© The Independent, UK
The main lesson from the anniversary of Martin Luther King's famous speech
seems to be that everyone in the world agrees with it and always has done. Sarah Palin said "May his dream become reality". John McCain and George W Bush made tributes to him, and I expect the ghost of the bloke who shot him said, "He was a great and uniquely wonderful man, a role model for everyone in the world, and as a professional assassin it was an honour and privilege to assassinate someone with as much integrity as Dr King."
And everyone insists he would have supported what they're doing now. The anti-immigration, pro-war Tea Party claims Dr King was a conservative who would back them. Fox News claimed that if he was still alive he'd support their campaign against black rap music. Jeremy Clarkson will claim that when King organised a boycott of Alabama buses, it wasn't because they were segregated but because he knew public transport was rubbish, and he wanted to go everywhere in a BMW 3.0 litre V8 M60.
Psychoanalysts will insist the speech was a call for more people to go into therapy, as his dream of children living in a world in which they weren't judged by the colour of their skin can only be interpreted as an unconscious desire to drown his father.
David Cameron praised King's "visionary leadership", so he seems to believe it's in the spirit of such leadership to send vans around inner cities plastered with messages condemning illegal immigrants. Because presumably if Dr King
was around now, he'd say: "I know I demanded compassion for all people, but even I draw the line at some bastard poncing off our housing benefits just because his village got burned down in Somalia."
Politicians and newspapers that condemn immigrants and Muslims for "flooding" the country are full of praise for the "Dream" speech, to the extent that you need to check you heard it right, as maybe he said: "I have seen the promised land, and there's no bloody Bulgarians in it for a start."