While America gushes over the impending coronation of the Great Equivocator and waits with bated breath over what kind of dog he and his family will acquire when they move into the White House, I thought I'd throw in my two cents as regards the upcoming observance of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s birthday (or "Martin Luther King Jr. Day"; his birthday actually falls on Jan. 15).
It bears mentioning here that the only national holiday we celebrate recognizing a private American citizen honors a black man. Since MLK Day 2009 occurs a day before the inauguration of Barack Obama as the 44th president of the United States, it will escape the notice of very few that superficial comparisons have been made vis-à-vis both being men of color. Indeed, this similarity has been capitalized upon for quite some time; I recall seeing young black kids wearing elaborate silkscreened T-shirts bearing the faces of both men during the 2008 election campaign and wanting to vomit.
I suppose there is sociological and psychological significance here, but again, only superficially. There is nothing this columnist has seen in practice that demonstrates a likeness between King and Obama. One was a groundbreaker, a reformer who gave his life in a cultural struggle; the other, a coddled opportunist who promises nothing but subversion of our culture and system of government. One was a Christian and a pastor; the other studied the racist abomination of Black Liberation Theology. One suffered arrest and FBI scrutiny, while the other had a red carpet that led directly to the presidency rolled out for him by far-left financiers and the establishment press.
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Inasmuch as the King legacy has been given over to (or usurped by) such men as Obama, Rev. Jesse Jackson and other self-seekers, we would be remiss if we did not examine the records of Dr. King versus those of the black activists and politicians who have come after him. It could never be said that Martin Luther King Jr. became wealthy during his time as a civil rights activist. Jesse Jackson, whose only claim to fame was having present when King was assassinated, became a multimillionaire pimping blacks and using his influence as a "leader" to blackmail corporate America. Other black activists have cashed in similarly since the civil rights movement of the '60s.
Likewise, New York's Al Sharpton and a host of other black activists, politicians and pundits have risen to prominence proffering the monistic view that America is a racist nation, whites are oppressors, and that loyalty to the far left is the only way out. Despite nearly 50 years of negative reference material, the belief among black Americans persists; they continue to pay deference to race baiters and vote for politicians who disempower them at every turn. Given his record, ambition and affinity for Marxism, it is unlikely that President Obama will do anything dissimilar in this vein.
So, is Dr. King's legacy dead? A convincing affirmative argument could be made, given that all of the aforementioned noteworthy blacks have done nothing whatsoever for black people as a whole. Jackson, Sharpton, et al., continue to be acknowledged as the de facto representatives for all black Americans despite this. Given their allegiance to far-left politicians (and therefore the press), this has resulted in America's black population remaining angry, resentful and abysmally ignorant of basic cultural truths and concepts of civic responsibility.
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Lofty ideas – such as Dr. King's reference to content of character – appear to have gone out the proverbial window; a record of the associations, personal lives and ethical practices of Obama, Jackson or Sharpton doesn't stand up to that of Dr. King. His speeches are now fond memories to those who remember them. In many ways, King has become a symbol, a black man who struggled – though those who benefited from his work know little of the nature of that struggle.