It’s a cruel jest to say to a bootless man that he ought to lift himself by his own bootstraps

This little two-minute snippet of interview from Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. summarizes an explanation of racist systems and a case for systemic reparations better than pretty much anything else I’ve heard. Worth considering.

“Now I believe we ought to do all we can and seek to lift ourselves by our own bootstraps… but it’s a cruel jest to say to a bootless man that he ought to lift himself by his own bootstraps. And many negroes, by the thousands and millions, have been left bootless as a result of all of these years of oppression…”

One thought to “It’s a cruel jest to say to a bootless man that he ought to lift himself by his own bootstraps”

  1. It’s a great clip. And so refreshing to hear someone who speaks with integrity and clarity on moral issues.. uff.

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