Skip to comments.King for a day: Some people don't want to honor the memory of Dr. King. Here's why you should
Posted on 01/19/2003 10:48:50 AM PST by SJackson
Jewsweek Magazine I believe that commemorating the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King is the right thing. I believe that civic entities should signify the observance with an official holiday. I have always celebrated Dr. Kings life and have forever encouraged others to do so. I have hosted Dr. Kings widow in my pulpit and in my home, was privileged to have Daddy King preach in my synagogue, and I have chaired interfaith services in his memory in three cities.
I celebrate Dr. King not only out of empathy to the African American cause, but because Dr. Kings legacy is about universal ennoblement, the dignity of body, mind and spirit that is the God-granted gift of all Creation. Thus, the following column is not intended to preach to us liberals, but to the most conservative folks among us.
This is what I want to say to the most conservative elements of the national and local community:
If you think, however questionably, that African Americans are ignorant, uppity, intimidating, scrounging for a free lunch, hateful of white folk, immoral . . . then you could do a lot worse than Dr. King as the sine qua non African American role model. In fact, you should encourage that Dr. Kings legacy, and not someone elses, should be the primary guiding light of African American self-determination. You should do everything in your power to acknowledge Dr. King as the yardstick by which African American parents should measure their childrens achievements and by which the quality of men and women who contend for leadership of the African American community should be judged.
After all, otherwise you might one day wind up with demands for holidays honoring far less illustrious role models, like Jesse Jackson, Louis Farrakhan, Al Sharpton, convicted murderer Jamil Abdullah Al-Amin (H. Rap Brown), Snoop Dogg or P. Diddy. And, for Gods sake do not forget that Tupac Shakur and Notorious BIGG are already dead and just aching for martyrdom to consecrate their memories.
Make, as I have, an extensive study of Dr. Kings utilization of Biblical passages in his pronouncements. I have never seen a single passage twisted for venal, violent or self-enriching purposes. Can we say the same of Jesse Jackson?
Then, force yourself to read Dr. Kings I Have a Dream soliloquy. Do you see an appeal for African American dominance over white America? Do you see an exhortation to take anyone elses piece of the American pie, or to take anything at all? Do you see anything about African Americans deserving a free lunch or shunning the societal mainstream to establish a belligerent separatist nation? Do you see anything but a call for equal opportunity and interracial harmony? Can we say the same of Louis Farrakhan or the sordid legacy of H. Rap Brown?
And, then also admit that Dr. Kings legacy is the very antithesis of the sloth, ignorance, crack, cop-killing, and bitches and hos preached by the prophets of hop-hop and rap.
Anyone who tries to dictate to another person whom his/her role model should be is presumptuous. Yet, we have the right to editorialize and not capitulate to, Hey, whoever turns you on. White Americans have every reason to be reminded that Thomas Jefferson, even though he owned slaves and was quite a ladys man, deserves our adulation over vipers like David Duke. And, African Americans have every reason to be exhorted that Dr. King, for all his frailties, deserves to be celebrated as a role model over Jesse Jackson and Snoop Dogg.
Personally, I see Dr. Kings legacy is an ideal to which all honorable people should aspire. But, to the most conservative among us, I would leave the following admonition:
A holiday to commemorate the legacy of Dr. King is the most desirable of all alternatives, if not for yourselves, then for African Americans. At least Dr. King tried to steer the ship of state out of disaster, rather than into it. If Dr. King is not exalted as a role model, which far less worthy model might be ordained to take his place? As far as I am concerned, we would be hard pressed to do better. If you are a dyed-in-the-wool conservative, at least admit that we could do a lot worse.
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What the author doesn't remind us is that these ideals are are enshrined in Americas founding documents. Americas cause is a universal one.
The greatness of Dr. King is that he recognized that and forced America to live up it's own ideals.
Which Civil War was it where we fought in part to free the Italian slaves?
What planet are you on? It IS a moral truth which cannot be refuted, yet people of the political stripe known as "leftist" think that judging people by the color of their skin is the only way to go. To them, King's moral truth is not apparent at all.
"During the Christmas holidays of 1949 I decided to spend my spare time reading Karl Marx to try to understand the appeal of communism for many people. For the first time I carefully scrutinized *Das Kapital* and *The Communist Manifesto.* I also read some interpretive works on the thinking of Marx and Lenin. In reading such Communist writings I drew certain conclusions that have remained with me as convictions to this day. First, I rejected their materialistic interpretation of history. Communism, avowedly secularistic and materialistic, has no place for God. This I could never accept, for as a Christian, I believe that there is a creative personal power in the universe who is the ground and essence of all reality-a power that cannot be explained in materialistic terms. History is ultimately guided by spirit, not matter. Second, I strongly disagreed with communism's ethical relativism. Since for the Communist there is no divine government, no absolute moral order, there are no fixed, immutable principles; consequently almost anything-force, violence murder, lying-is a justifiable means to the 'millennial' end. This type of relativism was abhorrent to me.
Constructive ends can never give absolute moral justification to destructive means, because in the final analysis the end is pre-existent in the means. Third, I opposed communism's political totalitarianism. In communism, the individual ends up in subjection to the state. True, the Marxists would argue that the state is an 'interim' reality which is to be eliminated when the classless society emerges; but the state is the end while it lasts, and man is only a means to that end. And if man's so-called rights and liberties stand in the way of that end, they are simply swept aside. His liberties of expression, his freedom to vote, his freedom to listen to what news he likes or to choose his books are all restricted. Man becomes hardly more, in communism, than a depersonalized cog in the turning wheel of the state.
This deprecation of individual freedom was objectionable to me. I am convinced now, as I was then, that man is an end because he is a child of God. Man is not made for the state; the state is made for man. To deprive man of freedom is to relegate him to the status of a thing, rather than elevate him to the status of a person. Man must never be treated as means to the end of the state; but always as an end within himself."
Martin Luther King Jr., *Stride Toward Freedom: The Montgomery Story* (New York: Harper and Row, 1957), 92-93
If there was no MLK, the civil rights movement in general and the 1960's in particular, would not only have been much more bloody, but perhaps may have left blacks truly as subjugated as the Sharptons and Jacksons of the world would have you believe blacks are.
You don't like the man? That's your business. But sorry. The race baiting won't wash here.
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As do a fortunately much smaller group of those who claim to be conservative.
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