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Achieving Dr. King’s dream

Published 9:31pm Monday, March 31, 2014

By Joseph Bass

Do you remember Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s dream?

“I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character,” he said in 1963.

Fifty years later, the great American question is how we go about realizing King’s dream.

What is our plan to go from focusing on race as a determining factor in many issues to race not making a difference?

I am an old guy. I remember World War II. I remember the Jim Crow era. My somewhat Native American ancestors, known then as “breeds,” migrated into the Chickasaw Nation (now part of Oklahoma) because of racial discrimination. Bur I cannot identify a national plan to realize King’s dream.

I say this because of continued government efforts to utilize race as the sole criteria for developing programs to “improve” society. This is particularly true of the Department of Justice, the Education Department Civil Rights Office, and other such agencies. How can we move forward toward King’s dream while the government continues to focus on race?

Except for a couple of years while in the U.S. Army, I taught in Oklahoma and California public schools from 1964 to 1980. When I first started teaching, communities were the focus for developing children’s readiness to learn. Children were delivered to the classroom ready to strive to better themselves just as their parents had done.

Students’ classroom achievement determined their advancement, just as it had when I was a child. Grades and advancement were in the hands of classroom teachers. Schools were safe places where teachers maintained behavioral standards through summary judgment and various types of discipline.

Those days are long gone. I left public education, partially because I could make a lot more money in business and industry, but primarily because federal government actions ignored the importance of communities in preparing children for school and learning, undermining vital support for schools.

Beginning in the late 1960s, people who previously lived in segregated communities could rightfully move wherever they wanted. This resulted in various positive and negative social dynamics, causing unstable communities.

Then, as now, government only cared about racial numbers, focusing on drawing and redrawing school attendance zones as community demographics changed. Such actions undermined, and continue to undermine, support for schools.

Weakened, unstable communities result in insecure children who act out their insecurities in school. When this occurs, government assumes the problems are caused by schools. In fact, negative student behaviors are symptoms of unstable communities resulting from government focusing only on racial numbers to drive public policies and actions.

We need an effective plan to move toward Dr. King’s dream. This should be done through transitioning away from “top-down” government efforts and develop stable, traditional “bottom-up” communities. These communities will become desirable areas for commercial builders to purchase land and construct homes.

With anyone being free to purchase homes in any area, children would attend local, community-based schools regardless of their race. As we know from history, traditional “bottom-up” communities are safe places to live. Children from stable communities will again strive to learn and achieve an education based on their classroom achievements.

 Joseph L. Bass is the executive director of ABetterSociety.Info Inc., a nonprofit organization in Hobson. Email him at

  • So What

    Mr. Bass Dr king was a Christian man in his thinking, his teachings, speeches yet sir. No where in that ugly Chinese manufactured monument is God Mentioned as a leader and as a black man. I Doubt DR. king ever looked down His nose at fellow blacks. It may eventually, and probably iT becomes evident to many of Obama’s 95 percent of plain, ordinary, everyday black voters, that he is not one of them at all, but, instead, harbors contempt for them in his heart. In fact, he is a racist toward black and white Americans alike, fully despising both halves of himself, and his high and mighty, Mussolini-like megalomania is born of that self-hatred transmogrified, by an effort of will, into idolatry of himself (“I am the One”) as a transcendent being — a legend in his own mind. but too many blacks treat him as some kind of African dictator, who goes into a village in his Benze where hes received as some kind of God as hes waving and smiling to the villagers as to say I’am here I’am the one. you can be me but don’t try. I will take care of You with government hand outs because you are entitled to them.
    Idon’t think that the Dr. King that we have learned of and has been taught to both black and white children per his dream that he would approve of the Obamas the Jacksons, the Sharptons, the Wrights of today. but then again why is the file that the FBI compiled on him still sealed.

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  • So What

    Only the modern political democratic and cultural left including so called men of God Jesse Jackson still want to deny blacks the opportunity that Rev King spoke of and believed in. Mr Bass, would I be wrong to assume that your name be included in the above? I hope not sir. but Jesse likes to Tell his version of what happened that day in Memphis and how Rev King bleeding died in his arms. It may be even hard for you to imagine civil rights laws were passed mostly by Republicans and King was a “Christian” Republican.
    But it is also difficult to imagine that the current GOP Liberal Establishment has the same moniker as the Republicans Goldwater, Reagan and Kemp. They are diametrically opposed to their conservative foundations and now just another flavor of statism.
    And the so-called good, liberal Democrats have also devolved into the opposite of their once libertarian leanings and love of liberty. The sixties liberals are now totalitarians. The great MLK stood for equality of opportunity and for all to be treated equally under the law and by other Americans. But today the black leaders mentioned are all in for reverse discrimination, redistribution based on color and ideology, and enslaving the next generation. MLK must be throwing up in his grave.

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    • So What

      Mr Bass Always brings up topics that I think actually scares the ____ out of some folks and it just gives credence to what some call white guilt. I have none nor will I ever have it. I will acknowledge there were whites and blacks who together traded in human flesh of color, and none of them are still living tody that I know of and I am damn tired of being blamed for their actions. When blacks wont take responsibility for their actions of today. So by my commenting Iam called a racist. with that being said and by my standing by my comments. Ponder this thought as you think about what I have said here and below and in the past. Would things be better today if James Earl Ray would have shot Jesse Jackson instead of Dr. King. and Barrack Obama or what ever his name is Barry Obama OR Barry Sorretto. Had never been elected President not just once but twice? If you think that is a racist statement then take that and tell me that 97% of blacks didn’t vote for what ever is real name is because of his skin color< be careful of who you are calling a racist.

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