Americans celebrate Martin Luther King, Jr.’s birthday to honor his contributions to our Republic. His struggle against racial prejudice and discrimination brought the words of the Founders–“that all men are created equal”–to true fruition.
Dr. King used non-violent protest, and an appeal to universal principles, to bring Americans together. His birthday should be a holiday that unites us.
Instead, Democrats are using it to divide Americans.
Consider the sermon offered by White House adviser Valerie Jarrett yesterday, at the Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta where Dr. King preached. She told the audience: “Teachers, and firefighters, and policemen, whose jobs are now in jeopardy because Congress–well let me be specific–because [of] the Republicans in Congress.”
Those in the audience laughed and applauded at Jarret’s brazen–and false–partisan attack.
Democrats have rewritten the history of the civil rights struggle to portray Republicans as the villains, when in fact most segregationists were Democrats. Republicans, in fact, voted for civil rights laws in greater proportions than Democrats. Moreover, Dr. King himself had been a Republican. Regardless, Dr. King was careful not to divide Americans along party lines in his struggle for justice–nor would he approve of it today.
Another Obama administration official who is exploiting Dr. King’s memory for political gain is Attorney General Eric Holder, who used the holiday to renew his attack on voter ID laws in South Carolina, falsely claiming they are racially discriminatory.
It is Holder, in fact, who practices racial discrimination by refusing to apply voting laws equally, notably in the New Black Panther Party case, an open-and-shut example of voter intimidation.
Holder appears to be coordinating his battle against voter ID laws with the (NAACP), which likewise exploited Martin Luther King, Jr. Day for political purposes. (The NAACP is not non-partisan when it comes to voting rights; it only cares about Democrats, as I learned firsthand last July.)
Dr. King cared passionately about voting rights, but never would have condoned voter fraud, which does occur and which voter ID laws–likewise passed by Democrats, whom the NAACP is not targeting–aim to prevent.
Perhaps most insidious of all is the effort by Democrats and their radical allies in the Occupy movement to turn Dr. King’s legacy into an opportunity to set the “99 percent” against the “1 percent.” That was the message at “Occupy the Dream” services in Chicago, where one incendiary pastor even encouraged people to seize homes.
It is true that Dr. King turned his attention to poverty, in Chicago and elsewhere, in the years before he was brutally cut down. He pushed for an end to residential segregation, and for the introduction of open-housing laws.
But Dr. King would never have advocated theft or violence to property. And though he favored economic redistribution, Dr. King opposed the violent tactics, bigotry and criminality often seen at Occupy demonstrators.
There is no doubt that Dr. King would have seen the election of America’s first black president as a partial fulfillment of his dream. But he would have rejected the divisive rhetoric of the Obama administration, which is stoking class resentment and playing up past racial divisions for political gain.
Attorney General Holder once called America a nation of racial “cowards.” On Dr. King’s birthday, let us celebrate his courage–and ours.