PALM BEACH GARDENS, Florida , January 20, 2014 – It pains me to say this, but the dream of Dr. Martin Luther King has not been attained, and as a matter of fact, we are in danger of seeing it lost forever.
Today’s black community finds itself trapped in inner cities that are crumbling all around them. The community suffers from chronic unemployment across the board, and especially among teens. As wages are depressed for middle America, the problem is far more exacerbated in the black community. Education, once a staple in the black community, struggles under the desires of teachers’ unions versus greater opportunities for black children. High school graduation rates for black males are barely 50 percent.
Once upon a time the Democrat party stood outside the doors preventing black children from receiving equal access to a quality education. Today the Democrat party stands inside the doors and prevents the same children, generations later, from seeking equal access to a quality education.
Certainly not in concert with Dr. King’s dream.
Republican Senator Everett Dirksen fought hard to enable the passage of civil legislation in opposition to Democrats such as Al Gore Sr. and Robert Byrd, a high-ranking KKK member. Since Reconstruction, the GOP had fought for civil rights legislation. However, all credit went to President Lyndon Baines Johnson who is rumored to have stated, “I’ll have those n—–s voting Democratic for the next 200 years.”
And as we reevaluate the “Great Society” and Johnson’s expansion of the welfare nanny-state, we see the negative results for the black community. Most obvious is the result of awarding a government check to women having children out of wedlock – as long as they kept a man out of the home. Today we see a national out-of-wedlock birth rate up from 6 percent 40 years ago to 42 percent today – tragically, 72 percent in the black community.
Today of course is the national observance of the life of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., a fellow Atlanta native. As a matter of fact, I grew up in the same inner city neighborhood as Dr. King and my elementary school, Our Lady of Lourdes, sits right there across from his final resting place and the historic Ebenezer Baptist Church.
Last week, I was back Washington DC, riding the METRO and I began to think back on my old neighborhood, and what I was seeing on the METRO. There were lots of single black women ushering their children along, but their husbands, their men, have been replaced by the government. That was certainly not the case in the black community in which I grew up, that of Dr. King.
I see a black community devoid of men. The incarceration rates are astounding and the level of criminality is unconscionable. The murder rate in the black community is depleting the community of a generation of young men. As well, I see young black men surrendering their manhood for something popular culture has deemed cool and trendy.
Certainly not in concert with Dr. King’s dream.
I see a black community devoid of principled leaders. It is a community that has uplifted charlatans and impostors who value their own standing and self-interest, not that of their community. The inner cities need an economic revitalization, one that stresses economic growth and opportunity. Instead, the modern American inner city is characterized by economic servitude and dependency — a recipe for failure. We have seen the results of failed liberal progressive black leadership in Detroit. How many more Detroits must we experience before the black community listens to others?
Some will say Dr. King was an advocate for social justice. I respond by saying Dr. King was an advocate for equality of opportunity, not equality of outcomes. He wanted a level playing field and policies that enabled blacks to be able to compete. He certainly did not want policies that usurped the will and determination of a community that achieved so much greatness in the face of so much adversity.
There will be many speeches today and lots of rhetoric, but will these words be intended to inspire? Or are they intended to anesthetize and keep the black community in a coma, a vegetative state of inertia and not the attainment of the dream of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
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