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Life of a Law Student, University of Houston Law Center

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Be True to what You Said on Paper, Remembering Martin Luther King

By: Luke Gilman | Other Posts by
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At Concurring Opinions, Alice Ristroph’s Early Morning, April 4 turned me on to the full text of Martin Luther King’s I See The Promised Land. If you’ve never read it in it’s entirety, take a moment – it’s worth your while.

This portion in particular jumped out at me -

All we say to America is, “Be true to what you said on paper.” If I lived in China or even Russia, or any totalitarian country, maybe I could understand the denial of certain basic First Amendment privileges, because they hadn’t committed themselves to that over there. But somewhere I read of the freedom of assembly. Somewhere I read of the freedom of speech. Somewhere I read of the freedom of the press. Somewhere I read that the greatness of America is the right to protest for right.

“Be true to what you said on paper.”

If there is any better distillation of the essence of Constitutional Law I haven’t heard it.

See also Courant.com, 40 Years Forward: What 1968 Taught Us

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