The Content of Our Character
On August 28, 1963, Dr. Martin Luther King stood on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial and captured the heart of a nation with a single phrase: “I have a dream.” Dr. King’s decision that day to set aside his written speech and speak these visionary words ultimately placed him in the same oratory company as Presidents Lincoln and Jefferson. While most people remember and relate to Dr. King’s words, “I have a dream,” I have always been especially drawn to the words that follow: “…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.” Almost fifty-one years later, it is clear that many people don’t want to be judged by the content of their character. Rather, they seem to prefer to judge others by the color of their skin and to keep the racial divide alive by fanning the flames of racism.
In these weeks leading up to Christmas, I am deeply troubled by the direction of our country and more importantly, by the fact that Americans from all walks of life are so alienated from each other. I am confused by all the divisiveness, which, in my opinion, is not a mistake but rather, a well-orchestrated elitist effort to turn people against each other for political gain. If my theory turns out to be true, it is not only deplorable, but it speaks volumes as to what is truly in people’s hearts and it is bad news for our country. Is this the “content of [one’s] character” of which Dr. King spoke?
Everywhere you turn, the “PC police” are out in force to push their version of control and hate by telling you that which constitutes acceptable speech and that which does not. Their partners in crime are the progressive media, who hate America and her exceptionalism. People are afraid to exercise their first amendment rights, because if they do, the PC police will label them “racist” and thereby end their career or business. On the daytime show The View, Whoopi Goldberg engaged in a verbal dispute with her co-host Rosie O’Donnell and later opined that you have to be black to understand racism. Really? Is there a monopoly on understanding racism? Are we, as Dr. Gruber said, too “stupid” to understand, or did we just not get the memorandum? Is this the dream of which Dr. King spoke?
The world has gone insane. In Africa, the Islamic militant group Boko Haram recently kidnapped almost 200 women and children, exploiting them sexually and ultimately selling them into slavery. Where is the world outrage and action against such acts of brutality, when we have the power to stamp out evil and right the wrongs against humanity? I know, I’m an idealist. The progressive media cycle only lasts two weeks, so what was I thinking? According to the Alinsky doctrine, anything that drags on for too long becomes a drag. Paradoxically, while simultaneously ignoring the plight of those women and children, the progressive media batters our waking consciousness every single day with reminders of our own nation’s slavery history (which ended in 1863) as if it was just yesterday. But, not to worry! In May 2014, the First Lady instituted a hash-tag Twitter campaign that has the Boko Haram fighters shaking in their boots!
Far from being deterred by this cyber social media effort from the White House, Boko Haram “…locked a boys’ dormitory and set it on fire, killing those who tried to flee and burning the rest alive. News accounts report that suspected Boko Haram militants killed at least 43 young men during the pre-dawn attack…”(worldwatchmonitor.org, February 26, 2014).
If we sent Jessie Watters from The O’Reilly Factor to interview folks about the aforementioned travesties, to include the high rate of black-on-black violence in Chicago, I’m sure that asking such a question would be considered racist! Al Sharpton leads bands of hypocrites through the streets to “protest” in response to the events in Ferguson, Missouri and in New York City. They have the nerve to hold up signs that read “Black Lives Matter” and to chant “What do we want? Dead Cops! When do we want it? Now!” Is this the content of character of which Dr. King spoke?
The 1960s and 1970s in America were times of great tension, division, and racial strife that many of us can still remember. For those too young to have experienced this period, historians have captured both the good and the bad and for the most part, accurately, unless you subscribe to Howard Zinn’s perspective that America is an evil place. In fact, academia still points to this historical period as proof of what is “wrong” with America. It was a period of urban riots and one that saw a generation break away from conventional and traditional values, embracing a more radical, progressive ideology. It saw the rise of radical groups like the Black Panthers and the Weather Underground, who loathed “the man,” who called law enforcement officers “pigs,” and who felt that the entire American system was “rigged” against minorities. It is true that minorities were not treated fairly or equally in America during that period and I believe that most fair-minded people would agree that such conditions existed at that time. However, fifty years later, this is not the case in America. I find it ironic and disturbing that the very same people who rioted and called law enforcement “pigs” in the 1960s and 1970s are now using their status as celebrities and prominent leaders in government to re-ignite the flames of hatred with the notion that America and its police are racist. For example, actor Samuel Jackson had an impoverished childhood and he faced racism throughout his life. Through his own hard work and by taking advantage of the opportunities for advancement which are available in America, he has made quite a name for himself. Unfortunately, he has chosen to revert back to his activist role, advocating against law enforcement professionals versus encouraging young men and women to get an education and teaching them that the cage of circumstance does not encircle us with iron bars of denial and despair. It appears that he would rather focus on a person’s ethnicity to promote his larger message, which in and of itself is questionable. Is this the content of character of which Dr. King spoke?
The events leading up to the riots in Ferguson, Missouri and the street protests New York City have spawned movements such as the “Hands Up, Don’t Shoot” protest movement. Many people have bought into the hate and false narrative that this movement propagates. I don’t understand it. That said, I do understand that under the First Amendment, every citizen has the right to protest and to exercise his or her freedom of speech in a non-violent way. However, I believe that the promotion of false narratives for personal and political gain points directly to a person’s character. People will judge them accordingly, and so will God. Science has determined that Mr. Brown did not have his hands up and this fact was further supported by eyewitness testimony provided to the grand jury. The burning of buildings and the deliberate chaos instigated in Ferguson by those who do not respect the rule of law is telling to those who have their eyes open. It is irresponsible for the media to promote the false narrative that the police are “hunting down black boys” and that America is “allowing black boys to be murdered” without providing proof of the truth of such accusations. If the accusations can be show to be true, then it is inherent upon the media to work with the justice system so that those who committed such crimes may be held responsible for their actions. Mob violence is not the same thing as embracing social justice. Mob violence is deplorable and it has no place in a society which is rooted in the rule of law. How can anyone attribute violence to Dr. King’s dream?
Lastly, it was with a heavy heart that I learned that two NYPD officers assigned to a troubled Brooklyn neighborhood were murdered last night while eating lunch in their police cruiser. Allegedly, the gunman assassinated these men simply because they wore the uniform. It is further alleged that the gunman posted on social media his intent to commit this heinous act as a means of “revenge.” He will be judged on the content of his character by both man and God.
This morning, a Facebook friend of mine posted that the senseless killing of these brave men was not about race, but about good versus evil. That may prove to be true. An investigation will determine what happened and we will all learn the truth. I’ve also noticed that the race baiters have gone to ground and, apparently, they have nothing to say.
As we approach what is historically a joyous season for many people of faith, I am greatly saddened and filled with grief for the families of these officers who were taken from us. In remembrance, I and my family will light a candle every day during this holiday season. I will say a prayer to honor these brave men and I will reflect on Dr. King’s words. I pray that all of us may be judged by the content of our character, and not by the color of our skin.