“Yet the King of 1967 did not speak in the language of universal rights, moral witness and individual liberty. The November lectures followed the urban riots that summer, and one gets a sense of King trying to reconnect with a movement that is no longer marching to his earlier ideals. For King admirers, accustomed to his prophetic denunciations of violence and injustice, it is almost painful listening to him distinguish between the rioters’ violence against property, rather than persons. The teacher of nonviolence does not condone the riots, but he is uneasy condemning them.
“Whatever American sins were in Vietnam, it is impossible to justify that claim, while hundreds of millions were imprisoned behind the Iron Curtain, while millions were starved off the land in the Great Leap Forward. Calling America the ‘greatest purveyor of violence in the world’ is inconsistent with the body of King’s work. He is no doubt accommodating the more militant blacks who once followed him but, by 1967, thought he was too moderate. Yet in giving comfort to that view, he helped sow seeds that produced the vitriolic anti-Americanism that Reverend Wright demonstrated is now commonplace in parts of black America.”
Some leftist wet was calling conservative radio yesterday, giving this little speech about how Rev. Wright can’t be criticized because, hey, Dr. King said similar stuff.
Dennis Prager’s response to the guy was, as always, calm and thoughtful, but I liked Dennis Miller’s better:
“Well, if Martin Luther King really said that “America was the biggest purveyor of violence in the world”, well, then, guess what? He was wrong about that.”
And then he hung up on the guy.
Martin Luther King wasn’t Jesus. He was a man. A flawed man who did great things and bad things.
He is not your pet or your imaginary friend. He did not live and die in order to validate your liberal worldview parking tickets forty years later and into perpetuity.
The mere talismanic mention of his name (inevitably uttered as a cross between “abracadabra” and “so there!”) does not — it is my sad duty to inform you — invoke in all of us the same overarching awe it does in you, or strike the rest of us dumb in the wake of his imaginary infallibility.
When you thoughtlessly play the Martin Luther King card, you always think you’re laying down a royal flush, and you reach for the pot too soon. But some of us just see four jokers, and reach for our guns.
The 60s are over.