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CALLISTA AND NEWT GINGRICH: Americans Still Believe In Reverend King’s Dream

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Sixty years ago today, Reverend Martin Luther King Jr. and other civil rights leaders led hundreds of thousands of Americans to our nation’s capital for the historic 1963 March on Washington.

There, Reverend King delivered his iconic “I Have a Dream” speech on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial. The timing and location were significant. One hundred years earlier, President Abraham Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation, an important first step toward ending slavery in America and granting Black men and women the freedom and equality guaranteed by our nation’s founding documents. In 1963, Reverend King and others were there reaffirming that guarantee in opposition to segregation, discrimination, and other injustices.

As a devout pastor, transformational civil rights leader, and courageous activist, King made hundreds – if not thousands – of speeches, sermons, or talks over the course of his life. But the “I Have a Dream” speech immediately became his most memorable oratory. Indeed, it is among the greatest speeches in American history. 

Then and now, “I Have a Dream” speaks directly to our nation’s core values of freedom and justice. Still, after six decades, it clearly articulates a peaceful path toward a better future for all Americans.

Throughout the speech, Reverend King looked to America’s core principles to address the challenges of his time. Citing the Declaration of Independence and the U.S. Constitution, he reasserted that freedom and equal opportunity are America’s foundation. (RELATED: NATHALIE VOIT: Affirmative Action Is Gone, Now Let’s End Legacy Admissions)

As Reverend King said, “When the architects of our republic wrote the magnificent words of the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence, they were signing a promissory note to which every American was to fall heir. This note was a promise that all men – yes, black men as well as white men – would be guaranteed the unalienable rights of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.”

Then and now, Americans have not always lived up to the promises of the Declaration. Indeed, in King’s time, our nation was in a bitter fight over segregation and equal rights for Black Americans. Still, Reverend King’s belief in America never faltered.

Unfortunately, there are still difficulties in America, and Reverend King’s dream has not become real for all. 

Instead of invoking and upholding our founding and history to secure liberty and justice for all, some would denigrate our founding and rewrite our history to divide and fracture our union. Instead of peacefully marching on Washington to have their voices heard, they would ransack our cities and attack our police. Instead of calling for equal treatment for all Americans, they would call for special treatment for some and punishment for many.

Fortunately, we know that the American people strongly prefer Reverend King’s ideas of nonviolence, nondiscrimination, and optimism about the future. 

King said, “I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.”

At America’s New Majority Project, we found that 91 percent of Americans agree that the content of a person’s character is more important than the color of his or her skin. Further, 91 percent also favor equal treatment for all regardless of race. Eighty-eight percent of Americans believe America is a good country. Eighty-four percent say America’s founding ideals are worth fighting to protect. And 74 percent believe ensuring equality is more important than ensuring equity. These large majorities include Republicans, Democrats, and Independents.

It is time those in Washington, the media, academia, and corporate America start listening to the majority who want to live out Reverend King’s dream. (RELATED: DEROY MURDOCK: Republicans Should Fight Tooth And Nail To Reverse Dems’ Assault On Election Integrity)

As Reverend King said, “So even though we face the difficulties of today and tomorrow, I still have a dream. It is a dream deeply rooted in the American dream. I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal.”

As we commemorate the 60th anniversary of Reverend Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech, let us work together to preserve our history, overcome the challenges we face, and create a better future for all Americans.

For more commentary from Ambassador Callista Gingrich and Speaker Newt Gingrich, visit

The views and opinions expressed in this commentary are those of the author and do not reflect the official position of the Daily Caller News Foundation.

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