Today Is A Holiday

Today is a holiday because we are celebrating the life of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. He was not a perfect person, but he was a visionary who did some things that needed to be done–and he did them peacefully.

LiveLeak has posted a transcript of the speech Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., gave in Memphis, Tennessee, the day before he was assassinated. My husband and I were in Memphis at that time, and it was a very tense place before and after Dr. King’s assassination.

Here are a few highlights from that speech:

Let us rise up tonight with a greater readiness. Let us stand with a greater determination. And let us move on in these powerful days, these days of challenge to make America what it ought to be. We have an opportunity to make America a better nation. And I want to thank God, once more, for allowing me to be here with you.

You know, several years ago, I was in New York City autographing the first book that I had written. And while sitting there autographing books, a demented black woman came up. The only question I heard from her was, “Are you Martin Luther King?”

And I was looking down writing, and I said yes. And the next minute I felt something beating on my chest. Before I knew it I had been stabbed by this demented woman. I was rushed to Harlem Hospital. It was a dark Saturday afternoon. And that blade had gone through, and the X-rays revealed that the tip of the blade was on the edge of my aorta, the main artery. And once that’s punctured, you drown in your own blood?that’s the end of you.

It came out in the New York Times the next morning, that if I had sneezed, I would have died. Well, about four days later, they allowed me, after the operation, after my chest had been opened, and the blade had been taken out, to move around in the wheel chair in the hospital. They allowed me to read some of the mail that came in, and from all over the states, and the world, kind letters came in. I read a few, but one of them I will never forget. I had received one from the President and the Vice-President. I’ve forgotten what those telegrams said. I’d received a visit and a letter from the Governor of New York, but I’ve forgotten what the letter said. But there was another letter that came from a little girl, a young girl who was a student at the White Plains High School. And I looked at that letter, and I’ll never forget it. It said simply, “Dear Dr. King: I am a ninth-grade student at the White Plains High School.” She said, “While it should not matter, I would like to mention that I am a white girl. I read in the paper of your misfortune, and of your suffering. And I read that if you had sneezed, you would have died. And I’m simply writing you to say that I’m so happy that you didn’t sneeze.”

And I want to say tonight, I want to say that I am happy that I didn’t sneeze. Because if I had sneezed, I wouldn’t have been around here in 1960, when students all over the South started sitting-in at lunch counters. And I knew that as they were sitting in, they were really standing up for the best in the American dream. And taking the whole nation back to those great wells of democracy which were dug deep by the Founding Fathers in the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution. If I had sneezed, I wouldn’t have been around in 1962, when Negroes in Albany, Georgia, decided to straighten their backs up. And whenever men and women straighten their backs up, they are going somewhere, because a man can’t ride your back unless it is bent. If I had sneezed, I wouldn’t have been here in 1963, when the black people of Birmingham, Alabama, aroused the conscience of this nation, and brought into being the Civil Rights Bill. If I had sneezed, I wouldn’t have had a chance later that year, in August, to try to tell America about a dream that I had had. If I had sneezed, I wouldn’t have been down in Selma, Alabama, been in Memphis to see the community rally around those brothers and sisters who are suffering. I’m so happy that I didn’t sneeze.

And they were telling me, now it doesn’t matter now. It really doesn’t matter what happens now. I left Atlanta this morning, and as we got started on the plane, there were six of us, the pilot said over the public address system, “We are sorry for the delay, but we have Dr. Martin Luther King on the plane. And to be sure that all of the bags were checked, and to be sure that nothing would be wrong with the plane, we had to check out everything carefully. And we’ve had the plane protected and guarded all night.”

And then I got to Memphis. And some began to say the threats, or talk about the threats that were out. What would happen to me from some of our sick white brothers?

Well, I don’t know what will happen now. We’ve got some difficult days ahead. But it doesn’t matter with me now. Because I’ve been to the mountaintop. And I don’t mind. Like anybody, I would like to live a long life. Longevity has its place. But I’m not concerned about that now. I just want to do God’s will. And He’s allowed me to go up to the mountain. And I’ve looked over. And I’ve seen the promised land. I may not get there with you. But I want you to know tonight, that we, as a people, will get to the promised land. And I’m happy, tonight. I’m not worried about anything. I’m not fearing any man. Mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord.

This is the man that we are celebrating today.

People Are Paying Good Money To Have Their Children Exposed To This Garbage

Breitbart.com posted an article yesterday about the protests at the University of Missouri. The football team at the University will be boycotting future football games until their concerns about alleged campus racism are addressed.

The article reports:

Among the items on the list, which can be read in full here, was a demand for the (now-former) president, Tim Wolfe, to hold a public press conference to read out a “handwritten apology” to students, and publicly “acknowledge his white male privilege.” Now that he’s set a precedent for chickening out immediately in the face of thuggery, the campus social justice warriors everywhere will be emboldened to challenge their superiors.

There were also demands for more affirmative action. The group wants the university to pledge to increase black staff and faculty members to 10 per cent by 2017-18. They also want a greater focus on hiring “persons of color” at the school’s mental health and social justice centres. Because never mind who’s the best qualified to help: what matters is that nurse is a black woman.

Indoctrination is also on the agenda. The group demands that the University of Missouri “creates and enforces comprehensive racial awareness and inclusion curriculum throughout all campus departments and units, mandatory for all students, faculty, staff and administration.”

I hate to be difficult here, but it is known that many universities add points to SAT and other test scores of minorities to make them more competitive when applying to universities. Isn’t that minority privilege? This is so ridiculous it is unbelievable. At this stage of the game, I don’t think I would be willing to send a child to college if this is what is being taught. Martin Luther King, Jr. got it right when he said, “I have a dream 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.” The protest at the University of Missouri is moving away from that concept–not toward it.

I have one last comment. No one should be discriminated, mistreated, denied a job, or looked down upon because of their race, sex, or religion. We should not make the mistake of elevating people based on the fact that they are black just because we have made mistakes in the other direction in the past. The only way to stop discrimination is to begin with forgiveness and move forward. Holding a grudge against supposed ‘white male privilege’ accomplishes nothing. When people are willing to put down that grudge, we can all move forward together.

What does it say about our educational system that a football team threatening to boycott can force a University President to resign from his position?

Rewriting History

Gateway Pundit posted an article yesterday about the 65th anniversary of the march in Selma, Alabama.

The article reminds us:

On this day in 1965, state police under the command of the Democrat Governor, George Wallace, attacked African-Americans who were demonstrating for voting rights in Selma, Alabama. The rampaging Democrats used billy clubs and tear gas and dogs in their “Bloody Sunday” assault.

A Republican-appointed federal judge, Frank Johnson, soon ruled in favor of the demonstrators, enabling them to complete their march two weeks later.

Meanwhile, the Daily Caller reported yesterday:

A civil rights leader refused to march across the historic bridge in Selma during the 50th anniversary celebration Saturday because former President George W. Bush was also marching.

Diane Nash, described as a lieutenant to Martin Luther King Jr., said she did not wish to march across the bridge in Alabama because she said Bush represented violence — something she claimed was at odds with the Selma legacy.

History has been rewritten to erase the role the political parties played in the civil rights movement–the Southern Democrats opposed civil rights laws and the northern Republicans supported them. It is a shame Ms. Nash decided not to march instead of taking a stand for unity.

 

The REAL Answer To Race Relations

On November 20, the Las Vegas Guardian Express posted an amazing article. It was about Daryl Davis, author of Klan-Destine Relationships: A Black Man‘s Odyssey in the Ku Klux Klan, published in 1997.

The article tells the story of how Davis, a black man, came to write the book. Daryl Davis, a gifted boogie woogie piano player,  is currently an integral member of The Legendary Blues Band (formerly known as the Muddy Waters Band). His odyssey with the Ku Klux Klan began in 1983 with a discussion with a Klan member about the piano playing of Jerry Lee Lewis and how Jerry Lee Lewis developed his piano style.

Please follow the link to the article and read the entire story. It is an amazing story for many reasons. First of all Daryl Davis had to courage to meet with leaders of the Klan and have honest discussions with the about what they believed. He formed close friendships with people who previously would have hated him simply on the basis of his race. In the article he talks about some of the tense moments in meeting with Klansmen and talking with them about their beliefs.

I believe that in recent years America has taken multiple steps backwards in the area of race relations. We have forgotten the words of Martin Luther King, Jr., that all men should be judged on their character–not their race. Instead we have evolved into a game of one-upmanship where races are trying to exhort payback for crimes and injustices that happened centuries ago. Until we realize that the past is the past and we cannot change it, we will never be able to move forward.

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Common Sense Has Left The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission

Yesterday the Wall Street Journal (no link–the article is subscribers only) published a story on its opinion page stating that the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) is filing lawsuits against employers for doing criminal background checks on potential employees. The EEOC is calling the background checks for criminal activity racist because blacks have higher conviction rates than whiles, and therefore criminal checks discriminate against blacks. Therefore, as an employer, you no longer have the right to screen for honest employees.

Criminal background checks are legal and have been a part of the hiring process for years–just as checking the references given by a job applicant is both legal and a good idea.

The article states:

The EEOC suit is part of the Administration’s larger effort to redefine racism in America by using statistics, rather than individual intent or evidence. The Justice and Housing Departments have rewritten their rules and punished banks and counties like Westchester, N.Y., based on disparate statistical measures of lending and zoning. The EEOC signaled its plans in April last year when ti rewrote its enforcement strategy, declaring that “an employer’s evidence of a racially balanced workforce will not be enough to disprove disparate impact.”

There is one thing we need to remember here. No amount of reverse racism can ever make up for the racism that has happened in the past. All this racism that is statistically established will only create more divides and separations between people. Martin Luther King, Jr., had it right when he called for a ‘color blind’ society. That is the only real answer to discrimination.

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Memories Of A Horrible Time

This is a rambling article detailing some of my memories of the assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr. There are no links–it is strictly my memories of the events–as I happened to be in Memphis at the time. Hopefully you will enjoy reading it.

Martin Luther King, Jr.

Martin Luther King, Jr. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

On April 4, 1968, Martin Luther King, Jr., was assassinated in Memphis, Tennessee. My husband and I were temporarily stationed in Memphis at that time and were scheduled to return to his home port in Rhode Island the next day. During the time we were stationed there, I worked as a temporary office employee and made use of the city’s public transportation while my husband drove to the Navy base at Millington every day.

The city had been on edge since February due to a garbage strike and the death of some city employees who were taking a break in a garbage truck when the mechanism engaged.  Martin Luther King, Jr., had visited the city in March, speaking to thousands at Mason Temple.

I was working in downtown Memphis on the day that Martin Luther King, Jr., was shot. Things were tense that day–downtown had been declared ‘off limits’ to military personnel. City buses had been surrounded by crowds and ‘rocked.’  I don’t remember whether or not any buses were tipped over. My husband disobeyed the ‘off limits’ order and came into the city to get me because we were afraid that the bus would not be a safe way to get home.

The night of April 4 was even more tense. I don’t remember whether or not there was a curfew in the city, but I suspect there was. The next day we attended graduation ceremonies for the school my husband had been attending and then headed back to Rhode Island to his next duty station. That weekend we were supposed to visit a classmate of my husband who was part of the Presidential helicopter squadron. Needless to say, when Washington, D. C. had riots, we cancelled those plans.

We had a National Guard escort through Nashville, Tennessee, on the way home. The Guard would allow six or seven cars to go through the city with military vehicles ahead and behind the cars. We had bought a car in Memphis and had Tennessee license plates on the car, so I felt as if we blended in a little better than we might have with Rhode Island plates.

After two days of hard driving, we pulled into my husband’s parents’ house right outside of New York City. The next day we went into New York City and heard a story I have never forgotten.

New York Mayor Lindsay carries in his budget

New York Mayor Lindsay carries in his budget (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

During this time, John Lindsay was the Mayor of New York City. I am making no comment regarding the success or failure of his term as Mayor. We went into the city to the recording studio where my husband had worked before joining the Navy and were talking with another employee who was also a pastor in a black church in Harlem. The Pastor told us what had happened in New York City after the shooting of Dr. King. The Pastor explained why New York City had not had the riots that several other American cities had gone through after the news of the assassination broke. When the news of Dr. King’s death came over the wire, Mayor Lindsay immediately called the pastors of the churches in Harlem and asked them to meet him in the street on the edge of Harlem. He went there with his driver, got out his megaphone and said something like ‘If you want to march, I will march with you.’ That march changed the fate of New York City from one of riots to one of relative peace. Leadership matters.

The next day we headed back to our peaceful home in Rhode Island. It was really good to be home.

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It Sounds Like A Good Idea– But It Just Doesn’t Work

Yesterday Michael Barone at the Washington Examiner posted an article about the recent dust-up about Elizabeth Warren‘s American Indian heritage. I live in Massachusetts and this story has been rather widely reported here.

The point of concern is not whether Elizabeth Warren is Native American or not–I really don’t care. The question is whether or not someone who may be 1/32 Native American can use that fact to be given special consideration when applying for education or employment opportunities.

The article notes:

Let’s assume the 1894 document is accurate. That makes Warren 1-32nd Native American. George Zimmerman, the Florida accused murderer, had a black grandmother. That makes him one-fourth black, four times as black as Warren is Indian, though the New York Times describes him as a “white Hispanic.”

What’s wrong with what Warren did? Capehart seems to understand that. “The implication in these stories is that Warren used minority status to advance her career,” he writes.

Well, yes. When she was hired, Harvard Law School had just denied tenure to a female teacher and was being criticized for not having enough minorities and women on its faculty.

Of course Harvard and Warren say her claim to minority status had nothing to do with her being hired. And if it did, no one is going to say so. Nothing to see here, just move on.

Quotas really don’t help anyone actually succeed–they may open a door for someone, but if a person is not academically qualified to take advantage of an opportunity, opening a door for that person does not help anyone–it simply puts an unqualified person in a position that a qualified person could fill. We need to remember the words of Martin Luther King, Jr., “A man should not be judged by his skin color but by the content of his character.” A person should be given opportunities based on his (or her) abilities, not race or sex. 

America has made some serious mistakes in the way certain groups of people have been treated. As Americans, we need to acknowledge that, stop doing it, and learn from our mistakes. We can’t redo the past, and discriminating against the majority of Americans will not change the past.

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Why Not Just Get Rid Of The Stupid Law ?

From the time America began, the Church has had a role to play in the community. When Connecticut was settled, a group of pilgrims to the New World were not allowed to form a community unless they had a Pastor with them. Many of the pulpits of America spoke out against slavery before the War Between the States. The American Revolution was partially fueled from the pulpits of America. Historically, the church matters.

Today’s Daily Caller posted a story about a speech given by Valerie Jarrett in Atlanta on Martin Luther King Day. The speech was given at Ebenezer Baptist Church.

The article reports:

On Sunday President Barack Obama’s controversial aide, Valerie Jarrett, used the Ebenezer pulpit to tell the congregation that the jobs of teachers, police and firefighters “are now in jeopardy because Congress — well, let me be specific — because [of] the Republicans in Congress.”

According to current Internal Revenue Service (IRS) rules:

“Voter education or registration activities with evidence of bias that (a) would favor one candidate over another; (b) oppose a candidate in some manner; or (c) have the effect of favoring a candidate or group of candidates, will constitute prohibited participation or intervention,” according to the IRS website.

Erik Stanley, a senior legal counsel with the Alliance Defense Fund (ADF), has stated that if the church is charged with violating IRS rules, the ADF will defend the church. The goal of the ADF is to increase freedom in the pulpit.
 

I don’t believe candidates or political parties should go into churches and raise campaign funds–I find that offensive. But I do believe that the church has the right and the responsibility to provide a moral perspective on the issues of the day. In the case of the Christian church, that would be a Biblical perspective. I also think that it is the responsibility of Christians to be informed voters who understand how our representative republic works.

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