Arthur Christopher Schaper
On this Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day, instead of listening to irreverent race-baiters like “Reverends” Al Sharpton or Jesse Jackson, let us imagine what Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and his colleague Rosa Parks might say about race relations in America.
First, Dr. King would remind us that in previous decades, white people were never indicted, let alone convicted and incarcerated for willfully killing black people. White lynch mobs would preen for cameras following their savage murders of black people, brazenly smiling because they knew that no white jury would convict them.
King would retell the trial of the “Scottsboro Boys”, in which a white judge set aside a corrupt guilty verdict, knowing full well that the nine young African-American men did not rape a white woman of dubious reputation and loose morals. A white lawyer from New York represented those black defendants, and shortly afterward blacks were serving on Alabama juries. King would then remind everyone about the unjust slaughter of fifteen-year old Emmett Till, murdered by white supremacists in Mississippi for whistling at a white woman. Fifty years later, prosecutors indicted Till’s killer. Trayvon Martin of Florida was killed by a man of mixed heritage. The state scheduled twelve days and fifty-six witnesses for his case. Maybe King would mention OJ Simpson, a wealthy African-American athlete and entertainer who was tried for murder, defended by a black lawyer and Harvard Law Professor. OJ was not convicted, despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary, and general outrage from the public.
In his “Letter in a Birmingham Jail”, King lamented that blacks were still begging for a coffee at the local restaurant. Today, blacks are celebrated entrepreneurs and investors, including Earvin “Magic” Johnson, who helped gang-riddled, irrepressibly corrupt Compton, California. Herman Cain owned Godfather’s Pizza. Congresswoman Shirley Chisholm of New York State ran for Congress and for President, long before Obama. Unlike the race-hustlers of today, Chisholm reached out to all Americans, and even comforted a severely wounded (former) white supremacist George Wallace after he suffered an assassination attempt. There are black leaders in courts and statehouses, including Deval Patrick of Massachusetts, Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, Condoleezza Rice (National Security Advisor and Secretary of State) among many others.
Instead of crying about racism in America, King would say: “We have come a long way!”
Then I think of Rosa Parks, the civil rights leader who refused to give up her seat on a Montgomery, Alabama bus. “She was tired”, as old Eddie shared in the movie “Barbershop”. She was tired all right: tired of being treated with disrespect; tired of unequal treatment under the law; tired of being told what she could and could not do, how much she could make; and being told where to sit.
Confirming Dr. King’s appraisal of improved race relations in the USA, Rosa Parks would acknowledge that there is room for improvement, but only because of President Obama and his Democratic Party.
Parks would be dismayed that Obama and Democrats in general take the black vote for granted. For example, while 2012 Republican Presidential candidate Mitt Romney attended the NAACP Conference, Obama skipped it. Talk about disrespect. Dishonoring marriage and expanding abortion (both offensive to blacks), Obama does not respect their values. He has done nothing to amend the unfair sentencing guidelines in our nation’s drug laws, to re-enfranchise felons, or even commute prison sentences for juvenile offenders. As a result, blacks inadvertently still suffer unequal treatment.
Parks would be disgusted by the welfare state and Democratic resistance to school choice. Obama refuses to allow black families to choose their children’s schools, yet enrolls his children in elite private schools with elite security. Because of President Obama’s ruinous “progressive” policies, African-Americans suffer unemployment twice the national average. Black youth struggle against 50% unemployment. Blacks are not doing or making much under this President. Besides, Democratic President Lyndon Baines Johnson offered then expanded government welfare for one reason: “We’ll have those n—ggers voting for us for the next two hundred years”. Johnson’s invidious comment and Obama’s callous indifference validate the argument of black conservatives Thomas Sowell and Walter Williams: Because Democrats enable dependence and resist school choice and vouchers, they basically tell blacks where to sit.
In fact, the Democratic Party, from Woodrow Wilson to today, have been sending blacks “to the back of the bus”, while Republicans offer them the front seat (Condoleeza Rice, Clarence Thomas, and the recently-deceased Edward Brooke), or let them own the bus if they want to (Herman Cain). To paraphrase crappy rapper Kanye West: “President Obama does not care about black people.” Without a doubt, Rosa Parks would shout: “President Obama, stop putting my people in the back of the bus!”
Ironically, despite this country’s drastically improved race relations, if anyone is hindering progress on race, look no further than the black man in the White House, his black attorney general, and black liberal media elites who profit from unrest rather than peace. Other than Obama and Co., We the People of the United Sates can confidently assert that Dr. Kings’ Dream of 1963 is our reality.
Arthur Christopher Schaper is a writer, blogger, and political commentator on topics both timeless and timely; political, cultural, and eternal. A life-long Southern California resident, Arthur currently lives in Torrance.