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He implored that the struggle to realize the American charter of freedom and protection of the rights of all citizens take place “on the high plane of dignity and discipline.” He urged Black Americans to not “satisfy our thirst for freedom by drinking from the cup of bitterness and hatred.”

And King’s final appeal was to see our nation as a nation under God.

It is a critical point. King’s vision, as expressed that day, was that the American ideal of freedom would be made possible when “all of God’s children, Black men and white men, Jews and Gentiles, Protestants and Catholics, will be able to join hands and sing in the words of the old Negro spiritual: ‘Free at last! Free at last! Thank God Almighty, we are free at last.’” Although our realities today are far different from August 1963 — certainly the material state of Black Americans is far, far better — there is a prevailing sense that things are not good.

If we take King’s words at face value, then it is questionable we have learned much since then.

When he spoke about failing to live up to the “magnificent words” of our founding documents, he got applause from the crowd.

It is questionable that would be the case today. Many on the left see our nation as fundamentally flawed. They see government and politics as the answer, not individual freedom.

The nation’s deplorable fiscal situation today reflects this change in attitude. Government spending now takes two-thirds more from our national economy than when King spoke in 1963.

King’s appeal that the struggle take place “on the high plane of dignity” is also, sadly, lost. The divisions and hate between citizens today are an unfortunate and troubling reality.

And, what should trouble us most, is we have moved in the opposite direction from King’s vision that ultimately our freedom will be realized as children of God.

The political left sees our future in socialism and secularism.

If, over the 60 years since King spoke, we pursued freedom in terms of personal responsibility, limited government and faith, we would be far, far better off today.

Star Parker is president of the Center for Urban Renewal and Education and host of the weekly television show “Cure America with Star Parker.” Her recent book, “What Is the CURE for America?” is available now. To find out more about Star Parker and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate website at www.creators. com. COPYRIGHT 2023 CREATORS. COM

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