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January 18th, 2010
09:23 AM ET

Dr. Martin Luther King’s Dream…

From Executive Producer Cari Hernandez
Martin Luther King gave his famous "I Have a Dream Speech" at a civil rights march in Washington in 1963. Do you think the U.S. has fulfilled the vision King outlined in that speech?
Post your comments here and Kyra will read some of your responses on the air in the 10am ET hour of CNN Newsroom.

Filed under: Kyra Phillips
soundoff (60 Responses)
  1. Wade

    No, I do not believe that the US has come close to fulfilling Dr. King's "dream", when we still have second class citizens in this country struggling for equal rights under the heal of a tyrannical majority seeking to vote on their civil liberties despite the fact that the local state Supreme Courts have, in many cases, pronounced them to be a "suspect class"; meaning that the "majority" does not have the *right* to vote on their private lives, such as who they choose to marry and build a life with (this sets a dangerous precedent!). Dr. King famously said, "Justice delayed is justice denied." That is absolutely true in the case of the GLBT community. Many prominent Civil Rights figure heads, today, forget that his late wife, Coretta Scott King was a vociferous advocate for gay rights until she died.

    How long must we wait for our rights?!

    January 18, 2010 at 9:30 am |
  2. Mary George

    Unfortunately not. But I think that people view Blacks in a more positive light. I see the difference. Maybe it's me who has changed. Instead of thinking–"That kid (Black) is selling drugs or is up to no good" I look harder and think, "He's just living like me (maybe)".

    I hate to say it, but I'm being honest. In my heart I wish things were more equal but there's a lot of history to be overcome on both sides. At least many non Blacks are thinking. Change is a slow process.

    I love President Obama. I voted for him and hope he goes the whole eight years. He's intelligent and loves this country. He's done more in one year in the positve direction than any public figure I've seen in a long time.

    The thing about talking behind the backs of Blacks in a different way. That's true on both sides and not always mean, just different cultures talking about each other.

    January 18, 2010 at 9:36 am |
  3. Darren Zanolini

    Almost everybody stopped what they were doing to look at my 1961 T-bird as I drove around central FL. with a Dr.Martin Luther King license plate..Many of us are living his Dream ! My children are his Dream come true..One Nation under God with Liberty and Justice for all !

    January 18, 2010 at 9:56 am |
  4. PGS

    Sadly no! His dream has not been met, when people like Harry Reid make uneducated racial inferences.

    January 18, 2010 at 10:25 am |
  5. Hamet

    If you look at this country right now, you can tell that yes, it has been fulfilled and it is up to the people to make it happen. MLK believed in something and unfortunately nowadays people just talk and talking isn't going to solve anything. Let's forget the past and focus in the future, i said forget because remembering just brings hate. God bless America.

    January 18, 2010 at 10:25 am |
  6. jerk

    gooooooooooooooooooo MARTHIN LUTHER KING.

    January 18, 2010 at 10:25 am |
  7. Nete

    I believe America has fulfilled his dreams for the most part. We now have a black president, and as a black individual I am allowed to enter the same stores as my white counterparts. I must say that things are still some what black and white.Racism is still alive in America.

    January 18, 2010 at 10:26 am |
  8. Patrick (in Madison) Brumm

    There still are a lot of people who are afraid to dream, had their dream beaten out of them by life, or are simply happy with the status quo and fight to retain what they think is theirs and not for others to share.

    January 18, 2010 at 10:26 am |
  9. Colleen

    I believe the United Sates has acknowledged that the dream NEEDS to be fulfilled..and so we continue to strive towards that goal..

    January 18, 2010 at 10:26 am |
  10. Emile Niz

    No doubt, the dream MLK highlighted in his speech is not 100% fulfilled but it is in the 90s%.
    From black people not voting to a black president:This alone is the climax of that dream. We see blacks and other minorities rising in all angles of daily lives such scientific, business and administration. There is some gap between the white and black but that is understandable. It won't happen overnight but sooner, the dream will be all achieved and MLK will be fully proud.

    January 18, 2010 at 10:26 am |
  11. David Alan Arnold

    Our country is on it's way to racial equality, but true equality will not arrive until we understand and embrace, that there are no black or white people.

    January 18, 2010 at 10:27 am |
  12. James

    No, I think as long as the corporate board rooms of America and the U.S. Senate are majority white, there will be no equality in America.

    January 18, 2010 at 10:27 am |
  13. Chris

    Absolutely not. As a native Californian currently living in the Midwest, I now know and recognize social inequity and racial tension more often than one would expect had Dr. King's dream been truly realized.

    Furthermore, as an educator and researcher the fact that access, opportunity, and success in both K-12 & postsecondary education are stratified by race/ethnicity and socioeconomic status underscores this point.

    Americans are certainly living more harmoniously today than ever before, but we have yet to fulfill Dr. King's vision.

    January 18, 2010 at 10:28 am |
  14. Kevin

    It's sad that many of today's civil rights leaders will not join in the fight for LGBT rights. We don't know what MLK said, but his late wife, Coretta Scott King, spoke in favor of LGBT rights many times. MLK was and is a source of inspiration and hope. I just hope we can remember him as we make the next fight for equality in this country.

    January 18, 2010 at 10:28 am |
  15. Brenda Yates (Laurel, Mississippi)

    I believe Dr King had a dream of "one" God with the same love for all mankind. I also beleive the young people of today have no idea what he was all about. He was a Godly man and people of today have lost that fact. If you ask young people of today what his dream was they could not tell you.

    January 18, 2010 at 10:29 am |
  16. Faruk

    I think the US has more than fulfilled MLK's dream . My question is, with this dream fulfilled why is the black community not progressing as well as it should? I hear from many blacks that the country owes them and they have been wronged etc.etc. I think it is time to put all that behind and look toward serious progress.

    January 18, 2010 at 10:29 am |
  17. Ruben Hannah

    I do not think that the United States will ever fulfill Dr. Kings' vision as long as there are people in positions of power like Rush Limbaugh who is nothing more than a modern day version of former Alabama Governor George Wallace.

    January 18, 2010 at 10:29 am |
  18. wolfgangpitbullingtonIII!

    Peace is the highest aspiration of the human heart. The future belongs to the man of peace. Like the grass, the violent man is always cut down. There is no future for the man of violence. Therefore, we must seize the joy of the present moment by seeking peace, and pursuing it, while always "walking in a perfect way of peace". Peace begins within each one of us, and spreads throughout the communities in which we live. wolfgangpitbullingtonIII!

    January 18, 2010 at 10:30 am |
  19. 2010dreamer

    Yes, I think Mr. King's dream has been fulfilled to a great degree, however, now we all have to create our own new dreams inspired by Dr. King that will take us into the future.

    January 18, 2010 at 10:30 am |
  20. Hector Del ValLe

    As a second class citizen, I know that Martin Luther King's legacy hasn't reached us...But I still have my dream,which is the annexation of Puerto Rico as a state of the union.

    January 18, 2010 at 10:30 am |
  21. Ray Sheen

    As I honor Dr. King today, I remind myself that the quest for full equality is not yet over. Equal access to health care, equal access to education, and marriage equality ARE civil rights. Construing Dr. King's "dream" narrowly along racial lines does a disservice to his legacy. This country has come a long way but still has a long way to go to fulfilling Dr. King's dream.

    January 18, 2010 at 10:33 am |
  22. Stephanie

    We have a long way to go in fulfilling Dr. King's dream but we have made a tremendous amount of progress. I'm a 40 year old white female and not only do I find the concept of segregation offensive, I find it ludicrous-if I got onto a bus and saw a sign saying that African Americans had to ride in the back or if I entered a segregated school I would think I had landed on mars—I simply have no concept of how that ever could have existed, much less been accepted--so I think my generation represents a very meaningful first step in the complete fulfillment of Dr. Kings dream.

    January 18, 2010 at 10:33 am |
  23. Don

    The US Has not totally fulfilled Dr King's Dream. I listened to the " I have a Dream" speech, just this morning. Yes, we have come a mighty long way. As long as we as people have to live in unequal dwelling [as far as complete communities], the dream is just that. We have achieved a major plateau. We have a lot more to do. I am sure that he would be proud, but even our modern advances (internet) may still disappoint him. Whenever I hear news of Facebook blogs doing harm to our "black" President, I realize we still have bridges to cross.

    January 18, 2010 at 10:34 am |
  24. Sean Chapin

    One of my favorite quotes from Martin Luther King Jr. is "Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere." We see this ring true in today's world through the emerging LGBT civil rights movement and the oppression and inequality that gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people face. As King drew inspiration from Mohandas Ghandi who led India to freedom, so too do many of our LGBT civil rights leaders including Lieutenant Dan Choi draw inspiration from the legendary man who had a dream.

    January 18, 2010 at 10:34 am |
  25. Jennifer Lambert

    No, I don't think so. I must admit it has been some change, but the American people still have long way to go. Especially with a black president, there are still some that should try to see above the color of skin and see a person that cares for our country and other countries as well.

    January 18, 2010 at 10:35 am |
  26. Faruk

    Quality education within the black community will alleviate the back perception of racism because the United States is not racist. It seems that a good many blacks are more racist towards others than are others towards blacks. So education is the key to equality if racism is rampid. Most blacks cry the racial game when they lack the education needed to be competitve through meritocracy. This has been my experience thus far.

    January 18, 2010 at 10:37 am |
  27. John Norris

    Truth is Doc. Kings dream died along with him. Both Blacks and Whites of this Country should be ashame of what they have allowed to happen between them.
    None have room to talk and it's sad that so many have died for what we have now.
    The Church has been compromised. Anything goes, such as "Same Sex Marriage", "no Prayers in school" and the word "God" removed from the Court.
    No Justice for all, when Black men make up 80% of inmates across this Nation.
    Gay rights is the major "Human Rights" movement in the whole Country.
    There is a serious SADNESS in the AIR and we pass this on to the next Generation.
    It's SAD!

    January 18, 2010 at 10:38 am |
  28. Will

    We've made strides, but not achieved the real vision. We still remain a racially self-segregated society – look at the disproportionate representation in government (despite President Obama), racial income gap, and amount of African Americans living in low-income, urban areas; it is still very unbalanced.

    Inequality still exists, but it is more "hush-hush." Nobody wants to admit that different experiences still exist simply based on the color of one's skin. "Color blindness" is a myth – "color awareness" is the key.

    January 18, 2010 at 10:39 am |
  29. Lame`r

    America has made marginal gains. The trials and tribulations of achieveing the dream are an ever present struggle. There have been superficial successes some genuine, most for pacification.

    Many people focus on the part of the speech that contains "I have a dream" and do not truly take into account the promissary note that has still not been paid. In a great Nation of 300million people where 3% of the population still controls 70% of the wealth we still have a long "row to hoe"

    January 18, 2010 at 10:40 am |
  30. Marlene Saldana

    I think that Dr. Martin Luther King's vision has been fulfilled to a certain extent. America has come a long way throughout the years but we still have a lot of road left to tread. We have seen many changes for the first time in history we have the first African American President and that is truly a great accomplishment if Dr. King were alive he would be so proud of what America has been achieved so far.
    But we still have to make justice for our Gay communities I believe that Dr. King said it best when he said "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal." that is why I believe that as a nation we should love, support, and fight for each others rights. America is a place where dreams come true and therefore we should continue to fight until we completely fulfill Dr. Martin Luther Kings dream.

    January 18, 2010 at 10:47 am |
  31. T. Nicholson

    Ask gay and lesbian Americans that question. I think you already know the answer!

    January 18, 2010 at 10:48 am |
  32. Lawrence Moten

    I am an African American medically retired U.S. Naval Submariner. I currently live in British Columbia, Canada, married to a beautiful blonde haired, blue eyed, RCMP Officer. She is ten years my senior and that is of zero consequence to anyone around me or my spouse. Although Dr. King's Dream is on track. Even though I have only been in BC for five years the Dream here is "right on"! Praise God!

    January 18, 2010 at 10:49 am |
  33. Eileen Terry

    Kyra – PLEASE stop showing the same clips over and over. Thousands of people are watching for update from Haiti – SHOW SOMETHING NEW, please, I implore you!

    You promised Len Gengel this morning you would get some kind of update on the Hotel Montana Rescue efforts – let's get to it! You guys must have some cameras there, please do some kind of live shot.

    There is a Facebook page with over 8,000 people looking for information of the Hotel Montana. You guys keep showing the same thing over and over again – please change it up!

    January 18, 2010 at 10:50 am |
  34. Jim

    "Any law that uplifts human personality is just. Any law that degrades human personality is unjust. All segregation statutes are unjust because segregation distorts the soul and damages the personality." -Letter from a Birmingham Jail by MLK

    The government still treating families with second class status. Civil Unions are separate and unequal! LET ALL COUPLES MARRY!

    January 18, 2010 at 10:51 am |
  35. Timothy

    I feel that kings dream has been seen about 50%. I feel that black people killing black people is sick. I fell that more should be done to stop the gangs and the killings. I think Dr.King would be standing up to the gangs if he where living today. I have a dream that the killings will stop. That's my dream.

    January 18, 2010 at 10:51 am |
  36. Raymond Calore

    I have a dream also that why don't we commit one dollar for every dollar we send to Haiti and help the homeless, and hungry people in America. How dare we send money that comes from our taxes, to a country that has never helped us.

    January 18, 2010 at 10:51 am |
  37. Scott Stodden

    I would like to believe that we have but no we have not. I believe we are on our way to fulfilling that dream but we still have a long way to go. The day that we can all join hands together and love and support each other not based on the color of there skin but by the content of there character then that's when we will truly overcome racism and fulfill that dream that Martin Luther King Jr talked about.

    Scott Stodden (Freeport,Illinois)

    January 18, 2010 at 10:51 am |
  38. Cheryl

    No. When reading the actual transcript of his speech, I am left with an overwhelming feeling that his vision was for a change (improvement) in the hearts and minds of all individuals, not just whites, and not just policy-makers. He believed that we should level the playing field by learning to see each other as fellow humans, not as members of one race or another. Unfortunately, by legislating "equality", we are all still forced to identify each other by race first, and then follow a predetermined checklist of how to behave (e.g. universities who want to at least 70% of their contracts/purchases to be with minority-owned businesses - this forces the decision-maker to know/learn the business owner's race/gender first, and also forces the decision to be swayed heavily based on race/gender, rather than price, quality, customer service, etc.). This is EXACTLY what Dr. Martin Luther King wanted have disappear from our society: discrimination and unequal considerations/advantages being given to any particular group, whether they are black, white, yellow, or purple polka-dot!!! I admire Dr. King's thinking and speech. It is so discouraging to see how it has been misinterpretted and implemented. I hope someday soon we can all re-evaluate the spirit of his intentions and correct ourselves correctly.

    January 18, 2010 at 10:52 am |
  39. Al Lockhart

    How are the Israel's able to set up a field hosp in Haiti and the US can't ? How embarrassing!!!!! Wish U would ask someone that question. Thanks, AL

    January 18, 2010 at 10:53 am |
  40. Karen G. - TX

    I think it's great what Dr. King advocated for minorities. How did his work affect poor working whites? Who speaks for poor working whites today?

    January 18, 2010 at 10:54 am |
  41. john D. Berryman

    Dr. King was both inspirational and larger than life as I listened to him in 1963 at the foot of the Lincoln Memorial. As much as his life has contributed to the realization of his Dream, we as a country have yet to make a real part of our lives those principles of equality for which he and others in the movement strove. Dr. King's Dream is still in our future.

    January 18, 2010 at 10:56 am |
  42. Meghann McCarthy

    As a teacher and having English as a Second Language learners, treating others with equality is evident at a very early age, children do not appear to notice any differences that even exist. Keeping the dream alive is important. However, is our government respecting this dream? Treating mankind with equality does not seem evident when the government will obtain a seperate health care system and "WE THE PEOPLE" who work very hard for our benefits will no longer get what I feel I work for. When teachers like myself will be taxed in great numbers for being a part of a union with great benefits. My job is nearly volunteer with all that I do and all that ALL TEACHERS DO and yet I am now (among many others) in fear that I have to have the same healthcare policies as someone who does not even WORK!!!! I am utterly disgusted by the inequality exhibited since the Presidential election. People thought Bush was bad.... (sarcastic). My job is a service provided to better the future of America and yet I feel more underappreciated than ever. I wish the language you would use in the news about the vote for Kennedy's seat would stop sounding so swayed. Wording it as you have been is offensive to those who HOPE that the 60 votes will be thrown away!!! How about, in honor of Dr. Martin Luther King we portray some equality in language as well..

    January 18, 2010 at 10:58 am |
  43. Paul Amara

    It is quite astonishing that even when we live in this "modern" century, some people continue to raise issues about race in this "great nation" of America. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. contributed immensely in uniting people when it comes to race. People who have issues recognizing the Martin Luther Day are still in darkness and still live in the world of ignorance.

    January 18, 2010 at 10:58 am |
  44. ricky anderson

    We are close but not completely there yet. One thing that I believe needs to be done is to not seperate us at all. When we fill out paper work for many reasons we are asked about race, african-american, asain- american, mexican american and so forth. This divides us all the time.
    All that is required is whether you are American citizen or not. We are not a divided Americans but we are all 100% americans when born in this country regardless of color or race.

    January 18, 2010 at 10:59 am |
  45. scottie

    by no means has Dr. King's dream been fulfilled. His was a call for action of what has been recognized then and still exists now. the corrective actions remain to be seen in a country where the education/technology is still not easily acccessible for all, a dropout rate of minority kids higher than ever, the poverty rate is increasing (not necessarily because of wall street)and so many of our politicians talk the talk, but few are walking the walk...equality is about sharing all with all for the greater good – sorry, Dr. King but not yet

    January 18, 2010 at 10:59 am |
  46. Tony Gonzalez

    I would strongly say that the "greatest country" in the world has yet to come any close to Dr. King's "dream". It is an injustice how long the LGBT community has been waiting to be treated equally. I am a law abiding, tax paying citizen just like any other person is. So why is it that my "rights" as a born American are not the same? We (as a country) still have a lot to go to reach that dream. Not only for the LGBT community, but for all people no matter where they may come from, who they might be or love. So to answer your question, NO, the USA still has a lot to go.

    January 18, 2010 at 11:00 am |
  47. jerk

    marthin luther king did an excellent job, even thoe his die right no but black people should still remenber them, cause his the only one who changed.

    January 18, 2010 at 11:03 am |
  48. Michael Gawthrop

    We haven't even come close to achieving Martin Luther King's dream. It is still legal to fire or evict someone for being gay in nearly half the states. ICE no longer something you put in your drink, but an agency universally feared by immigrants who don't know when the next raid will occur. Widespread hatred of Muslims is nearly in the vogue. And the truly silent voice in all of this is the deaf community. Working as a relay interpreter I see (well hear) first hand what the hearing world thinks of deaf people... nothing more than an inconvenience... a nuisance that they would have the audacity to use an interpreter to place a phone call and expect the hearing user to deal with the inherent lag involved (which, by the way, the deaf person has to deal with the same lag).
    So, in short, if you are a black, heterosexual, Christian, non physically impaired person, then Martin Luther King's dream has come true... for the rest of us, we have a long way to go.

    January 18, 2010 at 11:06 am |
  49. Jackie

    Revrend King's desire was most clearly stated:

    That one day people would be judged by the content of their character not the color of their skin.

    The last election set that "Dream" back 40 years. Barack was elected because of the color of his skin not the content of his character. This was the most ugly violent divisive abusive election decades. Rights of the MAJORITY of citizens both balck & white were violated and voter fraud was rife. Now Eric Holder refuses to press charges against Black Panthers who were intimidating voters. Had they been Ayran Nations thugs we'd have justice.

    Rev. King said:
    The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy. We as a nation are failing right now–the voices of THE PEOPLE are being quashed for the egos of the Elite. Revrend King would not recognize this country now would hw be proud.

    January 18, 2010 at 11:06 am |
  50. Bill W

    As egalitarianism is a Revolt Against Nature (Murray Rothbard), King's plagiarized rhetoric was and will remain an unrealistic and unreachable utopian idea.

    January 18, 2010 at 11:08 am |
  51. Meghann McCarthy

    This post is in regard to Will's post. Maybe these gaps do exists, but OPPORTUNITY is there for everyone!!!!! You are ultimately in control of your own future (for now).

    January 18, 2010 at 11:13 am |
  52. sue scott

    there is always room to grow and learn; i read these comments thus far and see there is much more to would be better if positive things are held in positive light and those not sure of who they are to
    figure that out first....sorry if some of you take this not in loving light.
    This would be a boring world if everyone were the same; however, for our children's sake, hopefully only the positive will become rolemodels.
    And, the credit should not be upon the color of a mans skin; our President should be a true american who will do what is in the best interest of ameica, why do people make issue of what is not relevant to being our President...God Bless America, land/people I love. period.
    Please Pres. Obama, keep our country safe and in better shape for our chidren...Country first, along with God.
    Ewa Beach,HI

    January 18, 2010 at 11:17 am |
  53. Response to Al Lockhart

    Al: Kudos to the IDF with setting up the field hospital ( and other orgs are in the process of setting up field hospitals as well). My understanding is that the US operational strategy is somewhat different, given the utilization of the USS Carl Vincent and USS Comfort as medical/sugical/hospital ships and US military choppers transporting injured to Vincent & Comfort.
    BTW, for those misguided people that believe the IDF are the bad guys, call us when the palestinians set up their hospital.

    January 18, 2010 at 11:26 am |
  54. Kirk WILLETT

    No! Remember what he said: "This note was a promise that all men, yes, black men as well as white men, would be guaranteed the unalienable rights of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness." Blacks have not been granted their unalienable rights; Hispanics, Gays, and Non-Religious, have not been granted their unalienable rights; and even the White's rights are starting to fade. It will take more work for us to get to The Dream than we have produced to get to where we are today, and, with that thought it makes me think we are farther away from The Dream today than then.

    January 18, 2010 at 11:42 am |
  55. Dale

    Nice to see Mr. Harris back. I appreciate the strength of character that Tony Harris has in reporting. He asks the questions I want answered. Thanks!

    January 18, 2010 at 11:55 am |
  56. W.M. Jr

    Are there any possibilities that rescue workers could face post rescue health issues such as those experienced by 9.11 rescue workers? What help is in place for post traumatic psychological wounds for survivors and workers?

    January 18, 2010 at 12:15 pm |
  57. Homeless D in Atlanta

    Not going to talk about MLK.

    I want to know why CNN did not seem to have correct information about USNS comfort.

    I distinctly remember that it was reported that the COMFORT was sailing "this evening" on about the second day afte the incident.

    I just looked up the COMFORT on the web. Here is what I found.

    The COMFORT is based in Baltimore harbor when not deployed. The ship has been ready to leave Baltimore for deployment WITH 5 DAYS NOTICE.

    So, why is it that anyone would report that the ship was leaving immediately? The fact that the COMFORT did not leave baltimore immediately, and in fact has not even reached Haiti yet does not look good to critics of this country.

    PLEASE, CNN, it it is in fact true that the COMFORT would require 5 days notice to fuel, supply, get personnel on board etc, report that as an explanation of why it took that amount of time to even get going.

    I'm not even a news professional and I found this information by the simple method of asking a search question on the web! Can CNN not do that?

    January 18, 2010 at 12:40 pm |
  58. Lia Pendergrass

    No, the issue of discrimination has not been resolved. We as a society seem to address parts of the problem but just substitute one group of people for another, with no group attaining full equality. Women, Hispianc-Americans, African-Americans, Developmentally Disabled......none have achieved full equality in our United Stated of America. Now the LGBT community are being offered small concessions but nothing remotely connected to equal rights. Our own President is afraid to stand up for ALL of the people he represents, not just the ones that will give him support in the Senate and Congress for re-election. When will everyone learn that others equal rights do not threaten our own and stop being scared to value our citizens for who they are instead of tearing them down?

    January 18, 2010 at 12:42 pm |
  59. Danin

    The United States still has a long way to go when it comes to human rights and freedom. Jewish Americans, Black Americans, American Women, Asian/Pacific Islander Americans, Latino/a Americans, Lesbian/Gay/Bisexual/Transgender Americans, Disabled Americans, and American Indians; all Americans continue to face inequality and injustices. Dr. Martin Luther King's Dream still resonates and inspires many, and many more people need to realize his Dream. From birth to death, every person in this world shall live a Hero's struggle and dreams.

    January 19, 2010 at 7:28 am |
  60. Ars Moriendi

    We have come a long way thanks to Mr. King. However we have a long way to go.

    January 19, 2010 at 8:22 pm |