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Tag Archives: Martin Luther King

People of the United States and likely elsewhere across the world put shame upon the People’s Republic of China when it was discovered the young girl who appeared to be singing for the opening ceremony had only been lip syncing. The girl who was actually singing had been deemed not beautiful enough to represent the country. One became a heroine, the other became a “role model” for proper Chinese conduct. A similar shame should be relinquished to the United States. Students in China may sometimes blindly praise Mao Zedong (River Town by Peter Hessler), but in the U.S. students are taught to blindly believe in the goodness of past presidents. George Washington went from “chopping down a cherry tree” to perfect leader. There are other examples of false perceptions in the U.S. as well. Martin Luther King Jr. is appraised qualities of sainthood by the education system. Indeed his feats were great, but he also struggled at times too. In fact, the NAACP felt so strongly about perceptions that it determined who the heroine of the Civil Rights movement would be. Before Rosa Parks took a stand (or more literally, a seat) against racism, another woman took a similar action. The NAACP considered a legal challenge, but one problem arose: the woman was unmarried and pregnant (Soul of a Citizen by Paul Rogat Loeb).

In his acceptance speech, Obama referred to Democrats as the party of Roosevelt. He was right…assuming he meant FDR and not distant cousin Teddy. This small mistake seems to have been easily overlooked by the press, but would someone who knows presidential history actually announce the democratic party as such. It isn’t the same as saying the party of Kennedy because the name is almost strictly associated with the Democratic party. The Republicans have just as much claim to the name Roosevelt as the Democrats.

Also, I wonder if anyone picked up on Obama’s direct reference to the work of MLK. The day of the speech being the 40th anniversary of King’s I Have A Dream speech, Obama paraphrased King in his line about Republicans forcing people to pick themeselves up by their own bootstraps, even though they might not have any.