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Martin Luther King’s Letter To President Obama

Martin Luther King’s Letter To President Obama

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Published by Alatenumo
The article is titled: Martin Luther King's Letter To President Obama. which is based on a hypothetical letter written by Martin Luther King to President Obama expressing his thoughts on Obama's presidency and the progress of America has made since the speech was made 50 years ago.
The article is titled: Martin Luther King's Letter To President Obama. which is based on a hypothetical letter written by Martin Luther King to President Obama expressing his thoughts on Obama's presidency and the progress of America has made since the speech was made 50 years ago.

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Published by: Alatenumo on Aug 31, 2013
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05/14/2014

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Martin Luther King’s Letter To PresidentObama
Transcribed by Ahmed ‘Alatenumo’ Sule
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Martin Luther King’s Letter To PresidentObama
Dear President Obama,I hope this letter finds you in good health and that your soul is prospering. I wanted to writethis letter to you longhand, but I was not sure if you would be able to read my handwriting,hence I have asked Alatenumo to transcribe what I have to say. So if there is anything lost intranslation, please accept my apologies.Five decades ago, I stood in the shadow of the author of the Emancipation Proclamation totell America about a dream. When I made this speech, I never knew that fifty years on, itwould continue to reverberate around the four corners of the world. Watching you as youaddressed America as its first Negro president at the same spot where I spoke fifty years agobrought a smile to my face. However, I must also confess that seeing you address the countryalso brought a tear to my face. In short, reflecting on the 50th anniversary of the “I Have ADream Speech” has been a bittersweet experience for me. One part of me is happy about theprogress America has made as a nation since the speech, while another part of me issaddened by the lack of progress the country has made since the speech.When I was on earth, I took a three dimensional approach in finding answers to America’smoral problems by focusing on what I called the three triplets of evil i.e. racism, economicinjustice and militarism. I would therefore like to use this same three dimensional approach inaccessing your presidency and the progress America has made since I made the speech.
Racism
During the early years of the struggle, I spent considerable energy addressing the evil of racism and it is for this I became famous. At the time when I gave the speech, things weredire for the Negro. Our alienable rights were denied. We did not have the freedom to schoolwhere we wanted to school, sleep where we wanted to sleep and eat where we wanted toeat. We lived in a segregated society.Fifty years later, a lot of progress has been made. Segregation is now a thing of the past. ANegro can now aspire to the highest position in the land as evidenced by your election twiceas the President of the United States of America. I am glad that the Negro is exercising hiscitizen rights. We now have Negro senators, governors and Mayors. Since my speech, wehave seen a Negro defense chief, two Negro Secretaries of State, a Negro Attorney Generaland three Negro National Security Advisers.It is not only in the political establishment that the glass ceiling has been broken for thepeople of color. In sports, the Negro is excelling in a number of so-called lily-white sports. Iam pleased with the accomplishments of the Williams Sisters in tennis and Tiger Woods ingolf. In the business world, many Negroes have excelled. There are a number of NegroCEO’s of Fortune 500 and S&P 500 companies and countless Negro managers, senior managers, and directors in these organizations. Our people have been able to set upbusinesses and own houses, which has helped increase the wealth in the Negro community.We are also excelling academically. Enrollment into schools is much higher than theenrollment rate fifty years ago. Racial expletives such as “nigger” and “coon” that wereprevalent back in the days are frowned at nowadays. It is also rare for a white person to call agrownup Negro a “boy”.So yes, there has been a lot of progress since 1963 and I am optimistic that more progress ison the way. However, we need to be mindful that we are not blinded by these gains andthereby overlook the subtle forms of racism. After I departed this world, I have seen racismmetamorphose from the conscious form to a subtle and institutional form. This new form of racism is more dangerous than the old form because it cannot be easily proved, detected or solved. It comes in many forms and guises. One area is the criminal justice system, where theNegroes are grossly over represented. Negroes account for a million out of the 2.3 millionpeople imprisoned in America. A Negro is six times more likely to be imprisoned relative to hiswhite counterpart. I also understand that if the current incarceration rate continues, that oneout of every three Negro male born in 2013 could spend time in prison during his lifetime. I am
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Martin Luther King’s Letter To PresidentObama
concerned that Negroes are imprisoned for drug related offences at 10 times the rate of whites even though 5 times as many Whites are using drugs as Negroes. I was heartbrokenwhen I heard about what happened to Trayvon Martin, a young man cut down in his prime just because of the color of his skin. I pray that God Almighty will comfort his family.I once said that a curious formula seemed to declare that a Negro was fifty percent of aperson because at the time, the Negro had half of the good things of whites and twice of thebad things of whites. I still stand by that claim. Today, the unemployment rate for Negro menis 15% compared to 7 % for whites; the median income for black men is 67% of that of whitemen; 8 per cent of the Negro population has lost the right to vote as a result of a felonyconviction compared to 2% for other races.We also need to be mindful of what my Brother Malcolm X called “token solutions”. While oneneeds to celebrate the successes of the token Negroes living in the midst of a vast ocean of material prosperity, one should not forget the many Negroes living on the lonely island of poverty. There are many Negroes oppressed by racism, who do not have the clout, educationor resources to overcome the consequences of racism. I am a bit disappointed with some of those Negroes who have crossed the color line, but have not bothered to look back at their brothers and sisters suffering the ravages of racism. Sometimes, they look down on the lessfortunate Negroes and tell them to lift themselves by their own bootstrap. While Iacknowledge the importance of personal responsibility, many of our Negroes who W.E. DuBois called the Talented Tenth, who Edward Franklin Frazier called Black Bourgeoisie, whoMalcolm X called uppity Negroes and who Michael Dyson calls the Afristocracy fail to or refuse to look at the structural factors that cause the Negro to remain down. And I said before“It is a cruel jest to say to a bootless man that he should lift himself up by his own bootstraps.It is even worse to tell a man to lift himself up by his own bootstraps when somebody isstanding on the boot.”I was disappointed to see a key part of the Voting Right Act, which my colleagues and I foughtrelentlessly for, struck down by the Supreme Court in June this year. I worry that this gives anumber of States in the South the motivation to revise their election laws, which could resultin the disenfranchisement of Negro voters in these states.Where do you stand in the scheme of things? You have made some bold statements on racelike your “A More Perfect Union Speech” in response to the Pastor Jeremiah Wright saga andyour recent comment in respect of the Trayvon Martin incident. Furthermore, the AttorneyGeneral’s suggestion on the need for a national race conversation is commendable. While Iam conscious of the fact that you are President of United States of America and not thePresident of Negro America, I urge you to do more in addressing racism, especially theinstitutional form.
Economic Injustice
 Although I am appreciative that I am celebrated for my stance on racism, I am a bit perplexedthat my stance on economic injustice is generally ignored. Just as I was passionate aboutfighting racism, I was equally passionate about fighting economic injustice, which affects thebrotherhood of man whether black, brown or white. It is interesting to see how there has beenan overemphasis on my words,
I have a dream that my four little children will one day live ina nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character 
”; while many don’t know that shortly before my death, I was planning a Poor People’s Campaign. The plan was to lead poor black and white people to build tentsettlements on the National Mall, something similar to what the Occupy Wall Street movementdid at Zuccotti Park.It is unfortunate that in today’s America many white and Negroes live on a lonely island of poverty in the midst of a vast ocean of material prosperity. In short, while a number of peopleare living the American dream, many are experiencing the American nightmare especially inthe aftermath of the Great Recession. I am concerned about the level of economic inequalityin America. A country in which one per cent of the population controls 42 per cent of thewealth; a country in which those earning over $300,000 see their income increase by 33
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