The Last King Day

His goal achieved, let's retire the holiday.

Today celebrates the eightieth anniversary of the birth of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., although, thanks to the modern preference for the long weekend, his actual natal anniversary was last week.

Tomorrow, tens of thousands in D.C. and millions around the world will watch as Mr. Barack Hussein Obama Jr. takes the oath of office, becoming America's first black president and the most powerful black man in all of history.

It is entirely appropriate that these two days be back-to-back; in a very real way, the one led to the other.  Say what you will about Mr. Obama's political positions, he did not run as a racial candidate; he ran, instead, very much in the spirit of Dr. King's famous dream.

No doubt a tremendous number of people voted for Mr. Obama on account of his race; there's no shortage of voters who make their choices for equally bogus, stupid, ignorant, or prejudiced reasons.  America's next president achieved the office not on the basis of appeals to racial divisions; rather, he put forward an alternative vision of governance in the best American tradition.  We may not agree with his vision, but the fact remains that a majority of the electorate found his vision compelling and expect him to bring it to pass in some form or another.

And so, this year's King holiday should be the last.

When Dr. King was murdered, the crime was clearly an attempt to intimidate his followers so as to prevent from claiming their rights as American citizens.  It didn't work, and the history of blacks in America has followed an unfortunate detour through the reverse racism of affirmative action in recent decades.  This mistake, which Dr. King would surely have opposed, seems to be on the path of correction; recent years have seen racial preferences and discrimination outlawed in several states, not by "enlightened" judges, but by voter majorities demanding justice from the bottom up.

We've now culminated our progress towards equal rights by the elevation of Mr. Barack Hussein Obama to the Presidency.  There is no higher office in the land; no more commanding height of authority.  It can now truly be said that anyone of any color can grow up to be anything if they choose to work diligently and hard.

As a traditional family man with a record of academic success, Mr. Obama presents inner-city youths an immeasurably better example than the sports felons and filth-spouting rap "artists" that so many admire and envy.  He dresses respectably!  He speaks proper English!  He studied hard, he married the mother of his children before they were born, and he has a loving relationship with them all.  These attainments shouldn't be so uncommon, but these days they are; and nowhere more than in American minority communities.

For the past forty years, America's self-appointed black "leadership" has claimed that blacks are oppressed by racism, kept down by discrimination, held back by the white majority - even as government has assaulted even private preferences of separation and has established countless special programs for the benefit of minorities.  Now everyone can see the bankruptcy of such excuses.

What America needs is equality of opportunity under the law for all who want to take advantage of it, not equality of results forced at the point of a gun; now, we can see that, in reality, minorities have had that equality for at least the adult lifetime of Mr. Obama.

At one time, we had holidays honoring the birthdays of George Washington, Father of our Country, and Abraham Lincoln, who reunited it.  We don't anymore.  The United States is now a well-established nation, and the principle of its indivisibility has been all but forgotten as an issue.

The greatness of Washington and Lincoln belongs to the ages, but the battles they fought were won ages ago.  Their memory lives on, but their holidays do not.

So let it be with Dr. King.  He has won; the black man, just as much as the white man, can achieve anything he chooses to set his hand to.

We no longer need a special day anointed for black civil rights.  They are now celebrated every day - for the next four years as a black man sits in the Oval Office, and then for all time to come as other people of every color pursue their dreams unfettered by racists in government.

There will always be racism; it is a part of the human condition.  There are racists today, but there are equally racists on both sides.

In law and in governance, our power structure opposes racial bias; it certainly no longer enforces it.  Mr. Obama's victory in lily-white Iowa gave us solid evidence and his national victory proves it beyond all shadow of doubt.

One of Dr. King's intellectual forbears was the great Frederick Douglass.  Douglass was raised as a slave.  He wasn't freed by the Civil War; he escaped, at great peril to his life, and because an early and fiery advocate for abolition.  In 1852, he delivered a speech entitled, "What to the Slave is the Fourth of July?" in which he admonished his white audience:

This Fourth [of] July is yours, not mine. You may rejoice, I must mourn. To drag a man in fetters into the grand illuminated temple of liberty, and call upon him to join you in joyous anthems, were inhuman mockery and sacrilegious irony. Do you mean, citizens, to mock me, by asking me to speak to-day?... Fellow-citizens; above your national, tumultuous joy, I hear the mournful wail of millions! whose chains, heavy and grievous yesterday, are, to-day, rendered more intolerable by the jubilee shouts that reach them.

Douglass was right - with millions of his fellow blacks imprisoned as slaves, the Fourth of July was no time to celebrate a freedom that did not extend to them.  The Civil War righted that great wrong, but for a century thereafter, black Americans were not truly the equal of whites.  A day of remembrance of that continuing injustice was arguably appropriate.

No longer!  With Mr. Barack Hussein Obama having achieved the presidency, a special King holiday is, now, only a source of division, a bat for race-baiters to use to beat Americans for the sins of their grandfathers, long since atoned for and, mostly, long since righted.  Just as we no longer celebrate Washington's Birthday or Lincoln's, likewise we can retire King's shirt to its well-earned place in the rafters of American history.

You didn't live to see it, Dr. King, but you won.  It's over.  Rest in peace.

The rest of us now need to realize your victory and move on.

Petrarch is a contributing editor for Scragged.  Read other articles by Petrarch or other articles on Society.
Reader Comments
You make some excellent points. Racism is no longer the instrument of oppression that it once was. But the personal and economic freedoms of all people are still under threat from the forces of coercive collectivism. Affirmative action and "equality of outcome" are components of this.

I propose that Martin Luther King Day be renamed "Civil Disobedience Day" in honour of King and all others who have risked (and given) their lives for freedom.
January 20, 2009 2:50 AM
This makes for an interesting thought.

Most holidays are about celebrating something good, about being HAPPY for what that days means.

But the point of MLK day has always been to give a pulpit to black socialists who want to scold whites. At least practically anyway.

Now, that their scolding is meaningless and empty (even though it has been for some time) the holiday should be discarded.
January 20, 2009 12:39 PM
I found this mind blowing:

Not the content - that's of course true - but that TheRoot would SAY this.
February 9, 2009 8:18 AM
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