Bastardize: to change (something) in such a way as to lower its quality or value, typically by adding new elements.
I was a child when Martin Luther King Jr. presented his “I Have A Dream” speech and I vividly remember the years of social turmoil and riots. I remember the firebombing of black churches, one of which was very close to my home in our close-knit poor inner city Highland Park neighborhood in Chattanooga, Tennessee. Throughout my younger years I grew up seeing open racism towards blacks and I never really understood it or condoned it. I hate to say it but as a youngster I was passive about racism even though I disagreed with it; however, the older I got and the more my character grew, my voice gained its freedom to be heard and I began to speak out against racism when I saw it. As the years went by I began to fully understand what King was talking about, what his dreams consisted of, and my admiration of King’s dreams grew.
King was an intelligent man and appeared to me to be the epitome of an honorable activist with a just moral cause and he displayed the personal fortitude to push forward against all odds. It’s clear to me that King’s intentions were to help steer the United States of America towards a social change that would shift our society from the brazen inequalities in 1963 to a more moral and ethical society based on the words of the founding fathers of the United States. As I came to understand it, the core of King’s dream was to make the statement inscribed in the Declaration of Independence that “all men are created equal” more than just a meaningless moral platitude, he wanted it to be part of our core beliefs, an integral part of our everyday life and become an automatic part of our decision making process. King’s dream speech was a courageous public act. King’s public activism was courageous throughout the movement, and King paid the ultimate price for his courage. Regardless of King’s ethical struggles in other areas of his life I believe King’s public activism to be very heroic. King is a true American hero.
King publicly sharing his dreams inspired people in our society to move away from racial tribes and towards an honest balance of equality in opportunity for those striving for the coveted American Dream. That inspiration continued for many years but what’s happened in our 21st century society is a shift to enabling tribes of self-segregating people falsely claiming oppression based on inequality of outcomes not inequality of opportunity. What our society has done in the 21st century is to bastardize the opportunity based individual equalities that was the root of King’s speech and twisted it into equality in outcomes based on tribes of people and then created entitlements to try to force desired outcomes. It is self-repressing (inhibiting or restraining the freedom of a person or group of people) for individuals or tribes of people to “feel” entitled to an equal outcome regardless of their abilities, efforts or achievements. King should be rolling over in his grave at how our society has bastardized his equality in opportunity dreams into a new “my tribe is entitled”, it’s an immoral and unethical societal cancer.
If we look back over the years we can see we’ve come a long way since those days in 1963 and some of the changes have been very positive. In King’s days, we lived through days of drastically needed social upheaval, days of unethical and immoral racial inequalities due to spoken and unspoken racism, days of rioting in the streets, days of burning and looting, days of terrible violent injustices and days of hating your neighbor simply because their was more or less pigment in their equally human skin. King’s constructive dreams of social change were based on the inherent equalities of human beings and the common goal of a nation working together to give its citizens an equal opportunity to achieve the American dream. I think there are still rare occurrences of verifiable racial discrimination putting its evil thumb on the balancing scales of opportunity, but overall I see that equality in opportunity has been achieved and exists across-the-board in the United States regardless of what some of the unethical propaganda is saying in the 21st century. We now have many minorities in prominent leadership positions across the United States. We’ve elected minorities as Mayors, Governors, Judges, Justices, Congress and to the office of the President of the United States plus there are minority business owners and employees all over the United States that are doing very well and working together with non-minorities to achieve significant things; these things were nearly unheard of before King’s speech and the movement he inspired. In spite of all the good things that have happened since 1963 what we’ve been seeing in the 21st century is King’s constructive dreams for positive social change have been upended and they’re fading into the archives of mere historical references and the root of King’s dreams, the American Dream, has been bastardized into a new wave of destructive social changes.
Our society has regressed into destructive tribal self-segregation. These tribal divisions show immense bigotry towards one another and are along racial, sexual, gender and religious lines, just to name a few. These tribal divisions are inflamed by emotionally consumed social justice warriors and unethical politicians that falsely imply oppression and marginalization where none exists; it’s all done to gain political power. All this intentional pushing of tribalism divides us deeply as a nation and it will ultimately destroy the United States of America.
I once read that “ideological chasm walls can be bridged by the solid foundation of human commonalities”, in general that’s true; however, in today’s emotionally triggered society we are seeing that human commonalities are being completely ignored in favor of tribal differences and society seems to be absolutely obsessed with those differences. Group A smears group B as evil and at the same time refuses to see their own hypocritical tendencies towards the same, or worse, evil they accuse of others. We are rapidly approaching the point where our society will become irretrievably broken within itself all because of self-inflicted tribal segregation that’s based on hateful tribal bigotries.
Bigoted people have lit the fuse to their bias, fired up their emotional bigotries and placed all this emotional garbage above everything else. Critical thinking has been replaced with emotion reactions for a vast majority of the population, apparent morals are at an extreme low, ethics are nearly non-existent, there’s no logic to arguments only emotions, and civility is quaint. Hate has consumed our society. People have socially, and sometimes geographically, isolated themselves from anyone and anything that differs from themself. These tribal bigotries have gotten so bad that guilt is automatically presumed simply because of assumed tribal associations. The immoral core of this anti-Constitutional concept is the false notion that being accused automatically implies guilt especially if the accused is part of a socially unpopular tribe.
Does any of this division and hate sound anything like King’s dreams of unification?
King was trying to get people to be socially and legally equal across society not divide them into self-centered socially isolated warring tribes. King wanted to strip society of it’s irrational bigoted hate, but what’s happening in the 21st century is irrational bigoted hate is growing at an alarming rate and consuming those that have been sucked into the self-isolating tribe mentality. People are becoming obsessed with their own ideological echo chambers and openly rejecting anything and everything that remotely appears to be outside their tribal echo chambers; truth be damned! King’s dreams have been bastardized by a morally and ethically corrupted society blinded by irrational identity politics inspiring bigotry and they use that new found socially acceptable bigotry to refuse to take responsibility for their own actions and blame other tribes for the consequences of their own choices. Unethical rationalizations are common place now; EthicsAlarms.com has a fabulous list of them.
All this bigotry, self-segregation and hate won’t end well for the United States.
In our society, King’s dreams have become a shadow of what they once were. Our society has sunk into an unethical tribal blame game where one tribe blames other tribes for everything bad that happens in their individual life, or tribe, regardless of truth or facts. We see that about the only “critical thinking” anymore is when tribes blindly use correlation equals causation arguments. We’ve seen free speech being weaponized by unethical tribal minded people hell bent on the destruction of free speech for the voices of those they oppose. This is not the society that King dreamed of, this is an anti-constitutional and hateful tribalistic society that would likely cause King gut wrenching and heart pounding nightmares!
Let’s shift gears slightly and look at what King’s dreams were using his own words and then reflect back on what’s happened in our society.
“I say to you today, my friends, so even though we face the difficulties of today and tomorrow, I still have a dream. It is a dream deeply rooted in the American dream.”
What’s this “American Dream” King spoke of? We’ve spoken the words for generations but do we as a society really know what it is? Wikipedia tells us that..
“the American Dream is a national ethos of the United States, the set of ideals (democracy, rights, liberty, opportunity and equality) in which freedom includes the opportunity for prosperity and success, as well as an upward social mobility for the family and children, achieved through hard work in a society with few barriers. In the definition of the American Dream by James Truslow Adams in 1931, ‘life should be better and richer and fuller for everyone, with opportunity for each according to ability or achievement’ regardless of social class or circumstances of birth.”
Based on the content of King’s speech and my personal beliefs, I think those are reasonable ways to describe the “American Dream” that King was talking about.
The things that really jump out at me from that description of the American Dream are, “the set of ideals (democracy, rights, liberty, opportunity and equality)“, “opportunity for prosperity and success”, “achieved through hard work in a society with few barriers” and “opportunity for each according to ability or achievement regardless of social class or circumstances of birth”. The word opportunity is used multiple times in that description of the American Dream and I don’t think that’s a coincidence. Individual opportunity is THE core of the American Dream. Having the opportunity to achieve the American Dream has been the dream of millions born and raised in the United States along with millions of immigrants that have traveled to our shores for hundreds of years. The American Dream is your dream (I hope), it’s certainly my dream and it damn well better be the dream that we instill in our children if we want the United States to continue as a free nation based on our Constitution for generations to come.
Unfortunately what’s happened over the last 50+ years is a noticeable ideological shift within the ideologically entrenched extremes of the political left to completely ignore the equality in opportunity, that’s the core of the American Dream, and insist that people are entitled to have equality in outcomes regardless of effort, ability or achievements. When the outcomes aren’t equal the tear-jerking and tribal blame games begin. Equality in outcomes is not what King dreamed of; equality in outcomes is a bastardization of King’s dreams!
“I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal.”
These words “we hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal” must be constantly ringing in the nightmares of 21st century social justice warriors, totalitarian minded extremists and socialists. These people are brazen hypocrites and have proven beyond all doubt that the only people that they think deserve equal rights are the ones that think like them, everyone else is treated extraordinarily unequal. These extremists are a hive mind and anything outside their hive mind is considered evil. For this “tribe” of people it’s open season bigotry towards all dissenting opinions; your opinion is wrong and you shouldn’t have the right to share it and we’ll destroy you for speaking things that contradict the hive mind is the meme these extreme bigots seem to live by. We’ve seen it over and over again from the extreme bigots, they intimidate governments, colleges, public schools, businesses and individuals not to speak their mind or not to allow speech that the hive mind disagrees with and they intentionally infringe upon the civil rights of others to speak freely by shouting down any taboo thoughts and words that don’t seem to produce the right echo in their chamber, it’s active suppression of free speech. These extremists are the enemy of the United States Constitution and therefore the enemy of the people! The weaponizing of their free speech is so prominent in our 21st century society that there was an entire book devoted to the topic, it’s titled, THE SILENCING: HOW THE LEFT IS KILLING FREE SPEECH written by a life long Liberal Democrat Kirsten Powers. The extremist have weaponized their free speech in an effort to destroy the free speech of others and intimidate everyone to submit to their cult-like social justice movement. They appear to be thinking like totalitarian Nazi’s but they’re too self-absorbed and too consumed by their Utopian purity dreams to see reality.
King’s dream was clear, it was that ALL of us are created equal, in other words my voice is equal in every way under the constitution to yours even if our opinions differ. King’s path to achieve his goals of equality in opportunity was protesting to draw attention to the problems and the goals. What we’ve seen in the 21st century is the extremists are bastardizing King’s dreams of equality and choosing an immoral tactic of civil destruction, airbrushing history they don’t like, tribalism, identity politics, and outright intimidation. They have even gone as far as imitating ISIS and literally destroyed historical landmarks that they think represents things they don’t like. This is destroying the building blocks of our society and the collateral damage of this will be the complete destruction of our Constitution starting with stripping the rights for those who they think are wrong or not “woke”. The extremists already have this mindset they just have to find a way to gain enough political power to legally implement their unconstitutional suppression nationwide. King dreamed of unity, our 21st century society is in the process of destroying that dream.
“I have a dream that one day on the red hills of Georgia, the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slave owners will be able to sit down together at the table of brotherhood.”
This dream of unity have been swirling around the toilet bowl for years with government and socially sanction reverse discrimination forced upon businesses with Affirmative Action and entitlements but now there are people completely flushing dreams of unity with demands of forced reparations for slavery. This is not the descendants of slaves sitting down with the descendants of slave owners at the table of brotherhood, this is an outright bastardization of King’s dream of brotherhood. These forced reparation proposals would be an outright entitlement for some by literally taking earned dollars out of the pockets of those who are not slave owners and give it to those that are descendants of slaves. We all know what happens when the government takes our money for a purpose, that purpose always seems to be expanded. These forced reparation proposals are a terribly slippery unethical slope. This is not the brotherhood that King dreamed of, this is illogical emotion driven nonsense intentionally encouraging tribal division and irrational feelings of entitlement.
I have never owned a slave and I never will. I will not pay the price for the immoral actions of people that have been dead for over a hundred years, this would be unconstitutional and I’ll take it to the Supreme Court of the United States if I have to.
The table of brotherhood King spoke of is being burned to the ground in favor of tribal division. There are tribal divisions built around gender, choice of gender, gay, straight, black, white, Latino, Asian, race, ethnicity, etc, etc. These tribes are being pushed by unscrupulous extremists trying to gain political power. These divisions are becoming so distant from each other that they are rapidly becoming irretrievably broken. The anti-unity self-segregated tribes are based on blind bias and open bigotry and it will destroy the United States of America. Does this sound like the dream of unity and equality at the table of brotherhood that King dreamed about?
“I have a dream that one day even the state of Mississippi, a state sweltering with the heat of injustice, sweltering with the heat of oppression, will be transformed into an oasis of freedom and justice.”
I can’t speak of Mississippi specifically, I can only write of what I see in the places I’ve lived and seen. What I see from my vantage point is that constitutional based freedoms are being attacked by irrational emotionally driven people using unethical rationalizations like “we’ve got to do something”, “think of the children”, “hate speech equals murder”, “they shouldn’t be allowed to speak”, “they wouldn’t have been accused if they weren’t guilty”, “if they’re not guilty what have they got to hide”, “good people don’t get accused of bad things”, etc. The concept of justice and the presumption of innocence is rapidly approaching non-existent in the minds of the extremists and it’s being replaced with emotional vigilante justice. This tactic of vigilantism is being wielded using the media of all kinds and it’s being used to destroy others with intimidation, libel and slander. I really don’t think that this was what King’s oasis of freedom and justice dream was all about.
“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..”
This dream has been bastardized so badly in the 21st century that it in some instances it’s being completely ignored. Our society is in the process of completely shifting into the unethical abyss of identity politics and those identities now appear to be the core of all things socially motivated and a lot of things politically motivated. Identity politics are beginning to override everything else. Identity politics have divided our culture into tribes of self-centered bigoted groups of people that “feel” entitled simply because of their identity. These self-isolating identities are things like male, female, choice of gender, gay, straight, black, white, Latino, Asian, race, ethnicity, police, authority, victim-hood, conservative, liberal, progressive, socialist, the list goes on and on.
What’s worse is that this particular dream is been ignored by a vast majority of the very tribe of people that King was fighting for, the black community. The 21st century black community has shifted to almost entirely being an identity group of people that want to be judged by the color of their skin and some demand to receive preferential treatment specifically because of their skin color. What we are seeing across the United States is unethical rationalizations demanding special treatment specifically because of the color of their skin regardless of the content of their character, their behavior, or their morals. This immoral behavior is becoming more and more socially acceptable within the subculture of the black community and it’s slowly destroying the character of growing black children and entire future generations are being set up for failure. This behavior is clearly a complete bastardization of King’s dream to “not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character“.
King wanted race to be completely removed from equality in opportunity and not have people prejudged based on the color of their skin or race. What we are seeing now is that if tribes of people don’t get what they want from others, like illogical equality in outcomes, they falsely claim that they’re being oppressed and publicly smear anyone that disagrees with them; it’s unquestionably bigotry, tribal discrimination, and in some cases open racism. There are people wearing clothing that says things like “Fuck White People” and “All White People Are Racist” and others making ridiculous claims that police are specifically trained to kill black students. To racists everything is about race.
Is tribalistic bigotry, discrimination, open racism and intentional preferential treatment specifically because of their skin color what King’s dream was all about – HELL NO!
“I have a dream that one day down in Alabama, with its vicious racists, with its governor having his lips dripping with the words of “interposition” and “nullification”, one day right there in Alabama little black boys and black girls will be able to join hands with little white boys and white girls as sisters and brothers.”
The tribalistic mentality of a huge swath of the 21st century black community is making the joining of our hands in brotherhood nearly impossible. You cannot have brotherhood or unity when firmly ingrained within a subculture is adults teaching their children how to be bigots based tribalistic self-segregation, a culture of victim-hood, immoral race baiting, and a complete lack of individual responsibility where one tribe is actively blaming everyone else for their own choices. A real brotherhood between these tribes is NOT socially possible under these conditions. Tribes need to do the things that inspire unity, like King did, instead of inspiring division like is happening now.
For the sake of everyone in the United States, stop irrationally projecting evils upon others when they have not been earned, and learn to take responsibility for your own choices instead of blaming everyone else for your shortcomings!
In conclusion; the 21st Century’s Bastardization of “I Have A Dream” has been enabled by an unethical and immorally shifting society. Extremists have twisted the equality in opportunity based social changes that King dreamed of into an irrational socialistic minded equality in outcomes and it is a societal cancer. The bastardization of Kings dreams has been happening slowly for many years but it has dramatically accelerated in the 21st century and irrational hate is on the rise! Both blacks and whites have enabled the immoral bastardization of King’s dreams and I’m not sure if it’s reversible within the lifespan of currently living generations. My hope is that rational heads will prevail inspiring a new realization of the existing problems which would result in a new self awareness of our place in the reality that we live in.
Hope is what propels the United States forward and hope is dwindling in the 21st century.
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