Today is the 50th anniversary of the death of Martin Luther King Jr. in that annus horribilis, 1968. It is a sad holiday, not just for his murder but for the tragic detour civil rights has taken since.
In the last several decades, too many mistake rights with responsibilities. Equality of opportunity has been turned upside down to mean equal results discounted for the disparate impact of implicit bias due to white privilege.
But who are we, with our accursed middle class values, to judge others? And do not use the word “thug” to described gang bangers. It is racist.
Tthe Rev. King himself told a black congregation in St. Louis, “We’ve got to do something about our moral standards … We can’t keep on blaming the white man. There are things we must do for ourselves.”
Or keep blaming the police, lack of “family supporting” jobs (neighborhood centers, etc.), or “The Problem of Whiteness.” Bless the essential Jason T. Riley in the Wall Street Journal for uncovering that quote. Riley explicates:
Racial gaps that were steadily narrowing in the 1940s, ’50s and ’60s would expand in the 1970s, ’80s and ’90s, which suggests that the disparities that continue today aren’t being driven by racism, notwithstanding claims to the contrary from liberals and their allies in the media. It also suggests that attitudes toward marriage, education, work and the rule of law play a much larger role than the left wants to acknowledge. More marches won’t address out-of-wedlock childbearing. More sit-ins won’t lower black crime rates or narrow the school achievement gap.
Black mayors, police chiefs and school superintendents have been commonplace since the 1970s … [yet] Even the election of a black president — twice — failed to close the divide in many key measures. Black-white differences in poverty, homeownership, and incomes all grew wider under President Obama.
For extra credit: Can we start teaching discipline and responsibility in the schools?