From reading excerpts of Dr. Kings speech that day, and seeing video, it was a humid, sunny day in Washington DC. Fifty years later, it was cloudy, gray, and rainy on the same spot. Perhaps it might have been the tears of Dr. King himself, looking down from Heaven, seeing how, despite the great strides America has made in achieving racial equality, race relations have become the worst in years, and under the leadership of the first black US President.
In part of his speech, King said:
But there is something that I must say to my people, who stand on the warm threshold which leads into the palace of justice: in the process of gaining our rightful place we must not be guilty of wrongful deeds. Let us not seek to satisfy our thirst for freedom by drinking from the cup of bitterness and hatred. We must forever conduct our struggle on the high plane of dignity and discipline. We must not allow our creative protest to degenerate into physical violence. Again and again we must rise to the majestic heights of meeting physical force with soul force.To put it simply, Dr. King was saying we are all in this together.
The marvellous new militancy which has engulfed the Negro community must not lead us to distrust of all white people, for many of our white brothers, as evidenced by their presence here today, have come to realize that their destiny is tied up with our destiny. They have come to realize that their freedom is inextricably bound to our freedom. We cannot walk alone. And as we walk, we must make the pledge that we shall march ahead. We cannot turn back.
But 50 years later, those who have picked up the mantle of Dr. King's legacy have been, in many cases, those for whom Booker T. Washington said:
Some of these people do not want the Negro to lose his grievances because they do not want to lose their jobs. There is a certain class of race-problem solvers who don't want the patient to get well.Many of them were speaking today on the same steps where Dr. King gave his eloquent address. They spoke a language of "us versus them," comparing the Supreme Court to the Democrat terrorist group Ku Klux Klan. There were those who have had a history speaking about "white interlopers" "diamond merchants" and "greek homos." We had the first black President who spent time in a "church" where he was moved by a sermon that spoke of "white folks greed" running a world in need. We had a Democrat Congressman who played the race card, the same way he falsely accused Tea Party members of using the n-word against him. We had two former Democrat Presidents, one whose mentor, Sen. J. William Fulbright, was a segregationist, and whose brother was caught on tape using the "n-word." The other Democrat President loved accusing Republicans of racism back in 1980 and today, but was first elected Governor of Georgia in 1970 using racist smear tactics, and has used anti-Semitic language against the State of Israel. Their message today was political...hijacking Dr. King's legacy in order to use it as a platform for gun control and voting rights, and playing the race card more times than at a Las Vegas casino.
This t-shirt on sale today (thanks to Tablitha Hale, via Facebook), is an example of how far the civil rights movement has fallen.
Where was the only black US Senator, Tim Scott of South Carolina, at today's rally? He wasn't invited. Why? He's a Tea Party Republican. Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas wasn't there. Oh that's right, the highest court is the KKK, according to one of the speaker. Also not asked to speak were Dr. Ben Carson and former GOP Presidential candidate Herman Cain. Both of these men are American success stories, rising from nothing to achieving excellence in their careers. Why were they not invited? Is it because they don't speak of victimhood? Is that why these men have been called slurs like "Uncle Tom," "Oreo," "monkey in a window" or " lawn jockey," because their success stories might inspire an exodus from the Liberal Victimhood Plantation?
Victimization was not the message Dr. King gave. You can see that in his words from what has been known as the "Street Sweeper" speech.
Even if it falls your lot to be a street sweeper, go out and sweep streets like Michelangelo painted pictures. Sweet streets like Handel and Beethoven composed music. Sweep streets like Shakespeare wrote poetry. Sweep streets so well that all the host of Heaven and earth will have to pause and say, Here lived a great street sweeper who swept his job well.”That's where today's "civil rights movement" has failed, promoting victimization and hijacking Dr. King's legacy, putting it in a box marked "Property of Angry Liberals and Racial Grievance Mongers." Yet, they're the same ones who attack free-thinking blacks as "not authentic," or turn a blind eye to black on black violence, as well as the astronomically high single-parent homes and abortion rates in the black community.
And because of that, I say as one American who wants nothing but the best for all Americans, "I'm sorry, Dr. King." I hope our nation can look back in another 50 years and see your Dream finally realized.