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.
……..Perhaps about the time it came into vogue to want to be referred to as “black”, instead of merely “colored”. Which in and of itself is completely benign. But as one who has been an observer for over fifty years, one has to conclude that the “content of their character” clarion call issued by Martin Luther King, Jr. fifty one years ago was not answered by at least one important demographic. Even as his entire focus was to have his black brothers and sisters assimilated into the equality of the American system and culture, we cannot imagine that he meant the members of his own race were absolved from the observance of “character”. That would be a complete non-sequitur.
Certainly the beginnings of throwing character out with the bathwater didn’t start after the fact of his death. For while noting the riots that took place in Baltimore, Washington, LA, New York, Chicago and elsewhere after April 4, 1968, supposedly in reaction to his assassination, choices were being made even before King’s Dream Speech spurred legislative remedy and it had time to work it’s way into the culture. For the riots in the Watts district of Los Angeles had taken place in 1965, and then perhaps the most terrible of all, Newark and Detroit, happened in 1967. In case you missed it, Detroit, though it was ballyhooed as having a “Renaissance”, never recovered. It now lies in ruins.
It is perhaps no accident that the rallying cry of the mid-to-late sixties was not “Content of their Character Power!”. And coincidentally, it is perhaps no accident either that the black radical activists and the white radical activists of the day advocated robbery, burglary, killing police, bombing and arson. What character! Neither is it an accident that today, while mouthing platitudes about not resorting to violence, in the aftermath of the Ferguson, Missouri incident the white shrillos are echoing the black shrillos in shouting “Injustice! Injustice!” while refusing to condemn the character of the thug (documented) who brutally attacked a police officer in Ferguson after having robbed a convenience store.
But white people’s judging people by the content of their character is not the subject of this article. It is rather the refusal of a majority, and enough of a majority to make a difference, of the black community to say that a thug assaulted an officer and was shot by the officer, instead insisting, and being egged on by the usual suspects, that an “unarmed black boy” was shot by the police.
The desperation of the race-baiters showed itself in spades today as, both in Ferguson and on the television outlets, they stooped to say that they believe it was “how the evidence was presented”, completely ignoring the sheer volume of the evidence itself, in trying to blame “the system” for not indicting a police officer. One of the baiters even babbled incoherently about the “tone” or the “inflection” of the prosecutors as being a causative factor. Even though the babbler was not present during the presentation to the grand jury.
So much of what we have already heard in the few short hours since the Ferguson grand jury did not indict, and what we will hear in the days and weeks to come, is merely a rehash of the same grievance mongering and refusal to even acknowledge the ‘content of character’ question that has been missing in action for fifty years.
And here’s the thing – if they are unwilling to call a thug a thug, if “character” is not an issue with them, then they are complicit, each and every one of them, in the destruction of those communities where the rioting has taken place. And, in their insistence on selectively interpreting ‘The Dream’, they are complicit in the content of Michael Brown’s character as well. He didn’t develop his attitude in a vacuum.
Having to ‘apologize for being Black’ isn’t and never was an issue. It is simply a red herring canard of a distraction. It is merely used as cover for not apologizing for, or even acknowledging, the content of character.
And Martin wept.
Crossposted at Grumpy Opinions