Reflecting on my experience in the civil rights movement, there’s something that bothers me. Modern leftists don’t understand the motivation behind the original civil rights marchers.

We may have been criticizing and bringing attention to injustice in our country, but that should never be confused with a lack of patriotism. In fact, we were marching because we loved America and we wanted to make it better. We were marching in affirmation of American values – we simply wanted to see those great principles applied equally.

Today, we honor one of the greatest civil rights icons, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.  As a college student in Tennessee, I had the privilege of marching with Dr. King. Those who weren’t there might wonder whether the man could live up to the legend he has become. I assure you that he did. The sheer courage and moral principle of those civil rights pioneers was remarkable to behold. It’s no wonder that Dr. King continues to inspire us today.

In fact, given the division that has overtaken our culture in the name of race, we need Dr. King’s guidance more than ever. Sadly, we are still seeing the effects of Marxist ideologies like critical race theory, which inverts Dr. King’s teaching, focusing on the color of our skin over the content of our character.

Today is a reminder that we should be striving for the unity and freedom of Dr. King’s dream, not the race-obsessed approach of modern identity politics. As we discuss in our book, A Dream Derailed, our goal should be to work together to reach the promised land. More than ever, we should be looking to Dr. King’s teachings and example as our guide.

Let us always remember Dr. King’s famous words and seek to bring our country together in freedom and harmony: 

“When we allow freedom ring, when we let it ring from every village and every hamlet, from every state and every city, we will be able to speed up that day 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.”