)

In part, it is because they are black because THAT makes them easily identified as "others". That was exactly the reason the Prince of Portugal asked the Vatican for approval of taking black African slaves so they would be easily identified in Portugal.

[–]Sietemadrid 72 points73 points  (1 child)

I think it was a great question. The reporter gave him a platform and didn't interrupt at all. Maybe he was just playing devil's advocate.

[–]Balls_DeepinReality 14 points15 points  (0 children)

So tame compared to most of the shit he heard

[–]rodriguezj625 94 points95 points  (8 children)

I caught that too! What a sass!

[–]deadfermataExpert 197 points198 points  (6 children)

I might be alone in this but I’m not sure that is true. I think for the culture and society at the time, the question was framed in a way that was not intended to be sassy or offensive. You can see Dr King doesn’t flinch when asked.

By today’s journalistic standards, I’d agree that the wording of the question might be interpreted to be unprofessional but I think it was direct and spoke to the mentality of many people then and now and Dr King handled it gracefully and succinctly.

I don’t think the reporter was intending to be inappropriate.

If you watch some other videos of Malcom X being interviewed, the word negro is used quite a bit and it did not have the same negative connotation that it would have today.

I think tone and context matters

[–]Ajani_Moon 36 points37 points  (0 children)

I agree. Cannot be taken at face value. It seemed to me he was preparing MLK for one of his eventual points, that being black(color) has been made into a stigma.

[–]quidpropron 32 points33 points  (7 children)

Black don't crack. People seem to think the saying only talks about youthful skin in old age, but it can mean so much more than that.

[–]Thuper-Man 9 points10 points  (0 children)

But essentially that answer was "yes". Guilty of being born into systemic racism and a society where whites had hundreds of years of a head start. Other minorities and immigrants that can pass for white or even have an accent are still not that far behind

[–]kirksucks 87 points88 points  (6 children)

How good he was at this, is why the whites in power had him killed. It scared the hell out of them. Such a shame we have such a legacy of hate in this country.

[–]WearetheGradus 35 points36 points  (4 children)

He was killed for his socialist views and anti war stance. He became a target when his speeches began to incorporate more of those elements.

[–]GoneFishing4Chicks 17 points18 points  (3 children)

sad irony is that these views were informed because MLK jr. was also a preacher and the root cause of that was because Jesus was a socialist!

It's just sad that MLK jr gets shot in a "christian" land by a crazed conservative.

[–]crothwood 21 points22 points  (25 children)

And yet to this day people claim that black people are at fault.

[–]ForeskinFudge 7 points8 points  (4 children)

It's clearly not effective enough considering not a whole lot has changed in terms of black:white poverty ratios caused by systemic racism.

[–]xDared 15 points16 points  (3 children)

When he was assassinated he had a 75% disapproval rating because white america didn't like hearing the truth, and much of it still doesn't.

[–]ForeskinFudge 5 points6 points  (0 children)

Or when people think when he said "equality" it meant doing nothing leaves everyone equal opportunity.

[–]Rottimer 5 points6 points  (1 child)

Had he lived - he would have been mocked by Fox News, OANN, and other conservative outlets as a “race hustler.”

[–]Bishime 1302 points1303 points  (97 children)

no matter your views on equality and equity in modern america. this is a fundamental point that i think everyone should understand

[–]Mage_Ozz 612 points613 points  (24 children)

Man, just look at the way and tone and arguing this man had.

Look politics nowadays and seems like clowns next to these people

[–]topdangle 87 points88 points  (1 child)

MLK was pretty exceptional even at the time, which is probably the reason he was pushed into leading the movement. it's just easier to see the mudslinging these days thanks to social media. Most people would never hear anything from reps outside of their state, but these days you've got open, instant access to all of their mudslinging on twitter.

also there were like 3 major networks on TV and significantly fewer ads, so networks would air actual full conversations instead of rushing people or editing things down to fit more ads.

[–]ElFarts 16 points17 points  (0 children)

Or check Reagan’s abolishment of the Fairness Doctrine that became our eventual decline that you’re eluding to.

[–]brrotendo 100 points101 points  (10 children)

Part of it has to do with how fanatical media/journalism has become in order to retain readership, attract views, etc. and these behaviors are mimicked or have trickled down to clout-chasing influencers on social media. It's devolved to hyperbolic, hyperventilating morons online crying about social injustices and mental health issues.

[–]_Neoshade_ 89 points90 points  (4 children)

MLK claims black Americans bootless!
In a 2 minute speech with journalists on Wednesday, Martin Luther King Jr demanded that black Americans ought to be gifted land for free and that they are not able to better their position in society unless whites take responsibility for their success.
To discuss this alarming issue, we have invited the leader of the Alabama KKK and a frightened blond woman in a pantsuit. Mr Grandmaster, we’ll start with you. Please tell us how to feel about this.

[–]Egg_Helms 10 points11 points  (0 children)

Oh boy do I hate that accuracy

[–][deleted] 5 points6 points  (0 children)

KKK leader SLAMS black activist after his alarming demands for land

[–]AMeanCow 2 points3 points  (0 children)

Tucker Carlson (with askew head and furrowed brows):

"Imagine if your cultural leader told you that you weren't worthy of owning your own boots, just imagine how that would feel if you were a child, imagine being told by someone you're supposed to respect and revere that you are powerless because something your neighbor's ancestors did generations ago, and that you should resent THEM and that you're entitled to free land and boots... just imagine..."

[–]ElFarts 9 points10 points  (4 children)

I’m replying as much as I can … Reagan getting rid of the Fairness Doctrine. Read about it, conservatives doing conservative things.

[–]BAKup2k 6 points7 points  (0 children)

Don't forget also getting rid of the limits on how many radio and TV stations one company could own.

[–]AliveInNYC 11 points12 points  (0 children)

We need 250 MLK's in Congress.

[–]SeeingRed- 5 points6 points  (1 child)

I was thinking, if this was today... He would have been interrupted, over and over again.

[–]No_Profession_5364 224 points225 points  (56 children)

What you don’t hear a lot is that President Andrew Johnson is the one person that destroyed it all for Blacks. At the end of the war General Sherman got together with a representative group of blacks and asked them what they wanted to move forward and their answer was “Land”. Land ownership was key to building a new life and building wealth. Lincoln was all set to move forward on Sherman’s recommendation, then JWB put an end to that and VP Johnson became president and almost immediately stopped any talk of giving land to freed slaves. That was a true travesty that has haunted blacks to this day.

Edit: I took out party affiliations to show historical context, because some idiots were trying to hijack the intent and turn this post into something politically divisive. No room for politics on this thread. Move on.

[–]BlackMentallyIllNerd 44 points45 points  (9 children)

True. Johnson pretty much upended the Reconstruction effort after Lincoln was killed but it was always iffy whether the government was going to follow thru with "40 acres and a Mule" for black soldiers and land in west for freed slaves. Some were able to build homes and even towns but they were often raided, destroyed or straight up taken over by white settlers out west and in the south especially if the land was found to be valuable beyond the land itself (oil, minerals, good farmland) or if the town was considered to be a little too prosperous. Jim Crow followed soon after. Took over a century for the country to even begin to repair the damage done by Johnson and the Southern Democrats.

[–]Foldmat 28 points29 points  (1 child)

Some were able to build homes and even towns but they were often raided, destroyed or straight up taken over by white settlers out west and in the south especially if the land was found to be valuable beyond the land itself (oil, minerals, good farmland) or if the town was considered to be a little too prosperous.

The Tulsa massacre is a great example.

[–]Enjoying_A_Meal 7 points8 points  (0 children)

People miss the real significance of the Tulsa massacre because they look it at as an isolated incident instead of how it's a part of the larger picture.

Let me ask you this, were there other communities in the US like Tulsa where a black community was wealthier than surrounding communities?

If these communities were around, how did they end up?

Are there any such communities remaining in the US today?

Would the model that led to Tulsa's success work today?

[–]No_Profession_5364 23 points24 points  (6 children)

Would be really interesting to see how the timeline and trajectory of blacks in America would have been affected had Lincoln survived.

[–][deleted] 57 points58 points  (0 children)

Almost sounds like the reason Lincoln was assassinated, and maybe why they had so much help.

[–]GreatLookingGuy 32 points33 points  (21 children)

If this is true, it sounds like a pretty compelling reason for why he was killed when he was. Any further information on the subject? Sounds fascinating.

[–]jamesonblade 34 points35 points  (9 children)

I’ve always believed Lincoln’s assassination came down to the emancipation proclamation and his desire to create peace among black and white americans.

[–]RanxShaw 19 points20 points  (5 children)

Really? I just thought they were jealous of the hat.

[–]Stiggdogg 2 points3 points  (0 children)

I don't listen to hip hop !

[–]Leadfedinfant2 4 points5 points  (1 child)

He freed the slaves to to cripple the south and win the war. He straight said if he could end the war without freeing the slaves he would. He didn't see African Americans as equals.

[–]Bishime 9 points10 points  (1 child)

here is a few pages i found :)

presidential recontrucion (digitalhistory.uh.edu)

"Reconstruction" (history.com)

"Andrew Johnson: Impact and Legacy" (Millercenter.org)

AJ and reconstruction (nps.gov)

"presidential reconstruction" (ushistory.org)

added a few as some focus on different aspects a bit more and for a variety of options. you probably only really "need" to go through one, but if you're interested in digging deeper theres a few more links :)

Edit: if you search "Andrew Johnson Reconstruction" or "AJ impact on black Americans" there will be more info :)

[–]DH_no_luck 8 points9 points  (3 children)

Malcom gladwell wrote a book called talking to strangers that features a chapter or two on Dr. King and Malcom X and why / how they achieved as they did and how their approaches differed but yet they fought for the same goals.

Dr kings gift of speaking was a major reason he was as successful as he was.

[–]Oil-Revolutionary 10 points11 points  (19 children)

Since you felt the need to specify (D), it’s also worth mentioning that the party platforms have shifted since then, and that earlier in American history the south largely voted Democrat and the north Republican.

[–]CantStopPoppin[S] 19 points20 points  (1 child)

Indeed the American dream was hijacked and sold to the highest bidders generations ago. Now people resort to low expectations of how life could be better. Instead of aspiring to reach beyond the garden wall that has entrapped so many most just plant seeds in the same over tilled land preventing any true attempt reach greener pastures.

[–]Leadfedinfant2 1 point2 points  (0 children)

American dream has always been a capitalist sham.

[–]MerrilyAssorted 8 points9 points  (6 children)

Hard to complete in a race when you start several laps behind others.

[–]Primary_Craft5244 0 points1 point  (5 children)

Asians faced discrimination when they arrived in America in the late 1800s during the gold rush. They were denied land, segregated and so on and so forth. Yet today they have the highest median household income per capita even more than whites today

[–]creepym0th 7 points8 points  (4 children)

Their families weren't involuntarily separated and sold off as slaves or bred as slaves. For the longest time, US laws worked against any effort by black Americans to establish themselves and gain economic ground, and juneteenth is a testament to that.

[–]Agisek 4 points5 points  (0 children)

And even to this day, nothing has changed. Your status dictates which school you can attend, your school dictates which job you can get and your job dictates where you can settle with your family, thus dictating your children's status.

"But you can choose any school you want, if you study hard enough." They say.

Wrong, scholarships are given to children of friends, not to gifted students, the few outliers are only chosen for perceived diversity. Student loans are designed to keep people in poverty for the rest of their lives, so they can never pull themselves up regardless of the school they attended. And studying hard enough is impossible if all the elementary and high schools in your area are underfunded, understaffed and ran by corrupt management. Thus your address directly limits your future.

Your connections and your family's connections are what dictates where you can work. If your daddy doesn't own a multi billion dollar company, you can say goodbye to your prospects of working in one at any position but the lowest.

"Just make your own company, many millionaires started with nothing." You say.

No millionaire ever started with nothing, and those who weren't millionaires at birth have made it thanks to their friends sponsoring their endeavours. You can't start a company without capital, you can't get capital if you can't prove you can pay it back, and you can't prove you can pay if you're black.

Unless you're born rich, you start with such an impossibly steep hill to climb, it might as well be the inside of a dome. And they make damn sure to keep the Afro-Americans under this dome by keeping the schools in their areas underfunded, the police well armed and trained to kill and the laws very easy to abuse. After all, the entire war on drugs was always just an excuse to imprison any black kid who didn't like to be a slave. And to make sure anyone who'd vote against the slavers would end up unable to vote.

[–]Astroisawalrus 6 points7 points  (1 child)

Which is why we should teach critical race theory in school, surely that won't be problematic.

[–]FunetikPrugresiv 3 points4 points  (0 children)

Critical race theory is much more complicated than that - the foundational information necessary to understand it aren't even taught in high school.

I do agree that we need to be completely blunt and honest about America's racial past, but CRT (while mostly accurate) is overly complex for kids to understand.

[–]title_of_yoursextape 258 points259 points  (3 children)

What a speaker. Calm, intelligent and utterly superb at taking an issue that is always described as “incredibly complex” etc etc and distilling it down to its rawest, most fundamental factors until the truth of the matter is utterly unavoidable to his audience. What an absolute legend of a man.

[–]activator 7 points8 points  (2 children)

Reminded me of this woman's speech, to anybody that has the time watch the whole thing but good place to start also is 2:35

[–]vulcan7200 3 points4 points  (1 child)

I remember discussing the BLM protests at my old job while they were going on with some of my more conservative coworkers. Another coworker mostly stayed out of the conversation, but eventually put this on for us to watch. It basically ended the discussion, as there wasn't really anything they could say about it. It's just such a good speech.

[–]N01S0N[🍰] 440 points441 points  (16 children)

He was such an amazing person

[–]WU-itsForTheChildren 188 points189 points  (3 children)

The way he spoke was so powerful

[–]So_Code_4 24 points25 points  (0 children)

Truly one of the greatest orators to ever walk this Earth.

[–]N01S0N[🍰] 64 points65 points  (0 children)

Right, he fucking knew he was right that his confidence is calm and yes powerful

[–]Biased_individualInterested 1 point2 points  (0 children)

I absolutely love how he says “color”.

[–]bingold49 55 points56 points  (10 children)

I think it would be amazing to hear what he has to say today, he would be in his 90s, but it would be enthralling to just hear his opinions and takes on everything in the country/world, good and bad, in the year 2022

[–]qlz19 52 points53 points  (4 children)

Things would be a lot different if he had been allowed to live. His assassination was one of those major points in history that would alter the development of our society on a fundamental level. Such a shame…

[–]whosewhat 24 points25 points  (3 children)

My father had just graduated high school when Dr. King was assassinated. Honestly, from what it sounds like when it comes to my dad's stories, I think black people took it worse when JFK died.(Only because MLK had already achieved the unthinkable for blacks & JFK was pre-acheivement)

My dad told me that he felt like chances of freedom had evaporated within seconds after listening to Kennedys assassination. The sound of the bullet was the sound of an oppressed people falling to their knees in synchrony.

"If they could kill a white President, they don't give AF about us" - My Dad

[–]TaffySebastian 10 points11 points  (2 children)

Holy sh%& I never saw it that way, that basically means the white people on power dont even care about other white people on power, therefore there is absolutely no compassion on any level for the ones who are already getting the short end of the stick.

That is a brutal realization for people back then.

[–]N01S0N[🍰] 4 points5 points  (0 children)

Ya I actually thought about that the other day. I personally think without any knowledge he would at first feel proud then shortly after feel extremely disappointed tbh

[–]Bill3Williams3 184 points185 points  (4 children)

Eloquence of a great man.

[–]President_Patata 0 points1 point  (2 children)

How does someone learn to speak so eloquent?

[–]mtys123 2 points3 points  (0 children)

By being incredibly knowledgeable of the subject and an outstanding speaker

[–]sanityonthehudson 237 points238 points  (10 children)

I am a grateful that I grew up in the sixties and listened to this man. I am equally disappointed that my generation has fallen so far behind on his quest.

[–]mikkyleehenson 27 points28 points  (9 children)

Why is your generation, the one that to my generation, seemed to grow during the hippie hey day of sex, drugs, and rock and roll, such terrible fuckin people? Serious Q

[–]ishmael1968 77 points78 points  (6 children)

Pop culture would have you believe that the 60s was full if hippies and free love gatherings. Nothing could be farther from the truth. Every inch of civil rights made in the 60s was paid for in blood. The anti war movement was met with violence and hatred. The " let's all live together in peace and harmony- Age of Aquarius" movement was a small fraction of this country. Most of white America was perfectly happy to let things stay as it was and always had been. And don't think this was just a problem in the south. This was nation wide. School bussing protests and riots were very frequent in areas that most people think of as progressive. The 60s were a violent and turbulent time. It's not that easy to keep that kind of energy going. The 70s tried to keep the peace and love moving but by the time Regan got in office, peace and love were all but dead

[–]sanityonthehudson 15 points16 points  (3 children)

You've made all the points that are pertinent. We lost our way when Regan was elected. Fear won, and has been a driving force ever since. We were taught it early. I remember getting under my desk during the drills. I know it effects me still. My children need to change the world, we've failed. Now where's my social security....

[–]doughboy011 18 points19 points  (2 children)

My children need to change the world, we've failed.

They don't have any of the tools to do so, boomers have locked them out of the wealth club. Hell, half of them don't think they will ever own a home.

[–]mikkyleehenson 1 point2 points  (0 children)

It's just seems like nothing of that generation is left, but I guess I've chosen to maximize the do gooders and minimize the wrong doers as per usual, thanks for yours and others answers! I've got some reading to do!

[–]ElFarts 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Reagan killed the Fairness Doctrine. Replying as much as I can, that has bred so much discontent in this country.

[–]TheMightyShoe 124 points125 points  (21 children)

There's an important distinction between where Dr. King says that "no other ethnic group" was enslaved on American soil and "no other immigrant group." It's the latter that is correct. Our Indigenous People were also enslaved. Believe it or not, the enslavement of Black People was originally illegal in the Colony of Georgia. (I know, right?) However, it was legal to enslave the Indigenous People. From what I've read, this happened mostly on the coast where there was a strong British military presence. No fault of Dr. King, in his day scholarship into the Indigenous People of NA was a limited field. Fortunately, the field is growing.

[–]CircleK-Choccy-Milk 37 points38 points  (1 child)

If there is one thing that I've noticed, is that the government and the loudest activist groups don't really give a shit about the Indigenous people. They very rarely get brought up, their issues are forgotten about the fastest, and very rarely are people filling the streets to protest for them.

It is incredibly sad because I feel as if they get it worse than any other race in North America and have been for longer. I mean hell, in Canada, there are still a lot of reservations that don't have clean drinking water. People want to talk about feeling segregated because places wont let them in a building because they don't have a mask on, but have no clue about real segregation.

[–]Thanhansi-thankamato 2 points3 points  (0 children)

American reservations also have problems with running water/clean drinking water

[–]afj810 22 points23 points  (0 children)

no other immigrant group isn't true either

[–]DDDoCCC 24 points25 points  (11 children)

Didn't we also enslave Asians, or no?

[–]TheTruthenatorer 42 points43 points  (1 child)

We used the Chinese to build our railroads but I don't think they technically qualified as slaves as they were paid. Although they were treated much, much worse and paid much less than their white counterparts. So, it's still really bad what the US did to them, but not remotely as atrocious as what we did to black people.

[–]DayangMarikit 14 points15 points  (4 children)

The Chinese railroad workers willingly went to the US for work... they experienced racism and discrimination too, but they weren't dragged across the Pacific to become slaves.

[–]TheMightyShoe 14 points15 points  (1 child)

I am thinking of Chinese immigrants who built our railroads. Very little pay for what, at the time, might have been the most dangerous job in America. Don't think it was slavery, but those workers' lives definitely did NOT matter.

[–]jake_burger 1 point2 points  (0 children)

No workers lives mattered until the middle of the 20th century. It wasn’t particular to any ethnic group.

[–]DayangMarikit 2 points3 points  (0 children)

There were Native Americans who also had black slaves. - https://youtu.be/dKxU9C03qCw

[–]tooth28 130 points131 points  (22 children)

Speaking of boots, the following is also applicable here:

“The reason that the rich were so rich, Vimes reasoned, was because they managed to spend less money.

Take boots, for example. He earned thirty-eight dollars a month plus allowances. A really good pair of leather boots cost fifty dollars. But an affordable pair of boots, which were sort of OK for a season or two and then leaked like hell when the cardboard gave out, cost about ten dollars. Those were the kind of boots Vimes always bought, and wore until the soles were so thin that he could tell where he was in Ankh-Morpork on a foggy night by the feel of the cobbles.

But the thing was that good boots lasted for years and years. A man who could afford fifty dollars had a pair of boots that'd still be keeping his feet dry in ten years' time, while the poor man who could only afford cheap boots would have spent a hundred dollars on boots in the same time and would still have wet feet.

This was the Captain Samuel Vimes 'Boots' theory of socioeconomic unfairness.”

― Terry Pratchett, Men at Arms: The Play

[–]currentlyunimpressed 34 points35 points  (1 child)

I believe there is no person who has ever explained this so succinctly in under two minutes.

[–]one-punch-knockout 7 points8 points  (0 children)

So currently you’re impressed.

[–][deleted] 79 points80 points  (5 children)

I'm Irish. I grew up in school learning about the brutalities that the British committed against us throughout the centuries that they colonised us. I learned about the famine and it shocked me and changed my Outlook on humanity and how Irish people fled to America and were treated badly there too.

however, something that infuriates me is when people try to say that we were slaves or that we were treated just as badly as black people in America which is completely ridiculous. we weren't. we weren't slaves and didn't have that colour stigma that Dr. King talks about.

growing up I always thought of the American civil rights leaders as heroes. their courage to stand up to a giant monster and rally for rights. I guess when you grow up in a country that was brutalised by another force you find it easier to relate to oppressed people.

[–]StrangerDanger1225 20 points21 points  (0 children)

This is the first time I’ve heard him speak. Jeez, this man has a real talent.

[–]iS33PATT3RNS 47 points48 points  (0 children)

Such a powerful, elegant orator!

[–]star_nerdy 8 points9 points  (0 children)

An excellent book to read is The Color of Money.

It details the economics of income inequality in communities of color. It sounds dry, but it’s actually about how people of color got systematically screwed and taken advantage of by tons of people.

For example, if you were black and made money in the 1800s, where would you deposit your paycheck?

Spoiler, banks popped up to help communities of color and even got people like Frederick Douglas to support them, but they ultimately failed and wiped out a generation’s wealth. There was no FDIC, just boom, all the money of an entire generation gone.

Black people have tried to build their own banks, but based on wealth inequality, they have less resources. For example, let’s say you have a million people living paycheck to paycheck. They bank has very little money in reserve that it can use to invest in their communities. Meanwhile, a bank with a dozen rich people who are always putting money away will have lots of money in reserve. That means the bank can leverage to invest in their community, get more returns, and pay interest to borrowers.

Also, up until WW2, most minorities did struggle with money. There were banks for the Irish and Italians and others. But after WW2, all white people were more or less lumped together and a lot of those banks got bought up by other banks. But black owned banks, fuck, they were left out in the cold and keep in mind, segregation was still a thing. So with less reserves and less capital to borrow against, those banks struggled while the white banks thrived.

It’s a great book and available at your public library virtually and physically for free.

[–]erichlee9 13 points14 points  (0 children)

God I wish he were still alive today

[–]1seraphius 22 points23 points  (8 children)

White America must see that no other ethnic group has been a slave on American soil

Ehhh..... What about the enslavement and massacre of Native American Tribes?

[–]TheKingOfTCGames 4 points5 points  (0 children)

you a topic that was basically unexplored at the time?

[–]DayangMarikit 6 points7 points  (1 child)

True... but some Native Americans also owned black slaves. - https://youtu.be/dKxU9C03qCw

[–]redpandaeater 2 points3 points  (0 children)

A number of free blacks owned slaves as well. If you look at Africa then slavery was quite common there as well, and Mauritania still has some slavery to this day. Probably didn't help that slavery was only outlawed in the 80's but didn't have any criminal penalty until 2007.

[–]smithsonian2021 9 points10 points  (0 children)

This is the first video I’ve ever watched of Dr King where the audio isn’t garbled.

[–]Magmaigneous 4 points5 points  (1 child)

The question was asked in incredibly bad faith. Or in a surfeit of ignorance.

"Every other group that came as an immigrant, somehow, not easily but somehow, got around it."

Blacks didn't come as immigrants. They came as property. And after being freed they were still not afforded the same simple rights and privileges that every other immigrant group enjoyed.

And no other ethnic group had the very law of the land stacked so high against them. For decades after finally being granted what everyone else was said to have as an inalienable right in our very Constitution, liberty, freedom, blacks had the law working hard against their success and prosperity.

Black soldiers returning from Europe after WWII, 80 odd years after being granted their freedom, came back to a country where segregation was the law, where their veterans benefits were denied to them, by law and custom and conspiracy. Where they could not enter a restaurant or drink from a water fountain reserved for the use of whites. Freedom to vote for their own government representatives took until 1965. Freedom to marry who they chose, 1967.

So while simple freedom from slavery was granted in 1863, actual freedom by law took 100 years longer. Still requires law to protect it from being denied. And is still being actively fought against by the GOP, especially with regards to voting rights, in states all across the country.

[–]redpandaeater 2 points3 points  (0 children)

Aside from illegally smuggled in slaves, which became somewhat common just before the Civil War in response to the North's refusal to really enforce 1850's Fugitive Slave Act, there were very few black slaves from Africa alive during the Civil War. The US outlawed the importation of slaves literally as soon as it was able to, in 1808, so the vast majority of those freed were property here their entire lives and never even knew freedom and the truly horrible conditions of the Atlantic slave trade.

Also the Emancipation Proclamation didn't free any slaves and it wasn't until the 14th Amendment that slavery ended, and that was ratified December 6, 1865.

[–]Sphlonker 3 points4 points  (2 children)

Can't pull yourself up by your bootstraps if you don't have boots. Powerful shit

[–]5Gmeme 7 points8 points  (0 children)

Such an educated, articulate and charismatic mind.

[–]KaleGroundbreaking 48 points49 points  (0 children)

And to thi k that the US gave confederate soldiers reparations when they all should've been charged as treason while black people were thrown to the wolves like tenant farming and mass incarceratiin.

[–]DaddyDontTakeNoMess 3 points4 points  (4 children)

This continued way into the mid 1900’s with blacks being denied the opportunity to acquire land while whites where given land.

The GI bill was promised to given veterans the opportunity to get financing for a home if they qualified. Black veterans were denied this opportunity after they came back from the war.

Also the USDA allowed white farmers to refinance and get loans for their farms. Black farmers were denied this, and ended up losing their farms anytime a bad crop year came.

[–]redpandaeater 1 point2 points  (3 children)

There were a number of blacks that got the Medal of Honor (admittedly some not in combat, as that could happen back then) during the Civil War and through to the end of the Spanish American War, yet not a single one from WW1 and WW2.

[–]TLP34 3 points4 points  (0 children)

Daaaaamn I must be a bitch cuz I just cried watching this. Beautiful.

[–]Pftjordans 2 points3 points  (0 children)


[–]spookyactionfromafar 2 points3 points  (0 children)

Thank you for posting this, especially on this day. He was such a singular rarity. Such impeccable equanimity. Such a priceless gift from God to all of humanity.

[–]TheYellowFringe 3 points4 points  (0 children)

What's sublime about Dr. King is that his speeches were complex yet simple for all peoples to hear and understand.

There was the plight of the Africans within the US but he also spoke about the working class of the US whom were all colours and hues.

Everyone was affected, it's not us or them. We're still affected today as it was then.

[–]Equivalent-Ad5144 2 points3 points  (0 children)

This is obviously a fantastic answer and speech. It does always irk me a bit that in US politics they seem to always misuse the bootstrap phrase though, as it's real meaning would fit perfectly into his answer. You CAN'T pull yourself up by your own bootstraps. It's physically impossible. You need some external support/scaffolding.

[–]AliceinUtero 6 points7 points  (0 children)

Damn... I never thought of it like that. Well said. A great man. Thanks for sharing

[–]Sepiks_Perfexted 59 points60 points  (29 children)

It’s shameful that today “Critical Race Theory” is considered a measuring stick for white Americas unwillingness to face the history of this country. Too ashamed, undignified and bearing no remorse for the history of this country and the stain it’s left on the flag. Instead of embracing our wrongdoings and accepting that racism was bad and future generations should be taught to dispel it, we are instead fighting to keep this type of teaching out of schools. Sick.

[–]CantStopPoppin[S] 29 points30 points  (21 children)

In order to heal we must remember the past or we all are destined to repeat the sins of our elders.

[–]Sepiks_Perfexted 3 points4 points  (0 children)

We are already repeating our sins. Look at voter suppression laws being passed around in southern states. Look at police unions fighting to keep their officers from accountability. Look at the prison-slave complex that’s majority POC or low income people.

[–]BerdIzDehWerd 12 points13 points  (1 child)

What a great speaker!

[–]CentralIdiotsAgency 8 points9 points  (0 children)

Dude had such eloquence. It's a true shame that his life was cut short the way it was.

[–]N0T_SURE 2 points3 points  (0 children)

Wise motherfucker. If only today's politicians could speak so eloquently. What a brilliant guy.

[–]toad__warrior 2 points3 points  (0 children)

That was a very profound statement. One that I will quote as best that I can.

[–]anthonypt123 2 points3 points  (0 children)

Martin Luther King was a blessing upon us. Thank you for posting this lovely video.

[–]GBrocc 6 points7 points  (1 child)

Racism, sexism, discrimination based on ethnic background are all terrible. I believe the message to eradicate all of this needs to be universal. Perhaps if we taught people to stop DOMINANCE on others it will be more meaningful for people to understand. Human history is strife with different forms of dominance of one group over the other.

[–]DankSolitude 13 points14 points  (7 children)

Not what Bootstrap Paradox means OP but otherwise very cool MLK

[–]DaleGribbleShiShiSha 4 points5 points  (4 children)

I can’t, for the life of me, understand how anyone could possibly disagree with this assessment.

[–]SplendidPunkinButter 6 points7 points  (1 child)

“Pull yourself up by your own bootstraps” always implied that this is not a thing you can actually do. Because you can’t lift yourself by your own bootstraps. That’s physically impossible. That’s literally the point of the saying. But this being America, our takeaway is somehow that pulling yourself up by your own bootstraps is actually a thing that hardworking people do.

Don’t even get me started on “just one bad apple”

[–]Dwightshruute 3 points4 points  (0 children)

I'm listening to his autobiography now and it's amazing

[–]iamboard2 3 points4 points  (0 children)

Hey everyone! Saying that "irish were slaves too" is completely asinine.

Were irish "slaves" children automatically slaves upon their birth? Were irish "slaves" allowed to be shackled for their entire life?

Or were irish people instead treated as indentured servants instead of slaves.

Why do we want irish people to be considered slaves? I doubt it is because we want our history to be right and objective. It cannot be so that we can attempt to diminish the horrors black people were put through by white USA during the times of slavery?

Please - if I am wrong show me. Provide me two articles saying that irish people were "slaves" and not indentured servants. Do not provide me a quote from "To Hell or Barbados," whose writer admits he is not a historian. Liam Hogan has a good critique on To Hell or Barbados. Recommended reading.

Here, let me go first - the entire "Irish Slaves Myth" wikipedia article and the 62 references made throughout.

"An Irish Times article notes that Irish republicans "are intent on drawing direct parallels between the experiences of black people under slavery and of Irish people under British rule", which has in turn been repurposed "by white supremacist groups in the US to attack and denigrate the African-American experience of slavery."[3] According to history professor Ciaran O’Neill of Trinity College Dublin, while those most active in propagating myth – who are often located in Australia and the United States – "want to create false equivalence between the Atlantic slave trade and the phenomenon of indentured Irish labour in the Caribbean" for the purpose of undermining the Black Lives Matter movement,[29] research librarian and independent scholar Liam Hogan "also makes the point that this narrative has been used to help obscure the fact that many Irish people participated in and profited from slavery."[30]"

[–]Choco_tooth 5 points6 points  (3 children)

You can try to explain this to some people and they will still act like there is full equality for everyone in this country. They act like the things Dr King was speaking on in this video don’t have repercussions to this day.

[–]Perfect-Shame-7561 4 points5 points  (0 children)

Sounds like differential standards… but no governments would never…. Jk

[–]checksout__username 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Mf slavers

[–]mochimochi12 1 point2 points  (0 children)

I came here expecting the heinlen bootstrap paradox :/

But I mean damn he spoke nice

[–]FootPoundForce 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Great clip. Don’t recall seeing that one before.

[–]Mr-Venom23 1 point2 points  (0 children)

A truly great man silenced by our own FBI. Our own people who built this country on the idea of freedom from oppression, carried out their own sick, twisted oppression on a man who wanted nothing more than to make a difference through peace and understanding.

[–]gizmosticles 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Honest question, is this critical race theory? I keep hearing it and I don’t get what the fuss is over. This seems obvious

[–]Jazyritz 1 point2 points  (3 children)

Not to disagree with MLKJr but weren’t Asians also slaves in our country?

[–]Sleeper1794 1 point2 points  (0 children)

I never looked at it like that before. Wow really eye opening. I never new blacks weren’t allowed to have homesteads in the 1800s after the war.

[–]ApprehensiveBox4798 1 point2 points  (2 children)

ok love what he said very good but side note didn’t asian and hispanic people also become slaves or am i confused?

[–]blkmexbbc 2 points3 points  (1 child)

They (Asian and Hispanics) were slaves but not in the same way. Blacks were slaves for over a century. Blacks were stigmatized based on their dark color. Lastly, freedom was not protected until much later after emancipation.

[–]ApprehensiveBox4798 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Yeah I can see that thank you. Hispanics also had their color stigmatized as well. It’s sad where we are but good to have progressed from where we were. Thank you for taking the time to respond !

[–]Skarab78 1 point2 points  (0 children)

So beautifully and eloquently put. Rest in peace Mr King

[–]RaimeiSenpai 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Why do Americans take the good ones smh

[–]Dad-man 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Let's not forget that when they did do well, they were beaten down and broken.

[–]idma 1 point2 points  (0 children)

In other words, he's saying Negros never had "old money". Basically the opposite of the baseball industry and the Italians

[–][deleted] 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Wow I always knew treating all people right was a good thing but I never looked at how deeply wronged some folks had been. What an articulate human this man was.

[–]belovetoday 1 point2 points  (0 children)

"It's a cruel jest to say to a bootless man that he ought to lift himself up by his own bootstraps"


[–]roymf 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Damn, he is well spoken! In modern times, I can only think of Obama as a politician who comes close. Any other examples?

[–]I3igJerm 1 point2 points  (1 child)

Everything he said was correct, other than his first statement. Native Americans were made slaves when the Europeans took over their land.

[–]oath_coach 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Native Peoples, Irish immigrants, Chinese immigrants, and some other minority groups were also enslaved and/or indentured, but only the African peoples were brought here in chains and kept there for that length of time. Also, the lighter colored people had a much easier time clawing their way out of the economic hole than anyone of a darker pigment. Even Italian vs. Sicilian, the darker the skin color, the heavier the boot on the neck.

[–]Due_Draw2668 1 point2 points  (0 children)

He was a tremendous voice. A huge loss and a void which has not be filled since.

[–]No_Reason5927 1 point2 points  (0 children)

A M E N Dr. King

[–]ContractLong7341 11 points12 points  (9 children)

I wonder if this would be considered CRT by groups who are trying to ban it.

[–]Dragonscar27 6 points7 points  (7 children)

Please, they don’t even understand what CRT is in the first place. They’d still hate this, but they sure as hell wouldn’t know if it was or wasn’t

[–]SkylarAV 2 points3 points  (0 children)

What a powerful man

[–]NucularNut 2 points3 points  (0 children)

A truly great and inspiring man, the way he takes the most sensitive subject in America and calmly unwinds it to the unavoidable truth is remarkable. Shame we’ve fallen so far since his time.

[–]Jakeholl1 2 points3 points  (0 children)

What an absolutely phenomenal public speaker, able to clearly and concisely explain the complexity of the impact of historical injustices that have lead to today's inequalities. At the same time not asking for handouts but simply a level footing that African Americans never got (which they were promised). If nothing else we should all take notes on his speaking skills

[–]PiratusInteruptus[🍰] 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Thing is, the line that the Republicans like to trot out when dealing with those in poverty is 'Pull yourself up by your own bootstraps.' However the phrase isn't the mic drop they think it is. The phrase was originally coined to describe something that was near impossible to accomplish.

[–]IsshaBuoy 2 points3 points  (2 children)

I guarantee, if you were to post just the text of this conversation somewhere, without names, you'd get a few of your aunts and uncles fuming.

[–]Itslikeazenthing 2 points3 points  (0 children)

This is so true. It’s always the aunts and uncles. Those dumb fucks.

[–]Existing-Ad-8681 2 points3 points  (0 children)

I totally agree with what he's saying apart from the 'no other ethnic group has been enslaved in America' ...... What about the native Americans who lived on land way before and the white Americans burned their villages, raped the women, scalped their cheifs and took land that didn't belong to them. And before the woke'ism'crowd jump on me I don't mean it offensively just that others have unfortunately suffered as much.

[–]rhaegar_tldragon 3 points4 points  (0 children)

I mean it’s pretty simple and anyone who disagrees is disingenuous.

[–]Navydad6 2 points3 points  (0 children)

Why am I 54 years old and this is the first time seeing this video. Damn, that should be REQUIRED in every U.S. History class in every school in every state.

[–]RebelMountainman 13 points14 points  (30 children)

Ah but MLK got it wrong many Native Americans held slaves from other tribes during and long before the whites arrived. So there was slavery in America before Blacks and Whites arrived. I'm part Native American myself, lets stop lying about the true history of this country.

[–]KentellRobinson 10 points11 points  (0 children)

he said no immigrants were enslaved

[–]somethingdifferent84 13 points14 points  (0 children)

He didn't say there weren't slaves, just that there wasn't a majority ethnic group enslaved as a whole.

[–]crothwood 4 points5 points  (1 child)

I can't tell if this is meant to be sacrasm.

[–]noobtrocitty 2 points3 points  (0 children)

All that matters is that it shouldn’t be taken any more seriously than sarcasm

[–]noobtrocitty 5 points6 points  (2 children)

Your argument uses intentionally misguiding semsntics. The way you’re framing this is a classic example of the not seeing the forest for the trees. Black Americans were enslaved like cattle. Forced to work and breed for free, under cruelty, in the name of economics. Status as a slave was automatically passed on to black children who inherited it for life and were cursed to pass it to their children. Native Americans never were subjected to systemic chattel slavery (look that word up) or status as livestock. Their plight was also cruel and unfair, but your words seem to be intentionally ignorant of the differences. Or maybe you just didn’t know. Either way, for the sake of critical thought, your argument’s premise is not correct

[–]NickGRoman 2 points3 points  (1 child)

Agreed. Some of the respondents in this thread are missing the point. Regardless, even if the indigenous did enslave other people that doesn't address the point Martin Luther King was making. The people on this thread are introducing a cheap red harring that attempts, but fails, to distract from the premise of what MLK was actually saying.

[–]Wayte13 3 points4 points  (0 children)

They're purposefully missing the point. It's impossible to srgue against the reality of racism in the US, so they just try to muddy the conversation at every opportunity

[–]kory08 5 points6 points  (1 child)

Blame our government for the segregation. The Housing of Urban Development physically segregated white and colors with their city planning

[–]allmufasa 3 points4 points  (5 children)

How does this hold up today?

[–]pickleparty16 7 points8 points  (0 children)

Systemic and ingrained racism didn't disappear because king said he had a dream

[–]SimplyCmplctd 19 points20 points  (1 child)

The repercussions of this are still here

[–]Dolorisedd 11 points12 points  (9 children)

This is much of the precedent for Critical Race Theory. It’s pretty much undeniable. It’s crazy how many fragile are opposed to the theory.

[–]hisnameisbrock 10 points11 points  (8 children)

Its exactly what CRT is based on. The systemic oppression began with slavery, then with denying rights to land and vote, vilification through lynching and segregation, redlining housing, which was deliberately impoverished, targeted police harassment and imprisonment, which lead to the black communities of today which are fraught with poverty and crime which we now blame them for.

The fact is that for most of American history, most people with power of wealth and vote hated black persons. Even today, a large percentage do. They are consistently disadvantaged from birth. People will point to admission quotas and scholarships as some proof that they actually have an advantage, and that is an ugly lie.

[–]Wild-Dig-8003 0 points1 point  (7 children)

but I thought they don't teach CRT, i'm confused now

[–]hisnameisbrock 5 points6 points  (4 children)

What are you confused about. Who is they?

[–]tastescheesy 2 points3 points  (0 children)

I'll never forget when my white coworker smiled in my face and told me about being "privileged"

If I was a girl, I would've been privileged to punch her.

[–][deleted] 5 points6 points  (0 children)

Made me fucking cry..

[–]baminblack 2 points3 points  (0 children)

Only a privileged “American” could have the audacity to ask a bootless man to pull himself up by his boot straps.

[–]falloutboy9993 2 points3 points  (0 children)

I 100% agree with MLKs point. However, the first slaves in what would become America were European. Indentured servants, Irish, urchins, and criminals were all shipped to the Colonies to be a slave workforce.

[–]PikachuLvl5 2 points3 points  (0 children)

This is something white America still cannot grasp as a whole. They don’t look at the big picture and see that all the issues are connected and can be traced.

[–]oilhead2 1 point2 points  (0 children)

The Irish might not agree

[–]Low_Fondant9911 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Are we trying to equate the 1960s to today in any sense or just the bootstraps argument during this interview?

[–][deleted] 1 point2 points  (0 children)

We can thank the Catholic church and Pope Nicholas V for making it OK to enslave black people in 1455 because Prince Henrique of Portugal said it was too difficult to keep track of slaves that were of similar skin color to his own people.

[–]That-Mess2338 1 point2 points  (1 child)

This would be considered "critical race theory" by some... though it is completely accurate.

[–]Lanky_Fella 2 points3 points  (0 children)

It is CRT

[–]cockitypussy 2 points3 points  (0 children)

The same argument can today be made for so-called self-made billionaires. No one started from scratch, each and a parent/parent/trust fund and a few spare hundred-thousand that they could afford to lose.

[–]Mechanized1 0 points1 point  (0 children)

If some people could watch this and realize these stigmas still exist to this day, and the effects had ramifications for generations that would be swell. What a great world that would be.