CNN corrects problematic MLK ‘I Have a Dream’ speech for modern audience

ATLANTA—CNN producers have corrected the deeply problematic “I Have a Dream” speech by Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. along the lines of 2020 racial justice guidelines.

“In preparation for the anniversary of the 1963 speech, we reviewed it but it was deeply problematic,” CNN Producer Dick Firkin said. “We had to get rid of much of the speech and we had to change some of the parts to what he really meant to say.”

One of the most obvious examples of where MLK was wrong in his speech was where he said, “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 clearly meant to say the opposite, that he wants a place where his children will be praised and given credit for being black regardless of the content of their character,” Firkin said.

Another passage was heavily edited with the following omissions:

But there is something that I must say to my people, who stand on the warm threshold which leads into the palace of justice: In the process of gaining our rightful place, we must not be guilty of wrongful deeds. Let us not seek to satisfy our thirst for freedom by drinking from the cup of bitterness and hatred. We must forever conduct our struggle on the high plane of dignity and discipline. We must not allow our creative protest to degenerate into physical violence. Again and again, we must rise to the majestic heights of meeting physical force with soul force gain reparations by looting.

Presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden has endorsed the new version of the speech saying, “This much better fits the modern concept of social justice. If you don’t agree, you ain’t black!”

Originally published August 11, 2020.


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