(KCPW News) An acclaimed civil rights attorney who is in Salt Lake City for the NAACP’s 28th annual Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial Luncheon at the Little America Hotel says he gave up long ago on trying to change prejudice attitudes. Avery Friedman says he learned from Dr. King that the law won’t make people love each other, but it will enjoin the heartless.
“I think you’ve got a constitutional right to hate anybody you want. People don’t talk that way. I do.” He says. “But when they employ that personal bigotry in the commercial world there are consequences. When you employ that hatred in the workplace that interferes with American capitalism, then you’re going to write a check for your wrongdoing.”
Friedman says ministers and clergy change attitudes, while he works to change behavior. He notes there are still problems in housing, credit, and employment with discrimination.
KCPW asked Friedman who, in the present day, he believes best represents Dr. King’s ideals.
“The best the Republicans had is no longer around, that’s Jon Huntsman and I think Barack Obama certainly represents those attributes.” He says. “Newt Gingrich talked about the baggage that he carries. We all have baggage, but when the baggage outweighs the attributes that’s when there’s a problem.”
Friedman’s keynote speech included secrets or little known facts that came out of King’s hotel room leading up to his “I’ve been to the mountaintop” speech the night before he was assassinated.
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