The Dream Deferred

50th Anniversary of the March on Washington

Fifty years ago, Martin Luther King Jr. stood at the Lincoln Memorial and delivered one of the greatest oratorical performances in modern history. Despite venal and often violent attempts by Democrats across the Nation to halt King’s charge to throw open the doors of freedom to those who had suffered under the racist hegemony created and maintained by people like Senators Robert Byrd (D-W.V.) and Albert Gore Sr. (D-Tenn.), King’s march attracted hundreds of thousands of Americans. But King didn’t stoop to anger and recrimination; although, I could hardly have blamed him for doing so. He spoke of the eternal American promise of “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.” Five years after King’s legendary cry of freedom, an assassin’s bullet ended his life.

Imagine what King might have thought if he were still around to watch the spectacle that unfolded last weekend — a spectacle that disingenuously billed itself as a National celebration of the 50th anniversary of that famous march on Washington. Instead of a clarion call for “the solid rock of brotherhood,” King would have witnessed the repulsive Al Sharpton, publicly disgraced Attorney General Eric Holder and a host of other examples of the very racist divisiveness King had fought. All these self-styled heirs of King’s legacy have wilfully perverted his message from one of peace into one of discord, manipulating King’s unassailable public image like a marionette. At one point, King’s own son, Martin Luther King III, exclaimed: “[T]he tears of Trayvon Martin’s mother and father remind us that, far too frequently, the color of one’s skin remains a license to… murder with no regard for the content of one’s character.” Far be it for me to point out that according to the courts, Martin wasn’t murdered — although the man who killed him in self-defense, the Hispanic George Zimmerman, was threatened with the same by people like Sharpton.

Head teachers’ union thug Randi Weingarten did some shrieking of her own before yanking the microphone out of the hand of one of the people she claims to be fighting for: 9-year-old Asean Johnson, who was not only the youngest speaker at the event, but easily the most impressive. I never did catch on to why one of the speakers was a shrill, possibly unbalanced white woman from an organization that has essentially served as guards at the prison in which liberalism has interred the black population. Nonetheless, Weingarten had a starring role. The lily-white, multimillionaire harridan of the House, Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, didn’t even blink under the weight of irony as she asked: “Are you ready to beat the drum for that beautiful symphony of brotherhood? Are you ready to realize the dream?” The same woman has called the Tea Party’s goals “hostage-taking” and claimed its members are “acting like terrorists.” A few more whining liberals complained about conservative white people being racist, and one of two lower-echelon race pimps auditioned for a spot as one of Sharpton’s backup dancers. I missed Jesse Jackson’s performance, but I did catch a picture of him flashing enough jewelry to pay for his illegitimate daughter’s tuition to the school of her choice.

Fifty years ago, an inspirational young minister from the Deep South went to Washington, D.C., to deliver a sermon of peace, love, tolerance and freedom. Last week, those who would claim to be his successors came back to Washington, D.C., and gunned it down in broad daylight. I like to think that King made it to the Promised Land. But Saturday’s carnival of anger makes me think that his dream died here.

–Ben Crystal

Ben Crystal

is a 1993 graduate of Davidson College and has burned the better part of the last two decades getting over the damage done by modern-day higher education. He now lives in Savannah, Ga., where he has hosted an award-winning radio talk show and been featured as a political analyst for television. Currently a principal at Saltymoss Productions—a media company specializing in concept television and campaign production, speechwriting and media strategy—Ben has written numerous articles on the subjects of municipal authoritarianism, the economic fallacy of sin taxes and analyses of congressional abuses of power.

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