Are you American enough to be President?

Thank you Mr. Trump! In this new story Professor Ifill reflects on the so called “birther” challenge. After Sugrue’s lecture, one would wonder when will Obama be qualified to be President? Ifill mentions how this smear campaign parallels that of doubt when it was suggested Martin Luther King Jr. was working against America. Will the media put an end to the doubt or will this only fuel the flames of race issues in America?


Speeches of Martin Luther King Jr.

Of the five essays. Love, Law and Civil Disobedience rings most historic for me.
As the essays opens, it is said that there were many criticisms against student sit ins, and freedom rides, from people wanting a more gradual approach, King’s address stands out with his groundwork and explanation of his movement.
King defends the philosophy behind the movement, he speaks of what history reveals in terms of oppressed people rising up and states, “on the other hand, history reveals to us that those who oppose the movemnt for freedom are those who are in priviledged positions who very seldom give up their privileges without strong resistance.” He then speaks of three common ways to deal with oppression connecting it with the student movement here in the U.S. He justifies his philosophy and explains to critics who believe he is supporting communism. King states, “this is where the student movement and the nonviolent movement that is taking place in our nation would break with communism.” He goes on to state powerful words about agape love, the role of suffering in this movement, and the power of goodness within human nature. He expresses his ideas as a movement away from negativity and unjustness, an evil of sorts. He addresses the Freedom Rides, and the singing of “we shall overcome” in the most dire situations, and again mentions how important the student movement is to his philosophy and the carrying on of it. His words invite challenge and he is well prepared to defend his ideas of nonviolence in relation to civil disobedience. In this he establishes more reason to join in the struggle to fight injustices.

Of the required readings I must say that “I see the Promised Land” struck me as being a liberal speech but an eerie insight into the dangerous reality of King’s world in terms of death and threats.
First how he spoke of Abernathy’s introduction as if he wondered who he was talking about. He would reflect upon remebering certain instances of his movement not like he was speaking to his grandchildren about the history, rather as if he was watching his life unravel before death. His words still come across as positive towards the goal, yet seem to leave him out of the equation for the future. “We have got to stay together”, “But I know somhow, that only when it is dark enough, can you see the stars.” 280. King recounts his history with Bull Connor , and then to Memphis. He knows that much work must still be done, in boycotts, and “bank-in” movements yet still makes reference to the stabbing incident which almost took his life, “if I had sneezed…”. Memphis was a dangerous place for his to be and he understood the risks, spoke about how the risks were worth the struggle for Memphis and left the rest up to his savior. A powerful way for King to leave us, “I’ve seen the promised land. I may not get there with you.”

Thomas Sugrue “Sweet Land of Liberty”

Discussion question: What does Sweet Land of Liberty teach us about the nature of racism?

First off that racism deep rooted in racial class is tied directly to economic rights. The economic inequalities bring out the racism in the North particularly in reference to educational inequalities and workplace injustices. Throughout Sugrue’s book I have found that the issues in the North are signs of racial segregation in terms of housing, jobs, police violence etc. These become powerful tools of racism in the North to keep whites and blacks separate, along with the addition of political agendas,so if the market proved to be racist then the minds of America soon follow.