Dr. King’s Dream
Dr. Martin Luther King stated in his “I Have a Dream” speech that people should be judged based on character, not skin color. This is in keeping with Frederick Douglass’ concept. How is character related to being respected by others and personal self-respect?
In a society based on equality, dependent people will not be judged as people of good character. Self-reliant people will look upon dependent people as being parasites living off of their efforts and not worthy of being equal to them. As will be discussed in the below section, dealing with Abraham Maslow’s “Hierarchy of Needs,” self-respect comes from a person’s own achievements. How can a person develop self-respect if he or she doesn’t produce enough wealth to live upon and support a family?
But there is another issue relating to Dr. King’s “dream” concept dealing with skin color. As will be discussed in the below section on “hunter gatherers,” information will be presented on how judging people based on race and/or ethnicity has been a part of an ancient framework of thinking that has existed in human societies for thousands of years. The idea that a productive society can be made up of a mix of people from different races and ethnicities, with all being considered equal, is new to human thinking. Changing a framework of think that has been valued by humans for thousands of years is a great challenge. To instill this new framework of thinking into society cannot be accomplished in only a few decades or even centuries.
© Joseph L. Bass, EdD, May 2020