Archive for January, 2006

The King Legacy Reviewed

January 16, 2006

Image by MLK, JR Research & Education CtrToday, I am in a reflective mood it has been thirty-eight years since his death, and Dr. King legacy rambles throughout my brain. Of course, such reverie was attributed to the holiday that was created for him but it seems a bit ironic, that we have one of the largest, if not “the” largest “marades” (clever isn’t) in Denver, not bad for a cow town. Nonetheless, the local papers The Denver Post and the Rocky Mountain News both had articles and editorials on Dr. King yet the coverage seemed wanting; and, what was interesting was how each approached the legacy.

In the more liberal paper (The Denver Post), the commentary in the lead editorial was 338 words long while the more conservative paper (Rocky Mountain News) had more eloquently stated editorial was 451 words long. This minor importance may seem minute, and I am not advocating a small novella, but it was interesting, of the two papers, the liberal paper had the least to say.

Oh I know, its not their fault, after all, it was a stretch for them to find the eventuated negative tone their editorial took, but as the dissenting opinion paper, I expected better; or at least, a more fervor attack. Admittedly, the legacy of Dr. King had a great impact on the nation; nevertheless, his vision has been mutated and hindered by corruption and political opportunists.

I am specifically thinking of Reverend Jesse Jackson, Al Sharpeton, and here locally, in Denver, Alvertis Simmons, these gentlemen have used distortion, adverse opportunities to line their pockets on the backs of a disadvantaged community. To me, these gentlemen are no better than the military juntas of Africa, who steal the treasury from their people and create the strife of poverty and injustice. In simple terms, when the civil rights leaders changed the focus from enabling to entitlement, they subverted the power of women and minorities.

This is what I mean; it was not long after Dr. King’s death when the welfare, Medicaid, education, and other such entitlement programs shifted in their liberalism and assisted in the downfall of the “disenfranchised” and their family units. They did this by the minutia of bureaucracy and regulations, which invoked the destruction of the black American family, and removed the father figure from the home. Now, after nearly forty years of deconstruction and many ill-advised social engineering programs these bureaucracies and social engineered programs have ended up with the one true core value, the universal value, the American value, that the family was and is the most powerful gift that we can give our children and the legacy of this country; unfortunately, they continue to neglect the children.

So, yes, the vision of Dr. King has had a multiple effect, in which, the tempest of racism had been bridged over, yet the gales of our own insecurities have battered the supports of the structure. In so doing, we as a nation have failed him, not because we have not abolished all forms of bigotry, but have failed to stand up against the predators of injustice and those that have skewered his name and his message, who once promised to bring all of us towards the “Promise Land.” It did not matter, if you were black, white, Hispanic, or, Jewish, what mattered was that together, we were one people, one nation, and one race—the human race. To paraphrase Dr. King, “The character of a man mattered, and not the color of one’s skin,” and as the Rocky Mountain News gracefully quoted from his speech in his 1965 speech in Atlanta, Georgia, they convey one of his most important messages of his legacy, and it follows as thus:

The first thing we notice about the Declaration, King said, is its "amazing universalism. It doesn't say 'some men,' it says 'all men.' It doesn't say 'all white men,' it says 'all men,' which includes black men. It does not say 'all Gentiles,' it says 'all men,' which includes Jews. It doesn't say 'all Protestants,' it says 'all men,' which includes Catholics. It doesn't even say 'all theists and believers,' it says 'all men,' which includes humanists and agnostics. . . .

"It says that each of us has certain basic rights that are neither derived from nor conferred by the state. In order to discover where they came from, it is necessary to move back behind the dim mist of eternity. They are God-given, gifts from His hands. Never before in the history of the world has a sociopolitical document expressed in such profound, eloquent, and unequivocal language the dignity and the worth of human personality."

And so, the words of Dr. King remind me that, we are far better off than we were forty years ago, and even though at times, the ugliness of racism sometime rears its head, that we are Americans and we represent the Golden City on the Hill. We are the hope, the light, and the glimmer for humanity. In the meantime, a liberal and a conservative newspaper joined together 789 words for Dr. King’s legacy and espoused his virtue. One saw the negativity of what is left to be accomplished, the other saw the positive of what we had been accomplished, and I see future of what is yet to come….Anyway, it took me 897 words to write this…