Sunday, January 14, 2018
Martin Luther King Day and the Importance of Character
TODAY IS THE MARTIN LUTHER KING FEDERAL HOLIDAY. Every year on January 15 America celebrates the life of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., the pacifist Christian pastor who personified and led the civil rights movement in the 1950s and 60s that brought Black Americans into the mainstream of the nation's life. Dr. King taught by his own example, by peaceful marches and sit-ins that raised Americans' awareness of the discrimination faced by its Black citizens, becoming the voice and the force behind the Civil Rights Act of 1964. • Dr. King was both esteemed and reviled -- his great good as a pastoral leader and humanitarian was often challenged by charges of womanizing and being a Communist. He was assassinated in Memphis on April 4, 1968. News of Dr. King's assassination prompted major outbreaks of racial violence, resulting in more than 40 deaths nationwide and extensive property -- certainly the last thing Martin Luther King would have wanted or condoned. • Of all his eloquent speeches -- and there were many -- he is remembred for his address on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial that was the culmination of the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom on August 28, 1963. The speech is known worldwide as "I Have a Dream." In the speech, Dr. King said : "In the process of gaining our rightful place we must not be guilty of wrongful deeds. Let us not seek to sati:sfy our thirst for freedom by drinking from the cup of bitterness and hatred. We must forever conduct our struggle on the high plane of dignity and discipline. We must not allow our creative protests to degenerate into physical violence. Again and again we must rise to the majestic heights of meeting physical force with soul force....Continue to work with the faith that un-earned suffering is redemptive." And Dr. King famously said that he dreamed of a world in which "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." • • • DR. KING'S USE OF THE WORD "CHARACTER." Much is said nad written about Dr. King's I Have A Dream speech, but very little is said of his obviously carefully chosen use of the word "character." • Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines "character" as "moral or ethical quality : a man of fine, honorable character; qualities of honesty, courage, or the like; integrity : It takes character to face up to a bully." Merriam-Webster's Thesarus says this about "character" : "Conduct that conforms to an accepted standard of right and wrong : we need more people of sound character in public office." The Thesaurus lists synonyms for character : "morality, decency, goodness, honesty, integrity, probity, rectitude, righteousness, rightness, uprightness, virtue, virtuousness." It lists words related to character : "high-mindedness, honor, incorruptibility, irreproachability, irreproachableness, right-mindedness, scrupulosity, scrupulousness, appropriateness, correctness, decorousness, decorum, etiquette, fitness, propriety, seemliness, ethics, morals." It lists antonyms of character : "impropriety, indecency, indecorum, indiscretion, debauchery, degeneracy, degradation, depravity, perversion, pervertedness, sinfulness, crookedness, dishonesty, underhandedness, unscrupulousness, lowness, meanness, viciousness, vileness, corruption, badness, evil, evildoing, immorality, iniquity, sin, villainy, wickedness." • Today, as we watch the Progressive Left and its acolytes demand not "equality" but "preference" and shout "Black Lives Matter" while they accept the villanous attacks on police, viciously crude language and violent attacks on those who are -- only because of the color of their skin -- not like them, we might wonder if these Progressives ever bother to read Dr. King's I Have a Dream speech, let alone try to understanad or follow its precepts. • But, in what has become an agenda of rioting and personal attack and labeling as "racist" anything or anyone who does not fall into line with the methods and demands of these violent marauders, one group of Black Americans stands apart -- the family of Dr. Martin Luther King, who always ask for peaceful dialogue and racial tolerance. Dr. King's family understands what their father and grandfather and uncle meant by "character." • That is not to say that the King family accepts all that happens on the conservative side of today's 'identity politics' and deep social unrest. The Daily Caller reported last Friday on an interview CNN had with Dr. King's nephew, who attended the White House ceremony earlier Friday when President Trump signed a proclamation honoring Martin Luther King Jr. Isaac Newton Farris Jr. gave short remarks about his uncle’s legacy and thanked the President for the proclamation. Afterward, CNN asked Farris what the President said to him in private. Farris said that Trump told him, “I’m not the guy being described in the media.” CNN then asked Farris if he thinks Trump is racist. Farris said : "I don’t think that President Trump is a racist in the traditional sense as we know in this country. I think President Trump is racially ignorant or racially uninformed. But I don’t think that he’s a racist in the traditional sense." CNN asked what Farris meant by that. Farris said bluntly: “It means that we have him until 2020 or until something else happens.” In the segment directly afterward, the CNN interviewer said, “You are either a racist or you are not a racist. What is that supposed to mean?” • Well, it doesn't mean the simplicity of yes-or-no racism. And, it does mean having the character that frees one to see the reality of the times we live in -- as Merriam-Webster points out -- "Moral or ethical quality...qualities of honesty, courage, or the like; integrity : It takes character to face up to a bully." Dr. King's nephew did just that on Friday. He stood up to the bullying of CNN because he stood by his belief that President Trump is not a racist even though he could do better with his racial awareness. • Dr. King also stood up to bullies. He did it so often and with such quiet courage that he won his battle. But, I cannot remember Martin Luther King calling anyone a racist -- perhaps he did, goodness knows he faced many of them. But, he worked from the ideal of peaceful protest to demand rights again and again until the larger world "got the message." • • • PRESIDENT TRUMP'S MLK PROCLAMATION REFERRED TO "CHARACTER." I have never heard President Trump say anything "racist" -- he usually calls for Americans to love each other and stand together. His 2018 Martin Luther King Jr. Proclamationn read : "The Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. dedicated his life to a vision : that all Americans would live free from injustice and enjoy equal opportunity as children of God. His strong, peaceful, and lifelong crusade against segregation and discrimination brought our Nation closer to the founding ideals set forth in the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence. Today, as we come together to honor Dr. King, we know that America is stronger, more just, and more free because of his life and work. This year marks the 50th anniversary of the death of Dr. King, who was tragically assassinated on April 4, 1968. As we approach this solemn milestone, we acknowledge our Nation’s continuing debt to Dr. King’s legacy. Dr. King advocated for the world we still demand -- where the sacred rights of all Americans are protected, rural and urban communities are prosperous from coast to coast, and our limits and our opportunities are defined not by the color of our skin, but by the content of our character. We remember the immense promise of liberty that lies at the foundation of our great Republic, the responsibility it demands from all of us who claim its benefits, and the many sacrifices of those who have come before us. Too often, however, we have neglected these ideals, and injustice has seeped into our politics and our society. Dr. King’s peaceful crusade for justice and equality opened our Nation’s eyes to the humbling truth that we were very far from fulfilling our obligation to the promises set forth by our forebearers. The Reverend’s devotion to fighting the injustice of segregation and discrimination ignited the American spirit of fraternity and reminded us of our higher purpose. Through his words and work, he compelled us to hold ourselves to standards of moral character and integrity that are worthy of our Nation and of our humanity. Dr. King once said : “We refuse to believe there are insufficient funds in the great vaults of opportunity of this Nation.” We must work together to carry forward the American Dream, to ensure it is within reach not only for our children, but for future generations. As your President, I am committed to building and preserving a Nation where every American has opportunities to achieve a bright future. That is why we are expanding apprenticeship programs, preparing Americans for the jobs of our modernizing economy. We are also working every day to enhance access to capital and networks for minority and women entrepreneurs. With all we do, we aim to empower Americans to pursue their dreams. Importantly, in paying tribute to Dr. King, we are reminded that the duty lies with each of us to fulfill the vision of his life’s work. Let us use our time, talents, and resources to give back to our communities and help those less fortunate than us. Particularly today, let us not forget Dr. King’s own tireless spirit and efforts, as we work, celebrate, and pray alongside people of all backgrounds. As one people, let us rediscover the bonds of love and loyalty that bring us together as Americans, and as people who share a common humanity. NOW, THEREFORE, I, DONALD J. TRUMP, President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and the laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim January 15, 2018, as the Martin Luther King, Jr., Federal Holiday. I encourage all Americans to observe this day with appropriate civic, community, and service programs and activities in honor of Dr. King’s life and legacy. IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this twelfth day of January, in the year of our Lord two thousand eighteen, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and forty-second. DONALD J. TRUMP. THE WHITE HOUSE, January 12, 2018." • Dr. King's nephew also spoke at the White House event on Friday about his uncle's legacy, saying : "If my uncle were here today, the first thing he would say is, what are we or what are you doing for others?" • Since Congress passed legislation in 1983, every President since Ronald Reagan has signed the proclamation commemorating the civil rights leader with the federal holiday. Although, the first national celebration didn't take place until 1986. But, last week, President Trump went a step farther -- he signed a measure creating a new national historic park for Martin Luther King Jr. in Georgia. The park's boundaries include the Prince Hall Masonic Temple, a site that King used as the headquarters for the Southern Christian Leadership Conference. President Trump noted on Friday that the Dr. King national historic park will take its place beside national historic parks at Mount Vernon for President Washington and in Illinois for President Lincoln -- hardly the words of a racist. • • • PROGDEMS AND THE MSM HOUND TRUMP. None of President Trump's non-racist acts last week could keep CNN from tying them to the controversy over the White House meeting on Thursday, where, it is alleged that the President used very coarse language in discussing DACA and how to deal with Democrat demands that all "Dreamers" be given amnesty. On Friday, Trump denied both describing certain nations as "s***hole countries" and that he demanded Haitians be removed from negotiations about protected status for people from certain countries. Trump tweeted : "The language used by me at the DACA meeting was tough, but this was not the language used. What was really tough was the outlandish proposal made -- a big setback for DACA!" Republicans in the room during the alleged Trump comments said they didn't hear them being spoken. Joe Biden, who was not in the room, tweeted : "It’s not how a president should speak. It’s not how a president should behave. Most of all, it’s not what a president should believe. We’re better than this." That from Uncle Joe, whose often-used descriptor as VP was the F word. But, Senator Dick Durbin was in the room, and he told reporters Friday : "In the course of his comments, he said things which were hate filled, vile and racist. He used those words." • Social media has been full of analysis that concludes that the ProgDems are not going to budge on DACA and will take the country into a government shutdown if need be -- because they are dependent on the Dreamers and their chain-migration families and future illegals-suddenly-made-legal by amnesty to take over Red states and deny Republicans any future Presidents. • Breitbart interviewed Texax GOP Representative Lamar Smith on Thursday, after the alleged Trump remark and before the Friday Dr. King proclamation. Congressman Smith told Breitbart that Democrats may use President Donald Trump’s alleged 's***hole' comments as an excuse to abandon negotiations over amnesty, immigration reform, and border security. SiriusXM’s Breitbart News Tonight with Breitbart News’s Senior Editors-at-Large Rebecca Mansour and Joel Pollak asked Smith if the controversy over the President’s remarks would damage the political atmosphere for negotiations. Smith described Democrats’ focus on Trump’s “s***hole” comments as both a”distraction” and an “excuse” to avoid good faith negotiations. Here is the transcript : "POLLAK: Do you think that the President’s remarks, or the controversy about the President’s remarks will make that more difficult? Lamar Smith: No. If the Democrats don’t want to negotiate, they’ll always come up with some excuse, and maybe this is an indication that they were never serious to begin with, but they’ll always come up with some reason not to negotiation, or make an excuse not to make concessions. This is just another distraction, another excuse for the Democrats to do that. I think when things settle down over the next several days we’ll find out whether the Democrats were really serious and want to have an immigration bill, want to try to something for some of the so-called DACA folks. We’ll know that in the next few days. It’ll be an indication of whether they’re negotiating in good faith, whether they come back to the table." • • • KING AND TRUMP ARE MAGNETS FOR CONTROVERSY. • For Dr. King, controversy came because he was Black, well-educated, a pacifist minister willing to go to jail, a brilliant speaker, and determined to make Black Americans full citizens. But, despite the bullhorns and police dogs, Martin Luther King succeeded because he lived in an America where "character" still counted, where political promises meant something, where Christian values were the common denominator of the White-Black dialogue, and where Americans were still taught history and civcs. Dr. King used all that to deliver his winning message. • For Trump, controversy is not aimed at betterment for Americans -- it is aimed at destroying Donald Trump. • The Progressive globalist movement, its mega-rich godfathers, and its mainstream media have made President Trump despised all around the world. From the socialist elites of Europe to the autocratic regimes of the Middle East to the crony quasi-democracies of Africa to the Asia mix of real democracies with totalitarian regimes -- Donald Trump has been sold as a racist, xenophobic, anti-environment, anti-Islam, alt-right, white supremacist moron who is ruining America and the world. • Why? Because Trump is a conservative, pro-business-because-that-delivers-jobs, color-and-religion-blind Christian billionaire who needs none of their money to feed his agenda and who has the majority of Americans behind his plan to Make America Great Again. And, despite the heel-nipping Fake news and outright lies of American ProgDems and Progressive-Globalists around the world, Donald Trump is succeeding. • The Progressive movement has tried for at least 75 years -- 100 years if we go back to Woodrow Wilson, the first Progressive US President -- to remake America in the European socialist Progressive-Globalist image. From FDR in 1932 to Barack Obama in 2016, they did their best to shred the Constitution, cram the courts with socialists, buy generations of Black Americans kept on the ProgDem plantation with entitlements expressly doled out to ensure their votes, and weaken US business and Christian values so that America would lose its incandescent shine of exceptionalism. • Then, along came Donald Trump and the ProgDems and Progressive-Globalists worldwide realized that they had not succeeded. In Middle America, they saw tens of millions of Americans rising up to take Trump's hand and follow him. Only Ronald Regan in the US and Margaret Thatcher in the UK had ever been able to do that in the last 75 years. But, not only did Trump do it -- he has done it in record time and with obvious panache that has resulted in a tidal wave of hatred from his Progressive opponents. In one year, Trump has re-booted the US economy and business, lit a fire under the stock markets, reduced unemployment to under 4%, increased wages, torn away the worst parts of Obamacare, made the Supreme Court a 5-4 conservative majority, and re-introduced Christianity to America as its guiding light. • No wonder the American ProgDems and Progressive-Globalists are scared witless. Their plans for the world are in a shambles and President Trump still has 3 years left in his FIRST term - OMG. They are desperate for any straw. "S***hole” was one of them. "Racist" is their call to arms. But, they know they are failing. Donald Trump -- with his open suit jackets, red baseball cap, Christian message of love, and simple language -- sometimes a bit too crude -- is winning the hearts and minds of America. And he is doing it rather like Martin Luther King did. With honesty, integrity, straight-speaking, and "character." There is no mistaking character. It shines out of a person's eyes and actions and goals and words. Trump has character. The Progressives do not. • • • DEAR READERS, on Martin Luther King Jr. federal holiday, think about his words and how they fit today's problems : "When we allow freedom to ring -- when we let it ring from every city and every hamlet, from every state and every city, we will be able to speed up that day when all of God's children, black men and white men, Jews and Gentiles, Protestants and Catholics, will be able to join hands and sing, in the words of the old Negro spiritual, 'Free at last, Free at last, Great God almighty, we are free at last.' " ___ 1963, Martin Luther King, Jr. • Amen, brothers and sisters, Amen.