I arrived in Chicago via train on April 4, 1968, as a preschool child traveling with his family to visit an aunt who was recovering from surgery. I have only fleeting memories of that trip: the sounds of the tracks and diesel smell of the engine, and the odd configuration of the onboard restroom toilet. I don’t remember the anxious rush of relatives who met us at the train station wanting to get us away from the downtown area.
That was the day Martin Luther King, Jr. was assassinated in Memphis. My cognizant life has been lived in the man’s legacy.
Mid-1950s Southern Democrats, ninety years after losing the Civil War, continued to cling to acculturated race-based tiers of society. As society progressed and those outmoded ways of thinking encountered the same sort of ideological headwinds which ended slavery in the previous century, it fell to Claudette Colvin and Rosa Parks to spark the formative challenge of Alabama’s racial segregation. The result was the Civil Rights movement lasting another decade, in which Americans of African descent demanded equal footing in their nation and in which Martin Luther King, Jr. rose to the prominence that eventually cost him his life.
Shortly afterward, it was the same Democratic Party—who lost ownership of their slaves a hundred years prior, and who vehemently opposed the 1964 Civil Rights Act—formulating a controlling strategy only slightly less abhorrent than presuming to categorize another human being as property. Blacks, unable to be kept in place through intimidation, were now introduced to the more subtle bondage of family-destroying dependence on social welfare programs. Black Americans, having only just overcome the shackles of segregation, became Black Democrats and began voting for their political masters in rates invading the ninetieth percentile.
The battle for equal footing in the pursuit of excellence and of the American vision—and Dr. King’s dream of defining quality of character—has been replaced on the political Left by the pursuit of lame advantage. It happened first through empowerment conferred by the aforementioned engineered monolithic voting bloc. Via leveraging divisive politics of racial identity and evolving into the ongoing woke culture, the Democratic Party descended into our modern day’s last harbor of the slave-owning mentality in a nation they innately despise. Steering the vulnerable into the morass of a cultivated victim mentality has been the Democrats’ primary strategy since, comprising a continuous tug on loose strings in the fabric of American society.
To abandon economic morality and seek gains outside the rewards of excellence requires confiscating the fruits of the more capable. Doing so by wile rather than force requires such to be handed over rather than taken. Acquiescing to such assumption also had to be engineered, and so we arrived at the second great strategy of the political Left: the assignment of unwarranted guilt, again on the basis of race. Nothing more is required to acquire the label of racism than refusing to accept the undeserved accusation, and deconstructing the underlying premise as indefensible only causes one’s accusers to increase their volume.
No one living today’s American society has ever experienced institutional slavery here. Outside of the scourge of communism and the doctrinal servitude continuing to be practiced in Islam, the incongruity of slavery was reconciled with my nation’s founding principles within a lifetime of their establishment and with the greatest cost of life in our military history. Dr. King’s dream embraced nothing of inherited grievance. To do so is bondage imposed by the same spirit of envy driving the increasingly sputtering engine of the political Left.
The pursuit of lame advantage might indeed result in advantage. The lameness, however, will be more consistently enduring.
Dr. King’s dream that his children would be assessed by the content of their character was an ideologically American dream. It’s one currently making inroads in the fracturing Democrat voting blocs who, being as capable of intellectual influence as any other demographic, continue in increasing numbers to realize the intentional limitations of the victim mentality. There is an essential humanitarian disconnect in those who profess concern with their supporters’ state while actually pursuing a lame advantage of their own: in valuing sustained political empowerment well in excess of any benefit conferred to their enabling constituents.
There is no racial component to ideological Americanism. Rally under the red, white, and blue banner of my tribe. Stand for the Anthem and you’re in. Appreciate what history is available to teach us all how to comport ourselves going forward. We may do so edified by the experiences of our forebears and by the rational criticism of premises that drove their striving in days gone by, whether we view them in the present day as points of light or shadow.
This fragile American experiment is an anomaly in humanity’s long history of governmental tyranny. The dark spirit of despair holds slaves of its own, chained by the deception that little else matters beyond our selfish concerns, that justice is synonymous with confiscation, and that the whispered choice between love, hate and indifference matters less than the braying voice of covetousness driving its victims to take what they’re told they have inherited the right to snatch away.
Be the people, and Martin Luther King, Jr. will be proud.
Choose to love – DA
In production news, the Editress is now working in the second half of the seventh and concluding novel of Boone’s File, Two Years with Master Quan. God willing, the title will appear in the second quarter of this year. While we wait for Boone’s origin story, as told to a little girl who asked, pick up her first novel, Absinthe and Chocolate, as a free download or priced inexpensively as allowed wherever your eBooks come alive.