Martin Luther King, Jr. Meets Today’s Left

How would the Left see Dr. King
Just what reaction would they bring
If he today could be our guest
Reviving messages expressed?

How would the Left see King today?
Not positively, I must say.
Support for words like his seems slim.
More likely they would cancel him.


Poet’s Note: Below are excerpts from Dr. King’s iconic “I Have a Dream” speech, The March On Washington, 1963:

“But there is something that I must say to my people who stand on the warm threshold which leads into the palace of justice.  In the process of gaining our rightful place, we must not be guilty of wrongful deeds.  Let us not seek to satisfy our thirst for freedom by drinking from the cup of bitterness and hatred.

We must forever conduct our struggle on the high plane of dignity and discipline.  We must not allow our creative protest to degenerate into physical violence.  Again and again, we must rise to the majestic heights of meeting physical force with soul force.  The marvelous new militancy which has engulfed the Negro community must not lead us to a distrust of all white people, for many of our white brothers, as evidenced by their presence here today, have come to realize that their destiny is tied up with our destiny…”

“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.  I have a dream today.”



Russel Winick recently started writing poetry at nearly age 65, after ending a long legal career. He resides in Naperville, Illinois.

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9 Responses

  1. Cheryl Corey

    Russel, the excerpts that you selected should be on the front page of every newspaper (although the AP would probably change “Negro” to “Black”), read by every major news outlet, and recited in Congress. But sadly, as your poem suggests, Dr. King would most likely be cancelled. He was such an eloquent thinker and speaker. It’s a shame that there aren’t more like him, of any race, today. His message of meeting “physical force with soul force” is needed more than ever. Thank you (and the Society) so much for this presentation.

  2. C.B. Anderson

    You are right, Russel. Dr. King would be canceled — or worse — today. He’s too much a pillar of Western Civilization.

  3. Susan Jarvis Bryant

    Spot on, Russel – as ever. Thank goodness for those who see the truth and speak the truth plainly and clearly… the added bonus being the language in which you convey the truth is rhyming, rhythmic, and rapturous. Thank you for your honesty and your poetry.

  4. Margaret Coats

    Simply persuasive poem, Russel. Thanks for including much more of King’s dream speech than we usually hear quoted.

    • Russel Winick

      You’re welcome Margaret. Thank you. I did aim to present the parts of his speech which I feel do not receive sufficient attention.


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