Watching this historic Presidential Inauguration as well as the actions of the new Chief Executive, has caused me to be hopeful for the future under our new President Trump. It also causes me to consider the “protest” of those Democratic politicians who boycotted the Inauguration ceremonies last Friday. To do that, I look back to about a week ago to Martin Luther King Jr. Day. On that day, former civil rights activist and current U.S. Rep. John Lewis engaged in a media battle with our President-Elect because of Lewis stating that he was an“illegitimate President” and that Lewis was not going to attend the inauguration as a result. The liberal media fanned the flames in their “outrage” that the President-Elect would dare respond critically to this “civil-rights icon.” That has moved me to reflect upon the “progress” our nation has seen toward the ideals espoused by the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
The remembrance of Martin Luther King Jr.'s birthday, particularly in the last eight years elicits two distinct reactions in my heart and mind. The first is a bittersweet reminiscence of hearing and watching Dr. King on TV as a teenager. I greatly admired this courageous man of faith who championed non-violent resistance against terrible bigotry and racial oppression. I also bitterly remember his assassination and mourn that he was not there to guide the civil rights movement in the ensuing decades since. Perhaps I would not have my second, very distinct reaction to this day had Dr. King survived and lived 20, maybe 30 years or so longer.
My second reaction to the day is both bitter and sad. It is such because of the enormous wasted potential of what could have been since the death of Martin Luther King Jr. It is painfully apparent to me that the hope of ournation reaching the pinnacle of his dream, that his “four little children would one day be judged not by the color of their skin butby the content of their character,” may be farther from reality now than it was in 1968.
If we break down this iconic statement by Dr. King we see an unjust fact of life contrasted with a just future ideal. We see this ideal of truly just behavior as the object of his fondest dream for America. The unjust fact of life then was that his race was indeed being judged 'by the color of their skin', and the ideal that real justice demanded was a society where FIRST we were truly color-blind toward each other, i.e. “judged NOT by the color of their skin” and SECOND where the criteria for a just judgment of anyone was 'the content of their character.' The clear implication of this statement is that the goal of becoming'color-blind' is prerequisite to reaching the goal of just treatment for all. Dr. King told us that without color, or racial identification, being banished as a form of judgment, a just society will not happen. So just where are we in America in the pursuit of a color-blind society?
The result of decades living under the Civil Rights Act brought about greater acceptance of integration particularly in our education system. Though the Court had decided years prior to the Civil Rights Act via Brown v. Board of Education that public schools had to accept integration, the implementation of it was slow and slow to be accepted by the public at large. I attended public high school in Reno, Nevada 1970-73. It was the first public high school to be integrated in the city. Though we had a few problems with race relations at first, I scarcely can recall more than two incidences of serious trouble in that regard. I can honestly say that in my case and many others, friendships were formed between people of different races. Some were lasting and continue to this day, while others have faded as the years rolled by. On a personal, one on one level, some progress at becoming 'color-blind'was made. In those idealistic days of my youth, I began to believe that our society would perhaps become a 'color-blind' nation and begin to make opportunity equal and just for all. Alas, neither my nor the nation's ideals lingered in such a state. If I were to trace the history of how we have now come the opposite direction of being'color-blind' both politically and culturally it would require a much longer piece. I will limit this to asking one question about four different people alive today, three of whom lived and were active during the civil-rights era in America with Dr. King. “What effect has what these four people have said and done had upon reaching the goal of a color-blind nation?” Are we closer to or farther away from that worthy goal a half-century later because of what these four have said and done. The four people are, Rev. Jesse Jackson; Rev. Al Sharpton; Rep. John Lewis; and former President Barack Obama.
Jackson and Sharpton both carry the title of “Reverend”, but are more noted for their activity in the 'civil-rights' arena. In point of fact, the record of activism from both of these men has served to accomplish three things. First, and most importantly to Jackson and Sharpton, it accomplished their personal enrichment. Second, and of more importance from a race relations standpoint, the activism of these two 'racial hucksters' (as they have been called) has served to leave the cities and individuals they say they are seeking justice for worse off than before. Third, the activism of Jackson and Sharpton to this day serves to highlight and exacerbate racial and class division especially in the inner cities. Perhaps this pattern of results is not intended to heal racial division as much as it is intended on keeping a dependent and dissatisfied clientele in the form of poor black families.
Rep.John Lewis was a brave young man who suffered terrible abuse and injury because of marching with Dr. King. He knows better than most what was being fought for and sacrificed for then. In the 50 years since, Lewis has became a Democratic congressional representative as well as having strong ties with the Communist Party U.S.A. Lewis is a member of both the Congressional Black Caucus and the Congressional Progressive Caucus. With all of that resume, it turns out Lewis has acted to enrich Lewis and the Communist Party while largely ignoring the plight of black people in the inner city. As former black panther during the 60's Mason Weaver puts it, “(Lewis) has presided over the destruction of the black family...” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pK0Zxuz3f64
Finally there is former President Obama. Swept into office eight years ago as the first 'African-American' President, racial reconciliation seemed a real possibility in our nation then. Since assuming office the state of racial relations in our land can best be summed up by the existence and activity of one organization in particular called'Black Lives Matter'. Obama has lifted up this organization as a pinnacle of what needs to be done in America to heal racial division. https://newsone.com/3221143/president-obama-defends-black-lives-matter/
Healing racial division is the farthest thing from the minds of BLM. The organization has fomented violence against police and racism especially with the false narrative of “hands up, don't shoot”and Michael Brown. Our former President actually said there were legitimate issues justifying the demands and violence of BLM. The only reason for BLM is to advance a racist narrative. It was epitomized most recently by the kidnapping and torture of mentally disabled white man by four black thugs who cheered on BLM while shouting “F.... Trump”, and “F... white people!” If Dr.King had been able to see that scene he would wail in mourning as he was watching his dream dying before his eyes. I pray we can embrace once again that righteous ideal laid out for us by Dr. King and embrace it with new fervor.