New ad imagines world where MLK, others have not died

11:26 AM, Mar 26, 2013   |    comments
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ATLANTA -- A new emotional ad from the Anti-Defamation League imagines a world where some of the great icons who have died due to prejudice and hatred are still living.

We can see those iconic images of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. from all those years ago, but what if we could see what he would be doing today?

The powerful ad from the Anti-Defamation League, celebrating the organization's 100th anniversary, rewrites history, erasing deaths caused by bigotry and hate.

"That ad tells how the potential a person has for doing good in the world can be cut short by hate," said the ADL's Bill Nigut.

There's James Byrd Jr., the Texas man dragged to his death behind a truck; Matthew Shepherd, the young gay man, beaten and left to die; David Pearl, the Jewish journalist beheaded by al-Qaeda; and Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin, who was assassinated.

"It's an ad that I hope reaches the hearts and minds of everybody in the country," said Tom Houck, Dr. King's driver and longtime friend.

Set to John Lennon's "Imagine," it allows one to do just that.

"It was really interesting to see Dr. King at 84," Houck said. "Dr. King at 84, I think, would not only be pro-immigration reform, but he would be pro-gay rights. Certainly Coretta (Scott King) was before she passed away, and I think Dr. King would be keeping that philosophy as well."

Remarkable talent and promise cut short - innocence destroyed. The ad is heart-breaking in that it makes us see what might have been, but it also tells us what we need to do.

"That ad says to all of us that we need to find a way to embrace people who are different than we are," Nigut said.

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