Google+
Close

The Corner

The one and only.

Let Freedom Ring



Text  



I know there are people on the right who aren’t fans of MLK Day. I myself would prefer we mark emancipation and the extension of civil rights to all our citizens on another day, not an individual’s birthday but on, say, Juneteenth. What’s more, many of those claiming King’s mantle today are indeed charlatans and con artists. And yes, he had extramarital affairs (like, you know, Hamilton and Franklin). He also clearly seems to have plagiarized parts of his doctoral dissertation. All of which means he was a sinner like the rest of us.

But we were still blessed by Providence to have had him, because he was the right man at the right time. It was he who rose to be the leader and articulator and symbol of the civil-rights movement, a “dream deeply rooted in the American dream,” and not the loathsome racist Elijah Mohammed or the criminals of the Black Panther movement or even Malcolm X and his late embrace of mainstream Islam. Would any of these men, or the frauds and swindlers who claim to be “civil rights” spokesmen today, give a speech that ends this way?:

This will be the day when all of God’s children will be able to sing with a new meaning, “My country, ’tis of thee, sweet land of liberty, of thee I sing. Land where my fathers died, land of the pilgrim’s pride, from every mountainside, let freedom ring.”

And if America is to be a great nation this must become true. So let freedom ring from the prodigious hilltops of New Hampshire. Let freedom ring from the mighty mountains of New York. Let freedom ring from the heightening Alleghenies of Pennsylvania!

Let freedom ring from the snowcapped Rockies of Colorado!

Let freedom ring from the curvaceous slopes of California!

But not only that; let freedom ring from Stone Mountain of Georgia!

Let freedom ring from Lookout Mountain of Tennessee!

Let freedom ring from every hill and molehill of Mississippi. From every mountainside, let freedom ring.

And when this happens, when we allow freedom to ring, when we let it ring from every village and every hamlet, from every state and every city, we will be able to speed up that day when all of God’s children, black men and white men, Jews and Gentiles, Protestants and Catholics, will be able to join hands and sing in the words of the old Negro spiritual, “Free at last! free at last! thank God Almighty, we are free at last!”



Text  


Sign up for free NRO e-mails today:

Subscribe to National Review