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Dr. King: "Be the Best of Whatever You Are"

BEGIN TRANSCRIPT

RUSH:  So I was just watching a little bit of Jimmy Carter speaking at the Martin Luther King memorial.  This is unbelievable.  He's going through a litany of things that Martin Luther King wouldn't like about today. The Voting Rights Act, the Supreme Court striking it down. Photo ID? Martin Luther King wouldn't like that, which is discriminatory, and would deny people the right to vote.

How in the world can that a photo ID deny you the right to vote, unless you're not who the photo is?  Anyway, he then said, "And Dr. King would not like all of the high unemployment of black people, and high unemployment in black teenages."  I'm watching this in stunned disbelief.  Well, who's running the show now?  Dr. King wouldn't like all the high African-American unemployment today? 

We've only had four and a half years of the policies the first African-American president responsible for it. And, by the way, it wasn't that much better when old Jimmy was in the White House his self. When Jimmy his self was in the White House, we needed a misery index to keep track of how bad it was.  Now, this is 51 seconds.  This is Dr. King.  You're not hearing this message on The Mall today.  You're not hearing this message in the Lincoln Memorial.

Dr. King, October 26, 1967, in Philadelphia at Barrett Junior High School.

KING:  What I'm saying to you this morning, my friends: Even if it falls your lot to be a street sweeper, go out and sweep streets like Michelangelo painted pictures! Sweep streets like Handel and Beethoven composed music. Sweep streets like Shakespeare wrote poetry. Sweep streets so well that all the host of heaven and earth will have to pause and say, "Here lived a great street sweeper who swept his job well!"  If you can't be a pine on the top of a hill, be a scrub in the valley, but be the best little scrub on the side of the rill.  Be a bush if you can't be a tree.  If you can't be a highway, just be a trail.  If you can't be a sun, be a star.  It isn't by size that you win or you fail; be the best at whatever that you are!

RUSH:  You don't hear that sadly from anybody in politics anymore.  You certainly don't hear that on the Democrat side, and sadly, you don't hear this on the Republican side from very many people.  I'm gonna play that for you again.  This is Dr. King.  This is years after the "I Have a Dream" speech, which was 1963.  This was five years later in Philadelphia, to some junior high school students.  The school was Barrett Junior High. 

KING:  What I'm saying to you this morning, my friends: Even if it falls your lot to be a street sweeper, go out and sweep streets like Michelangelo painted pictures! Sweep streets like Handel and Beethoven composed music. Sweep streets like Shakespeare wrote poetry. Sweep streets so well that all the host of heaven and earth will have to pause and say, "Here lived a great street sweeper who swept his job well!"  If you can't be a pine on the top of a hill, be a scrub in the valley, but be the best little scrub on the side of the rill.  Be a bush if you can't be a tree.  If you can't be a highway, just be a trail.  If you can't be a sun, be a star.  It isn't by size that you win or you fail; be the best at whatever that you are!

RUSH: And when you meet God, at the end of your life, you've been the best you can be at whatever your lot in life was.  This was a man... If I may translate this, this was a man speaking to the weak.  He wasn't coddling them.  He's saying be as strong as you can be. Be the best you can be. He was not coddling the weak. He was not excusing them. By "weak," I mean meek, whatever.  I'm not talking about weak in character.  It's clear what he's talking about. 

There's value in every job.  Work is its own reward.  Do it the best you can and be known for it, because ultimately you judgment is with God.  That's what's not on the tape, but that's how he concluded it.  He was the Reverend Dr. King after all.  Regardless, they got Clinton up there now speaking.  You're not hearing anything like this message at this ceremony honoring him today, and you're not -- from what I'm hearing from credible reporters -- hearing anything similar to what he said in the "I Have a Dream" speech, by the same token.

END TRANSCRIPT

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