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Obama speaks on 50th anniversary of King speech

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posted on Aug, 29 2013 @ 05:01 PM
reply to post by beezzer

Okay. But that is entirely different from judging based on the content of one's character. (translated: judging based on how the individual comports himself in the world)

Well, I am unsure of what you mean. One's workplace is certainly the most mundane of all humanities' endeavors.

Regardless, the point of the OP is to spur discussion on the merits of policies enacted by the government since Dr King Jr.'s speech. Particularly the policy of affirmative action:

Men and women of all races are born with the same range of abilities. But ability is not just the product of birth. Ability is stretched or stunted by the family that you live with, and the neighborhood you live in--by the school you go to and the poverty or the richness of your surroundings. It is the product of a hundred unseen forces playing upon the little infant, the child, and finally the man.[12]

We read President Lyndon Johnson's words.

Is character an ability?

posted on Aug, 29 2013 @ 10:22 PM
reply to post by totallackey

I can certainly understand why Dr King Jr. could only, "dream," of such a world at the time this speech was delivered. It was certainly a time of turmoil and there were clearly institutional practices in place that did not allow for issues of character to even be a point of discussion.

That's indeed the case. It was largely Dr. King, and his fellow civil rights activists, of all races, that made the changes possible.

I, for one, would agree that some level of intimacy would be required to come any sense of a judgment call regarding the "content," of another person's character. Do you feel the amount of intimacy can be quantified and thus addressed through any policy?

No. You can not legislate peoples hearts, and minds. The story of King Canute ordering back the tides comes quickly to mind when ever the topic of legislating societal change. People have to want to change, you can not make people change. Only by education can one's mind be changed. Hate crime legislation makes great headlines without a doubt, but does it really do anything to change a bigots mindset? I have my doubts.

I find your take on Dr. King's meaning quite interesting and thought-provoking. Do you believe the term "vicious racists," is not an indictment on ones' character?

Certainly it is, if that's indeed what the person is... "vicious racists". Having that thrown at you is indeed an indictment. Is it truth? That's up to the beholder, isn't it? In many cases, especially at that point in time, the folks he was so obliquely referencing were indeed bigots. Anything not white. Anything not male. Anything not "christian". Anything that didn't fit into that nice small pigeon hole was suspect, therefore dangerous. In my eye he was talking about the mind set of bigotry.

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