Indiscriminate charges of racism do more harm than good, as Martin Luther King well knew
John Fund writes: Would America be better off if the Outrage Industry went on a diet for New Year’s?
We just spent much of December quacking and arguing way too much about the views of Phil Robertson, one of the stars of the Duck Dynasty reality-TV series. Most of the attention focused on Robertson’s harsh, mean-spirited comments about gays and on the subsequent, short-lived decision of the cable network A&E to suspend him. But people saved plenty of ire for his comments, offered in an interview with GQ magazine, that when he grew up in Louisiana in the 1950s he never saw “the mistreatment of any black person” and that African Americans in that era didn’t have complaints about white people.
That’s an invitation to call Phil naïve, blind, or a liar. But such descriptions weren’t enough for Jesse Jackson, who said: “These statements uttered by Robertson are more offensive than the bus driver in Montgomery, Alabama, more than 59 years ago. At least the bus driver, who ordered Rosa Parks to surrender her seat to a white person, was following state law. Robertson’s statements were uttered freely and openly without cover of the law, within a context of what he seemed to believe was ‘white privilege.’” He wasn’t the only prominent liberal to go way over the top. MSNBC’s Michael Eric Dyson said Robertson and Duck Dynasty were “part of a majority-white supremacist culture.” Read the rest of this entry »
Official Washington is always a decade or two behind the American people. That was true in 1963 when Martin Luther King, Jr. shared his dream for a better America and it’s true today.
The 1963 March on Washington came 16 years after Jackie Robinson broke the color barrier in major league baseball. Robinson did more than make news; he won the Rookie of the Year award in 1947, the MVP award two years later and entered the Hall of Fame in 1962. By then, black ballplayers were part of every major league team.
“For those in power, that was a terrible glimpse into the reality of how irrelevant much of what they do has become”
Another big moment took place in 1955 when Rosa Parks courageously refused to give up her seat on a bus in Montgomery, Ala. Many other events, big and small, changed the nation’s attitudes on racial issues in the decades leading up to King’s most famous speech. But it had little impact on official Washington until the march forced the politicians to pay attention.