Monday, January 17, 2005

The Sound Bite .....

NPR's All Things Considered had program on Civil Right
movement with guest Andrew Hacker, author of the 1992 book Two
Nations; Claybourne Carson, director of the Martin Luther King Papers
Project at Stanford University; and NPR's Jennifer Ludden. This is
what they said:

Jennifer Ludden: ... Would you concede.... that the general situation
for black Americans has improved?

Andrew Hacker: We have One Million young Black men in prison! That
is a whole chunk of black men, we have more black men in prison that
we have in college... Many more! And nobody is saying there is a
whole generation... that is almost close to genocide in the sense
that they are gonna be felons for the rest of their lives.

Jennifer Ludden: I am wondering Claybourne Carson, how important is
leadership, and is part of the issue there is no modern day Martin
Luther King?

Claybourne Carson: There is no... obviously no Martin Luther King, he
would be 76 years old now, and I think he would be still talking
about the issues that Mr Hacker just described. But my own feeling is
that Dr King would not be welcomed at most Martin King celebrations.
He would be too unsettling in terms of his own message that we still
have a lot of work to do. So I think to some degree what has happened
with Martin Luther King he has been turned into a sound bite, you
know that wonderful speech, I was at the march on Washington, and I
admired the speech, but the way in which it has been turned into a
sound bite to comfort America rather than unsettle America. To make it
seem as if these issues are all in the past. At least once struggled
with that, but now we have overcome it. And that is the way we want
to remember Martin Luther King.

Jennifer Ludden: Andrew Hacker

Andrew Hacker: We live in a very self centered time...

You can listen to the full program at:
All Things Considered

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