MLK Daughter Rev. Bernice King: America 'Still Crippled' by Racial Policies

The Rev. Bernice King, the youngest daughter of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., delivered a passionate speech at the 50th anniversary of her father's famous "I Have a Dream" speech on Aug. 28, 1963 at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C, and said that more needs to be done to truly "let freedom ring" in America.

"Fifty years ago today, in the symbolic shadow of this great emancipator, Abraham Lincoln, my father, the great liberator, stood at this very spot and declared to this nation his dream to let freedom ring for all people who were being manacled by a system of segregation and discrimination," King began her speech at the March on Washington.

"We must keep the sound and the message of freedom and justice going," she continued. "If freedom stops ringing, then the sound will disappear and the atmosphere will be charged with something else. Fifty years later, we come once again to this special landing on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial to reflect, to renew and to rejuvenate for the continued struggle of freedom and justice."

President Barack Obama and other popular figures, such as Oprah Winfrey, attended the event, which called on Americans not only to remember Martin Luther King, Jr.'s words, but also to look at the future as an opportunity to live out the call for freedom.

"For today, 50 years later, we are still crippled by practices and policies steeped in racial pride, hatred and hostility, some of which have us 'standing our ground,' instead of finding common ground," Bernice King said, alluding to the case surrounding slain Florida teenager Trayvon Martin, killed in February 2012 by neighborhood watchman George Zimmerman, who initially was not arrested due to Florida's "Stand Your Ground" law, which allows people to use lethal force to defend themselves if they feel their life is in danger.

 Zimmerman was later acquitted of second-degree murder and manslaughter charges, which caused great controversy throughout America.

"We are still chained by economic disparities, class inequalities and conditions of poverty for many of God's children in this nation and around the world," King continued.  

"If we are going to continue the struggle for freedom and create true community, then we will have to be relentless in exposing, confronting and ridding ourselves of the mindset of pride, and greed, and selfishness, and hate, and lust, and fear, and idleness, and lack of purpose and lack of love as my brother said for our neighbor."

Following King's speech, members of her family joined together to toll the famous bell of 16th Street Baptist Church in Birmingham, Ala., which was bombed in 1963 and helped spark the civil rights movement of the 1960s.

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