One of the most famous speeches in our nation’s history is Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s famous “I Have A Dream” speech of August 28, 1963. Every student has probably at least seen a still photo taken from the speech, and even read it in their textbooks. Thanks to YouTube, though, now it’s possible for everyone to see and hear Dr. King’s oratory in its entirety.
Dr. King, of course, was a man who was very familiar with attempts at censorship, and his words still have application today. In that vein, the First Amendment Center’s “Quote of the Day” from its First Amendment Calendar is this from Dr. King:
There is nothing wrong with an ordinance which requires a permit for a parade, but when the ordinance is used to preserve segregation and to deny citizens the First Amendment privilege of peaceful assembly and peaceful protest, then it becomes unjust.
Dr. King is talking about viewpoint discrimination (protests against segregation would be denied permits, while those on other topics would be granted them)—which continues to be a problem on today’s college and university campuses. On this holiday, let’s hope that more college and university administrators take Dr. King’s words above to heart.