MLK’s Dream now a Nightmare

I grew up in a small town outside of Atlanta.  I remember finding bullets from the Civil War in the yard of my  great-grandparents home where I played as a young child.  They were so common in that area I never thought about saving one.

I also remember hearing the term “separate but equal” throughout my youth.  The full impact of those racially-charged words did not hit home until the early 1960’s.  I was rehearsing a play at the Fox theater on famed Peachtree Street.  When the crew broke for lunch, I went across the street with a black cast member to grab a bite at one of my favorite restaurants.  The maitre d’ refused to seat us.

I was shocked and dismayed!  Separate but equal was not equal, just separate.  Often it meant one had to do with nothing at all.  Where were we supposed to go to eat in order to get back to the theater for the afternoon rehearsal? Frankly, I don’t remember where we ate or if we ate.  I do remember the impact those words had on me.  My friend didn’t get upset like I did.  She was accustomed to being treated as a second-class citizen.

So much has changed in the 50 years since that March on Washington where Dr. Martin Luther King delivered what has become known as his “I had a Dream” speech. The rhetoric from Saturday’s gathering sickened me.  It was supposed to be a celebration of that important event.  However, these organizers turned Dr. King’s dream into his worst nightmare.

Dr. King’s message of empowerment and hope was replaced with that of negativity and victimhood.  It was as if all the achievements of the last 50 years had suddenly been erased.

In many ways they have.  But the very problems now faced by the poor and disenfranchised  are not caused by racism or legal barriers.  They are caused by the breakdown of the family, illegitimacy, illiteracy, drugs, gangs and a welfare system that traps those who yield to its siren song into a life of dependency.

Not once did I hear any of the keynote speakers address those things which have plagued the poor, and poor blacks in particular. Not surprising, with America’s “racist-in-chief” Al Sharpton leading this parade!

What does Sharpton know about the poor he pretends to represent except that he needs them to be his victims so he can “lead” them down this miserable road.   Sharpton, goes by the title of “reverend,” although he never pastored a church.  He lives like a king and receives a quarter of a million dollar salary each year from his National Action Network. NAN is heavily subsidized by the teacher’s unions, which is a big reason why Sharpton and the others assembled for this event would not call attention to the failure of the nation’s inner city public schools.

He and Attorney General Eric Holder (another speaker at this event) want to keep these poor kids in those schools.  While else would Holder ask a federal court to block Bobby Jindal’s Louisiana from handing out vouchers to poor kids (90 percent of whom are black)?  With those vouchers some 8,000 kids in the Pelican State could escape those schools and have the opportunity they deserve to succeed.  That is the untold story of this march!

As the first woman sportscaster, I can tell you that if you look for discrimination (as Sharpton does) you will find it.  If — despite your best efforts  — it finds you, the best way to handle it is with kindness.

Ben Carson, the black doctor who was head of pediatric neurosurgery at Johns Hopkins, was dressed down by a supervisor who mistook him for an orderly his very first day at the hospital.  Instead of taking offense, the next day, he stopped by her desk to give her flowers.  It was one of the most compelling scenes in the movie about his life, “Gifted Hands.”

Carson was raised by an uneducated single mother who made him read books instead of watching television or hanging out on the street.  She would not allow him to feel sorry for himself or accept excuses for failure.  This is the kind of role model American kids need, not vulgar hip hop artists.

You can get a lot more done with an outstretched hand than with a closed fist.  That is something Dr. King preached and Sharpton and the others, who make their livings fanning the dying embers of racism, either don’t care about or never learned.

2 thoughts on “MLK’s Dream now a Nightmare

  1. An excellent and touching essay on a major problem within our country, the liberal left’s imprisonment of the current and past couple of generations (fifty years) of blacks under the guise of helping them. The unholy relationship of the teachers unions and the National Action Network is not a marriage of good intentions but a scandalous affair deeply saturated in the sin of restricting children and their children from realizing their true potential. Responsible for this sin of sins, the liberal left and Sharpton, avoid addressing the degradating culture of hip hop, rap, ebonics (“black talk”), defunct public educaton, and single parent families, giving the culture tacit approval to further their agenda of power over the poor. Despicable! Thanks Jane for holding a magnifying glass in one hand for details and clarity and a mirror in the other so the monsters can see themselves.


  2. While being involved in work in the inner city as a pastor for many years, there is sadly little positive improvement with respect to the continuing blight on the black community. The fact that many of these inner city communities are black dominated and black governed… and have been for many, many years, is very telling.
    Every year the promise of “hope and change” gets trumpeted throughout cities and every year those same trumpeters deliver the reality of “dope and chains”. The relentless verbal opiate of the entitlement needle digs deep into the soul and often dooms their followers to a indentured life of service to their black inner city masters. Yes, I said it and it needs to be said more often.
    Clearly, if things are so bad and have been so under the same kind leadership for some 40 or 50 years, maybe it is time to state the obvious.
    It is time that these leaders put your big boy/girl pants on, own up to your abject failures and do right by the people that you have taken advantage of and oppressed for so long.
    Transformation and innovation are race neutral. Honesty and integrity are race neutral. Self-respect and respect for others is race neutral. Having a loving family with father and mother is race neutral. Standing against glorifying violence in all of its heinous forms is race neutral. Standing against rape and murder are race neutral. Ensuring children get a good education is race neutral.
    However, the aforementioned ARE a matter of teaching personal responsibility and embracing universally accepted values that make societies safe and productive for all.
    Transformation and innovation never begin with blame. Transformation and innovation exist “in spite of” and are not “paralyzed by” whatever.
    Transformation and innovation begin as leaders promote a compelling vision and actionable plan that, while honoring the past, positively and passionately looks forward to empower and build a new future.
    So long as the black community or any community for that matter continually makes excuses for failure and refuses to hold their leadership accountable, nothing will change, failure will become an epidemic and things will get worse. Which is largely what we see happening in these depressed communities.
    America, and these communities in particular, are starving for leaders who are honest and possess the integrity to tell the truth, proclaim a compelling vision, and act on it.
    Victim or Victor? Your choice. You are either one or the other. Might I suggest that taking the initiative, being responsible and becoming the Victor is preferable. If you don’t win the war between your ears, you will never have the strength to win others.


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