MLK Was Right The Moral Arc Is Long And It Does Bend Toward Justice

Isaac Newton Farris Jr
6 min readJun 20, 2023

In 1965 after the Civil Rights Act was law but before the Voting Rights Act became law, Martin Luther King Jr. motivated those fighting for equal voting rights for all but was drained by the previous year’s fight for civil rights for all, by proclaiming to them that “ the moral arc of the universe is long but it bends toward justice “. In other words, hang in there because truth crushed to the earth will rise again and in the end, the victory will be ours. As America observed the Juneteenth Holiday on Monday the wisdom of Dr. King’s 1965 words rang true for all America’s school rooms in 2023.

The combination of the racial demographic change occurring in America and the 2020 police murder of George Floyd, which forced a true acknowledgment by most Americans of the role that race and racism play in American history and society, has created both a racial and a hide-history backlash among those that fear the cultural and racial changes taking place in America.

In April 2021 Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell wrote a letter, signed by him and over 3 dozen other Republican Senators, to U.S. Education Secretary Miguel Cardona protesting a new rule to promote education programs throughout America that address systemic racism and the legacy of American slavery. McConnell and the Senators took particular exception in the letter with The 1619 Project saying, it “ has become infamous for putting ill-informed advocacy ahead of historical accuracy. Our nation’s youth do not need activist indoctrination that fixates solely on past flaws and splits our nation into divided camps. Taxpayer-supported programs should emphasize the shared civic virtues that bring us together, not push radical agendas that tear us apart “.

In November of 2021, 2024 presidential candidate and North Dakota Governor Doug Burgum signed HB 1508 into law. HB 1508 makes it illegal for K-12 public schools to include what Gov. Burgum and the North Dakota state legislature refer to as “ critical race theory” in all school curriculums throughout the state. Based on the new law North Dakota legally defines “ critical race theory” as “ the

--

--

Isaac Newton Farris Jr

Isaac Newton Farris Jr. is the nephew of Martin Luther King, Jr. and serves as Senior Fellow at the King Center.