Monday, January 18, 2010

He Made the World a Better Place, didn't He? Well didn't He?

Today, I reflected on the life and times of Martin Luther King, Jr. Had he not been assassinated I feel certain that our world would have been a much better place to live. I feel sure with his wise leadership and teaching much of the racial tension of the past decades could have been avoided and we would have been enjoying a level of racial equality only dreamed of today.

I remember January 18, 1968 when Dr. King was assassinated and the days following. I was living in Kansas City, Mo. and remember hearing shots being fired in the night, I remember the smell of the smoke from the riots and the boarded windows of looted shops and businesses. I remember the 7:00 PM curfew and the deserted streets being patrolled by National Guardsmen.

I recall the times leading up to his untimely death. The daily news had been filled with news of Dr. King's protest marches, his moving speeches and frequent arrests. He was a key factor in forcing the attention of the world on the racial inequities and the plight of black citizens in the segregated South. Martin Luther King, Jr. advocated the strategies that were used by Gandhi in the Indian fight for independence from England. Both taught the philosophy of nonviolent direct action. These tactics were summarized by King when he said, "The purpose of nonviolent direct action is to create a situation so crisis-packed that it will inevitably open the door to negotiation". He was successful in attracting the media attention to the adverse treatment of black Americans, it brought national force to bear on the issue of segregation and the Civil Rights Act of 1964 was signed into law.

The Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was a fearless fighter for justice, freedom and equality. He preached Goodness, Truth and Beauty from the pulpit. Read his sermons today and feel moved by his powerful message of peoples struggle to be free, from the Children of Israel in Egypt to the oppressed in his day and time. He taught love and compassion. His sermons are filled with the message of nonviolence, personal responsibility and self-reliance.

Today, 42 years later, the message of nonviolence, personal responsibility and self-reliance is all but lost on successive generations of both white and blacks. In the last decade, the forces of evil have all but eliminated any moral teaching from the state schools and the preachers of today are in fear of retribution if they use the bible to address topics that are deemed politically sensitive. School teachers are dismissed without recourse for closing their eyes during the obligatory moment of silence at the start of the school day. I can only wonder at how successful Dr. King would be today, in an environment increasingly hostile to the teachings of moral values. That same line of questioning leads me back to why he was assassinated. We will never know who all was involved with his shooting anymore that we will know who was on the grassy knoll that day in Dallas.
This morning as I was thinking about that day and remembering the anger, pain and frustration in the black community at the loss of Dr. King. I couldn't help but wonder at what would happen if a similar situation were to happen with a black leader today.

I ain't sayin', I'm just sayin' that if it were to happen, here are my thoughts on the best case and the worst case scenarios as I imagine them.
Just suppose the "Birthers" get their wish and the law suit heard in the Federal Court and Barak Husain Obama refuses or is unable to show proof of birth in the United States:

Best Case:
He is charged with numerous crimes and impeachment is imminent. The conservative rabble are overjoyed and celebrate wildly. They renew their attack on the leftist establishment.

Joe Biden, Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi are overjoyed and celebrate wildly, now they have the power and a new scapegoat and renew their attacks their on the conservatives. Unlike Obama, they know how to play the game and it is again business as usual.

Worst case:
Obama is charged with numerous crimes and impeachment looks to be certain and Obama resigns in disgrace. He immediately seeks and is granted political asylum in Yemen and flees the country under cover of darkness. Riots break out in Washington, D.C. and the Army is called out to support the overwhelmed D.C. police. Several police and Army troops are killed in the battle and dozens of Affirmative action unemployed citizens are killed and hundreds are jailed.

Riots and widespread looting break out in every major city and the civil authority is totally overwhelmed in the first 24 hours. Wild fires burn in L.A., New Orleans, Chicago, Atlanta, Dallas, Denver as well as Washington and New York. Martial law is declared for all the U.S. All travel is suspended. The national Guard and the Army are under manned and are only able to maintain road blocks and check points. Neighborhood vigilante groups form to fight the looters. Open warfare and anarchy looks to be unavoidable.

Acting President, Joe Biden, on the advice of his handlers, exercised his executive prerogative and calls on the aid of The United Nations. By the end of the first week, boots on the ground and Blue UN personal carriers and thousands of troops arrive from China, Indonesia, Mexico, Turkey and South Africa. They immediately begin to round up citizens and to establish temporary detainment camps. Once the curfews are enforced and some semblance of order is restored, the combined forces of the existing police, military, and the United Nation troops begin house to house searches to enforce the new "No Weapons Left Behind Law". All firearms, ammunition and anything that is believed to be a weapon is confiscated and arrests are made.

Wall Street reacts too late to the unstable conditions in the leadership of the country, attempt to stop the total collapse of the market are unsuccessful. Stock values plummet to all time lows. Within days the entire country will experience outages of all major commodities and well as all paper products. China, India and the other countries that hold outstanding debts with the United States, calls for immediate payment in hard currency.

Ok, enough of Apocalypse Now. When I was a little tadpole, I stuck my nose into someone else's business and as a consequence for my indiscretion I was required to write a Bible verse numerous times. It went, "He that passeth by and meddeleth in strife belonging not to him, is like one that taketh a dog by the ears" (Pr. 26:17 KJV) Perhaps we ought to leave sleeping dogs lay and do as Dr. King taught when he quoted the words of Jesus; "Pray for them that despitefully used you and persecute you". (Ma 5: 43-44)

Thank goodness the Lord never said that we should like them! We must wish the best for our enemies. Whether we mean it or not, we must at least try. The result will be that it will dissipate our own anger and at least we will feel better, I works, I promise. If it doesn't work, I will cheerfully refund you your misery.

After thoughts:
Several times in the last few years I have driven the route that the freedom marchers took from Selma, AL. to Montgomery, AL. One of the first things one notices about Selma today, aside from the horrible threadbare poverty stricken look of so many southern towns, is the abundance of government projects - the same stamped out government housing projects that have been total failures in cities everywhere. Dirt yards piled with litter and parking lots full of broken cars. The main street of Selma is a collection of Wig Emporiums, Sculptured nail and Beauty shops and liqueur stores. Each time that I have driven through Selma, the street corners have always been filled with idle young men in designer jeans and throw back jerseys and designer workout suits. But not a blue collar in sight.

How has welfare helped them, tell me that. Instead of opportunity, they have been given an instant slum to live in and free money to spend. The fighters for freedom have been victim of a more insidious form of slavery - the government check. I didn't see them in the early 60's but they don't look any better off today. Only now they are demoralized, uneducated and angry. Looks like a great place for a mosque and a Moslem school. I am quite sure this was not part of Dr. Kings dream.

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