Martin Luther King - Cashing in on the Promises of Old

Martin Luther King was literally seeking to cash the check that was written by the founding fathers. They promised that all men were endowed by our creator with certain inalienable rights that are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. In all of history, no government had been formed with such promises, namely the sovereignty of the individual man.

America’s Promises

Martin Luther King proposed to put into reality for all men what the founding fathers put into the founding documents. He also sought to fulfill what Abraham Lincoln had accomplished, through the Civil War and procured in the 15th amendment. To bring forth the truth that these United States had promised the common man. To demand that the government keep all of its promises laid out in the Constitution, all the way down to the daily lives of its black citizens.

Promises Kept Are More Difficult Than Promises Made

The black community had been alienated even after the civil war, as those white Southerners both slave and non-slave owners were compelled by local Jim Crow laws to prevent equality of the newly freed slaves. The common folk of the south (non-slave owners) was now on the same equal footing. This caused them to be even more interested in preventing equality. The non-slave folk could not handle being on the same level as previous slaves because it caused them to actually fall into poverty. Both from a physical perspective, and from the fact that the people that were enslaved were now on the same level on the social-economic level. The reality of slaves being forced into the paid economy now caused the less productive common folk to fall into deep poverty.

Separate But Equal Cannot Be Equal

Jim Crow laws were the natural effect of upending 90 years of social norms in the south. Even though the 15th amendment was passed at the end of the Civil War it was a matter of social survival that board out the Jim Crow laws. These laws were mostly passed by local municipalities and southern states to keep the black community separate but equal. Martin Luther King’s position was separate but equal can never be equal.

Equal... Cash the Promissory Note!

Martin Luther King demanded in his speech, we have the right to be equal, based upon what the Declaration of Independence, the Civil War, and the 15th amendment declared. 100 years later Martin Luther King came to cash the promissory note that the forefathers including what Abraham Lincoln had promised. He sought the legacy of equality for all men. It was not just striving for equality for the black community but argued for the sovereign dignity of all.

Equality of All Men is Based on the Content of their Character

His speech called the,