Think Freely Media presents Common Sense with Paul Jacob

Years ago, on a past Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, I played a video of his speeches for my children. Upon hearing the words King delivered in a Selma church in 1965, I was overcome with emotion. Who wouldn’t be?

“Deep down in our non-violent creed is the conviction there are some things so dear, some things so precious, some things so eternally true, that they’re worth dying for. And if a man happens to be 36-years-old, as I happen to be, and some great truth stands before the door of his life – some great opportunity to stand up for that which is right.
Martin Luther King, Jr., arrested in Montgomery, 1958
“A man might be afraid his home will get bombed, or he’s afraid that he will lose his job, or he’s afraid that he will get shot, or beat down by state troopers, and he may go on and live until he’s 80. He’s just as dead at 36 as he would be at 80. The cessation of breathing in his life is merely the belated announcement of an earlier death of the spirit.

“A man dies when he refuses to stand up for that which is right. A man dies when he refuses to stand up for justice. A man dies when he refuses to take a stand for that which is true. . . .

“We’re going to stand up amid anything they can muster up, letting the world know that we are determined to be free!”

Moving. Inspiring. And common sense. I’m Paul Jacob.

This edition of Common Sense originally appeared in January 2011.
By: Redactor


  1. Howard Bernbaum PE says:

    Not everybody was as enthralled with MLK as your short essay indicates. In his endeavors, solely for himself and his black audience, he unleashed a whirlwind of antagonism aimed at the white community. His peace marches were not always peaceful and the recipients of his followers bile suffered much damage.

    The final result of his work was not what he claimed he wanted. Equality still doesn’t exist and is spread further afield than before. Whatever inter racial rapport that now exists came about naturally and not as a result of forced equality.

    Until both blacks and whites (and Hispanics) become color blind and apply the rules equally, there will be unfair treatment of all people and the concommitant resentment that invariably ensues.

  2. Drik says:

    If we pay attention to the content of his words rather than their context, then we must join in support of freedom and liberty and work to undo the damage to them brought about and being continued by our national government.

  3. Paul jacob says:

    Howard — Today’s commentary was hardly an essay; it was simply a chance to quote Martin Luther King saying something that inspired me very much. Nor do I suggest that anybody, much less everybody, was enthralled with him — other than myself.

    King was not a deity, but a man with numerous faults, one of which was a political philosophy that was socialistic and which I reject.

    Still, his views on race and his strategies on ending racism are well worth taking note of. And today seems like a good day to do so. He fought a very real evil for which he deserves both credit and gratitude.

  4. Dan Rogers says:


    Thanks for taking this opportunity to a great American who took his last breath knowing that he did all could do in his power to exercise and strengthen the rights with which he was born as a citizen of this country.

    “Change does not roll in on the wheels of inevitability, but comes through continuous struggle. And so we must straighten our backs and work for our freedom. A man can’t ride you unless your back is bent.”

    Martin Luther King, Jr.

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