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  Paul's Column Archive
January 18, 2006

Give Me Back My MLK


With the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr., America lost the civil rights movement. We cannot say the same about the deaths of other civil rights leaders. When President Lincoln was shot, the Republican Party was there to resume his good work against the tragedy of slavery and its horrifying consequences. John F. Kennedy’s message was adopted by fellow politicians and he was survived by powerful and influential family members.  Even today the family’s mark continues to be made in the U.S. Senate, though admittedly by its worst.


If Martin Luther King’s principal fault is to be designated, it would clearly be his lack of foresight into the direction the movement he instigated would take once he completed his role in it. King, it turns out, was unable to successfully maintain a structure that would last long after his death. While Lincoln’s efforts, for instance, were valued and carried on to this day by a principled political party, King’s civil rights movement has unfortunately fallen into the hands of corrupt and amoral individuals.


During a recent Martin Luther King Jr. event, one of the new civil rights movement’s leaders, the Reverend Al Sharpton, commemorated King by doing what is expected of “civil rights” leaders these days: Bashing George W. Bush. Sharpton criticized the president for his response to Hurricane Katrina, the nomination of Samuel Alito to the Supreme Court and even somehow managed to tie Osama Bin Laden and weapons of mass destruction into his struggle for civil rights.


Speaking to a young crowd, Sharpton assured his audience that although they were not around for King’s civil rights movement, they still witnessed a recent civil rights struggle: “It was called Katrina.” By now we have become desensitized to seeing the tragedy of Hurricane Katrina being used as a political tool by the Left and the modern civil rights movement. Yet the fact that we are no longer surprised by the lack of logic or purpose of such attacks by liberals and black leaders should reinforce how far the civil rights struggle has strayed over the last few decades.


Sharpton is only one example of the absurdity that is black social leadership nowadays. Louis Farrakhan is convinced that levees in New Orleans were intentionally blown up during the Katrina disaster in order to decimate the black population in the surrounding area.


Never mind the fact that the federal government spent more than it ever should have on the reconstruction of a city perfectly designed for natural catastrophes. Never mind that the Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals just confirmed that in the two parishes hardest hit by Hurricane Katrina, whites died in significantly higher proportions than did blacks.


To those who have kidnapped the civil rights movement, facts do not matter: The black population was a victim of Katrina and the U.S. government. To them, the beauty of the race issue is that it is highly intangible, and could therefore theoretically never have a satisfactory conclusion. When they realized that real, palpable discrimination had all but disappeared in America, and the ugly sin of racism was well on its way out in whatever isolated holes it has managed to survive, they found something new.


“Institutional racism” became the new cry. So, they got affirmative action, minority quotas and political correctness. Even NFL teams are required to interview at least one minority coach before filling a coaching vacancy. Yet none of it is good enough. We have reached the point where black leaders have moved on to the argument of a subconscious racism pervading America, and somehow, the burden of proof is on society to refute the existence of this ethereal bigotry.


Al Sharpton, Jesse Jackson, Louis Farrakhan and the NAACP know very well that their new standard cannot possibly be reached by either words or legislation. After reaching its peak of success, the civil rights movement did not stop where it should have. Martin Luther King would be ashamed of how black leaders today look at his color as an asset to guilt society out of benefits. King would understand that affirmative action and reverse discrimination will bring back the perception of an inferior black community. His descendents, unfortunately, clearly don’t.


Here’s to a true civil rights hero. We miss you, Doctor.


© 2006 North Star Writers Group. May not be republished without permission.


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