Dream Lost: CBS Puts on Leftist Columnist to Tout MLK's 'Evolution' to the Hard Left

August 28th, 2023 6:08 PM

To mark the 60th anniversary of Martin Luther King's March on Washington, the CBS program Sunday Morning aired a commentary by left-wing New York Times columnist Charles Blow, who started out celebrating the speech as "iconic," but then turned on its idealism, touting that King later hardened to the left, focusing on systemic racism. All the leftists prefer the more radical late-Sixties King to the Kumbaya 1963 version.

Blow wanted to sound positive about the early speech: “It is a beautiful speech. It doesn`t so much demand as it encourages. It is a great American speech, perfect for America`s limited appetite for addressing America`s inequities, both racial and economic...It focuses more on the interpersonal and less on the systemic and structural.” But he was happy to explain King saw the error of this approach: 

CHARLES BLOW: King would later say that he needed to confess that the dream he had that day had at many points turned into a nightmare. In 1967, years after the passage of the Civil Rights Act and the Voting Rights Act, King would say in a television interview that, after much soul- searching, he had come to see that some of the old optimism was a little superficial, and now it must be tempered with a solid realism.

KING (1967): We have moved from a struggle for decency, which characterize our struggle for 10 or 12 years, to a struggle for genuine equality.

The "old optimism" was losing to the new radicalism of Stokely Carmichael and other black activists turning away from non-violence. 

BLOW: In his "The Other America" speech delivered at Stanford University, King homed in on the structural intransigence on the race issue.

KING (1967): We must come to see now that integration is not merely a romantic or aesthetic something, where you merely add color to a still predominantly white power structure.

BLOW: The night before he was assassinated, King underscored his evolving emphasis on structures, saying to a crowd in Memphis --

KING (April 3, 1968).: All we say to America is be true to what you said on paper.

BLOW: As we remember the March on Washington and honor King, we must acknowledge that there is no way to do justice to the man or the movement without accepting their growth and evolution, even when they challenge and discomfort.

What this approach doesn't do is make any acknowledgement of racial progress since King's death in 1968. The Left insists that systemic racism has never ended, and America remains a terribly racist country.