Just like Abraham Lincoln–the first Republican President—who gave his life to end slavery, Martin Luther King, Jr. had a radical vision for America, making real those words of the Declaration of Independence—that “all men are created equal.”
In the end, he gave his life trying to bring about equality in a country where some bitterly clung to their hatred and racism.
When Dr. King marched peacefully through the streets in cities like Selma and Montgomery, the marchers were met with fire hoses and police brutality for simply wanting equal rights—to be treated like every other human being.
All of us know the famous quote from Dr. King’s “I have a Dream” speech:
“I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.”
But what most Americans don’t seem to realize is that something happened between Dr. King’s death in 1963 and today– and that his vision has been distorted.
When King said, “Our only hope today lies in our ability to recapture the revolutionary spirit and go out into a sometimes hostile world declaring eternal hostility to poverty, racism, and militarism,” he was talking about individuals rising up against the forces that had kept blacks down, not advocating for government intervention.
In fact, had he lived, Dr. King would have seen that government dependency has become a far more destructive force than racism.
One of the most powerful forces in a free society is public opinion, and less than five decades after that Bloody Sunday in Selma fighting for the right to vote, the American people have elected a black man President.
Black Americans have served in almost every cabinet position, and been appointed to the Supreme Court—mostly by Republicans.
In every aspect of American life—sports, medicine, entertainment, business, education, etc.—black Americans have achieved great success, but that success is a credit to each of those individuals, who rose above tremendous obstacles, seized the opportunity and worked tirelessly, refusing to give up. And their stories need to be told to inspire others to see that no matter how tough the road may seem, if you never give up, you can never be defeated.
Today, it is not widely known that the Republican Party was formed explicitly to stop slavery. Opposition to slavery was written directly into the founding platform of the party.
Unfortunately, the true abolitionists were considered too radical because they truly believed in black equality at a time when almost no one else did—not even many of those who fought to stop the expansion of slavery. And that became clear as the government soon replaced the plantation as a new form of bondage, which has enslaved generations of black Americans.
That’s exactly what Dr. King was fighting against. He wanted blacks to be on equal footing with every other American, not taken care of by a government that would replace the father in many black homes—driving unwed births so high that almost 3/4 of black children are born to single mothers.
Starting with Democrat President Lyndon Baines Johnson’s “War on Poverty,” government programs kept poor black Americans in their place by driving fathers out of the home, making dependency on government the norm rather than striving for success.
This affected the black community more than any other, and to this day, in many cities, many blacks are still cordoned off into government-created ghettos known as housing projects. Rather than decreasing poverty, all these government programs have done is create a robust poverty industry, whose overhead far eclipses the aid it dispenses.
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. would be ashamed that what began as a quest for equality and acceptance and opportunity in American society has been replaced by a new form of racism that sentences millions of black Americans to dependency on government, rather than themselves.
The greatest threat to the future of every black American—who dreams of owning a business, becoming an astronaut, lawyer, doctor or the next President of the United States—isn’t racism. It’s the very same thing that threatens the success of every American: namely, the growth of a government that stamps out opportunity under its thunderous hooves and penalizes success by stealing its first fruits.
And that institutionalized government prejudice against the individual success of any American is a threat to the success of every American. All Americans must stand with Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and declare “eternal hostility” to such a threat.