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Phil Bredesen on Civil Rights

Democratic TN Governor

 


The great stain on our dream has been racism

I would like to tell you something that only I can: what Martin Luther King taught me. I love America. It's not perfect, and it never will be. But the dream, that people who are free will move it ever closer to that perfect union--the dream that, with God's help, we can govern ourselves, is real to me. I believe in it.

The great stain on our dream in my lifetime has been racism. And yet, just when we seem stuck as a people, just when we seem unable to ever start clearing that stain, along comes a Martin Luther King. Along come all those who worked with him, along come all those who followed him. And he taught us. And the world changed.

What Martin Luther King taught me--what he taught me by his living, by his dying, by the vigor and persistence of his vision--what he taught me was that America is a land that is still young, a land that is still new, a land that still harbors undiscovered shores. A land where we, with God's help, can indeed be reborn.

Source: 2008 gubernatorial press release: "MLK Assassination" , Apr 4, 2008

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