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Friday, February 20, 2015

MLK's 1965 UCLA speech: then and now

Dr. Murphy, KU Memorial Union photo
Dr. Frank Murphy, chancellor of UCLA in 1965, said hosting Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and his colleagues during the university's Speech Series was an extraordinary experience when for him, legend became reality. He described King as one who provided solutions to problems with absolute integrity of thought, action, position, and reason.

The question King addressed in his speech was, "Are we making any progress in race relations?" and the subject of the speech was "The Future of Integration."

"Truth is the relatedness of facts. It's a fact that we've come a long, long, way, but it isn't the whole truth," King said. We can't become dangerously optimistic but should move forward to right any wrong facing us, he suggested. King warned us not to become "victims of illusion wrapped in superficiality."

In 1965 as in today, the country was still facing brutal murders without consequences or convictions. Property was being destroyed by arson and bombing. Tragic lawlessness and a reign of terror were activities frequently reported. Voting irregularities, apathy, questions regarding the accuracy of counting systems, and ballot tallying are still suspect.

"All kinds of conniving methods are still being used," in the voting process, King said. He urged "...all men of goodwill should become involved participants rather than detached spectators."

Take a few minutes and listen to MLK's speech and contrast and compare the statistics from 1965, a half decade ago, to the plight of African Americans (Negroes) today.

A MUST listen for those interested in civil rights.

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