Originally published 04/17/2013
Jonathan Rieder is a professor of sociology at Barnard College and the author of “Gospel of Freedom: Martin Luther King, Jr.’s Letter from Birmingham Jail and the Struggle That Changed a Nation.”CHRIS ROCK caused a stir last Fourth of July when he tweeted, “Happy white peoples independence day the slaves weren’t free but I’m sure they enjoyed fireworks.” Mr. Rock’s tweet may not have topped the Rev. Jeremiah A. Wright Jr.’s “God damn America” sermon, but both sentiments are of a piece, and both seem a far cry from the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s appeal to the American dream and his embrace of “the magnificent words of the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence.”
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