January 21, 2008
As happens every year at this time, on Martin Luther King Day, luminaries flock to Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta, Georgia to embrace the legacy of possibly the single most important person in America’s struggle for Equal Rights.
It was at the pulpit of this Church that Reverend Martin Luther King gave his first sermon, in the fall of 1947, shortly before being ordained and serving as co-Pastor with his father. Although his involvement as a Civil Rights leader would be launched from another Church, the Dexter Avenue Baptist Church in Montgomery, Alabama, people flock to this Church every Martin Luther King day to pay homage.
Today would be no different as thousands descended upon the Church today for speeches and services honoring Reverend King.
Attending the event, former President Bill Clinton said,
"He freed us all to fight the civil rights battle, to fight the poverty battle, to fight all these battles and do it together. He made a place at the table for all of us."
Georgia’s Lt. Gov., Casey Cagle said,
"He understood that life is not about self. Life is about service … and service to others."Atlanta’s Mayor, Shirley Franklin said,
"Martin aimed high, acted with faith, dreamed miracles that inspired a nation. Can we act on King's legacy without dreaming? I think not. King's legacy gives light to our hopes, permission to our aspirations and relevance to our dreams."
Undoubtedly she is referencing what many see as one of the most eloquent speeches ever given by an American, Martin Luther King's “I Have A Dream” speech, given from the steps of the Lincoln Memorial in August 1963.
In the speech, King spoke of a Dream of,
“one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: ‘We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal.’"
He dreamed of
“one day on the red hills of Georgia the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slave owners will be able to sit down together at the table of brotherhood.”
Most importantly he dreamed
“that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character,”and
“one day right there in Alabama, little black boys and black girls will be able to join hands with little white boys and white girls as sisters and brothers.”
That was Reverend King’s dream up until he was murdered in 1968. That was the dream he fought for, marched for and yes, died for, to bring Whites and Blacks together and stop looking at our differences. To stop the injustices to Blacks and even to Whites that befriended them.
A lofty and admirable dream, but one that seems today to be unnattainable, even though it shouldn’t be. Even at School Lunch Periods, we see students separating themselves by race. In spite of over 4 decades of Affirmative Action, we still hear that Blacks Still Lag Behind Whites in many ways.
What happened? Where did the dream go as others picked up the gauntlet laid down by Reverend King?
Bob Parks, Black Columnist says in an article today,
“liberals have distorted thus his (Martin Luther King) message, in order to justify their ownership of his legacy.”
In this particular column, Parks mentions how Reverend King’s Dream has now come to include Gay Marriage, something King never spoke of. He quotes King’s daughter, Elder Bernice King,
"I know in my sanctified soul that he did not take a bullet for same-sex marriage."
He goes on to say that the last time Reverend King registered under any party umbrella, it was a “Republican,” as did his parents. He then speculates,
“if Dr. King were alive today, he'd be vilified as an Uncle Tom for not supporting, among other things, Affirmative Action.”
This echoes the words of Comedian Bill Cosby spoken before the NAACP in May 2004.
Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council tells us today concerning Martin Luther King’s birthday,
“There is irony in that Dr. King's observed birthday today comes the day before the 35th anniversary of the Supreme Court decision in Roe v. Wade and Doe v. Bolton, which forcibly legalized abortion in the United States. The legalization of abortion was the culmination of a dream of Planned Parenthood founder and icon Margaret Sanger. In 1939 Ms. Sanger started the "Negro Project." The aim of the program was to restrict, many believe exterminate, the African-American population, under the pretense of "better health" and "family planning."
Blacks advancing themselves, becoming highly educated and gaining prominent positions within our government, if conservative, are castigated as “Toms,” “House Negroes” and such, as was done to Condaleeza Rice and Supreme Court Justice, Clarence Thomas. Janice Rogers Brown, daughter of an Alabama Sharecropper, met with the same opposition when President Bush nominated her for a position on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia in 2003.
Alan Keyes, Walter Williams, Ward Connerly, J.C. Watts and several others not mentioned, all gained an education and moved up the societal ladder, yet faced much opposition from other Blacks and White Liberals. Shouldn’t they be applauded for grasping Martin Luther King’s Dream and not only advancing in a predominant White Society, but for adopting the vision of Reverend King and not sitting around waiting?
In another column written today, by a similar title as this one (unintentional on my part), Bob Parks tells us,
“liberals have been allowed to segregate Blacks into the housing project mindset. We as a people are expected to bow down and kiss the feet of a liberal government massah who feeds us with degradating notions like food stamps and provides our “expected” illegitimate children with a substandard education that would never be tolerated in white communities.”
In 1963, Martin Luther King dreamt of an America the way it was intended. In 2008, that Dream appears to have become more of a nightmare for the very ones he dreamt it for. The Dream isn’t dead, just corrupted by some of the same ones who fought that Dream back then.
We must come together and reclaim that Dream if we are to survive as a nation and stop the Socialist Liberals who would enslave us all.