I’m old enough to remember when Martin Luther King, Jr. was a universally beloved figure by pretty much all Americans, and as important as the man was, as well-loved, was his message.
There was no debate. He was thought of as a great man–and he was. There is no denying it. Read his words. Look at his actions, and those of his followers. He wanted black Americans to be treated as human beings.
And he was right! His movement successfully played on white Americans’ sense of decency, showing them what violent racists were doing to peaceful blacks.
And his message spoke to our aspirations as people and as a nation. How could America be a beacon of freedom and liberty if one group of people brought here as slaves, no longer slaves, were still treated like third-class pariahs?
A great man. A great message. We all knew that, even in predominantly white places like central New Hampshire.
Now? Nope. Radicals ruin everything. MLK lost, I’m sorry to say. Look at the country: Are we closer now to judging people on the content of their characters than we were in 2008? 1998? 1968?
I’ve seen a definite regression the past 20 years, the first black president–which was huge and don’t let anyone tell you otherwise–aside.
Everybody hates each other. Okay, I know, not “everybody.” But enough. Check the mood. Check the culture, which is the most important driver of everything. MLK lost. His vision lost.
Every race blames every other race for their problems. Atavism rules. 21st century tribalism. America is becoming Balkanized among these lines, and its ugly, and it’s not going to end well.
That’s the funny thing about history: Things that we’re once universally held can be cast by the wayside seemingly overnight. And yet some things persist. Dr. King’s legacy should be one of them.