Streetwise Professor

January 15, 2024

Beware MLK Day Hypocrites

Filed under: Politics — cpirrong @ 1:01 pm

Martin Luther King was assassinated when I was in third grade. I remember the time well–in particular my parents listening in horror to radio reports of the riots that broke out after the assassination.

My elementary school had been fully integrated–through busing–when I was in second grade. The superintendent of schools–a guy named Gregory Coffin if memory serves (Coffin being a name that sticks)–had said that “integration is the goal of education.” In the years after King’s death, my elementary school held school-wide assemblies to honor King on his birthday.

In 2019, Evanston Township High School (which was routinely rated as one of the best, if not the best public high schools in the country in the 1960s and 1970s) introduced “affinity” classes that allowed black and Latino students (but not white students) to self-segregate into race-exclusive classes. (ETHS is no longer ranked so highly as it was in my day, by the way.)

Thus, in the 50 years after King’s death Evanston, Illinois transformed from a town that attempted to implement and honor King’s anti-segregationist vision to one that explicitly rejected it and embraced segregation.

Evanston’s transformation is emblematic of the nation’s transformation. The examples are too numerous to catalog, but one in particular tells the tale: the United States Air Force Academy instructions cadets to eschew “colorblind” as an ideal, and embrace “color conscious” instead.

In sum, King’s call to judge people not by the color of their skin but by the content of their character has been rejected by progressives in the United States. Not just rejected, but inverted.

Two recent examples illustrate this perfectly. When called out for failings of character, Claudine Gay and Fani Willis (the Atlanta prosecutor in the Trump election case) immediately claimed that their race was the reason for the criticisms directed against them. They have sought refuge in their skin color from judgments about their character. And the progressive left has largely lined up behind them.

Any progressive who celebrates King’s birthday today is the worst kind of hypocrite. His ideals are an anathema to their racialist and identitarian ideology, so in word and deed they daily reject and denigrate these ideals. They are the children of King’s foils, Malcom X and his ilk, and if they had a shred of intellectual honesty they would like Malcom X and others (e.g., Stokely Carmichael) heap scorn on King and his legacy on this day.

Intellectual honesty. Yeah, I crack myself up sometimes.

So beware the myriad hypocrites who today will express reverence for MLK on his day. Their deeds every other day of the year belie their true beliefs, which reject King’s vision root and branch.

This is probably the most deadly poison in the toxic brew of contemporary American politics. And if anything, it is getting worse not better. So use this day to fight back by honoring what King actually stood for, rather than genuflecting to his memory merely because of his race.

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  1. Evanstan has reparations now! Yes, I spelled it correctly : )

    Comment by Jeff Carter (@pointsnfigures1) — January 15, 2024 @ 7:27 pm

  2. @Jeff Carter–Sure is. I wouldn’t live there now on a bet.

    Comment by cpirrong — January 16, 2024 @ 12:28 pm

  3. The man was thoroughly dishonest.

    Comment by MBlanc46 — January 16, 2024 @ 7:12 pm

  4. Prof

    This podcast was interesting.

    ‘Uncommon Knowledge’ podcast, with Peter Robinson. Legal experts John Yoo and Richard Epstein consider the likely outcomes of the various Trump lawsuits. They reckon:

    – the NYC one about property valuations and the Atlanta racketeering one are vapid and will go nowhere
    – The Mar-a-Lago one might succeed but is minor and will lead to H Clinton and J Biden being prosecuted for the same but much worse
    – The Jan 6th one is sure to fail
    – The SC may well uphold Trump’s double-jeopardy argument that he was already tried for insurrection by Congress
    – Both thought there was a good chance that the SC would rule that the Jan 6 rioters should not have been charged and their convictions might be annulled.

    It’s about 54 minutes. I skipped through it (time) but it is a reliably interesting podcast.

    Comment by Green as Grass — January 19, 2024 @ 6:47 am

  5. @Jeff Carter: do you live in a country that is known for Washingtan, the Pentagan, Bye-Dan, Clintan, Tramp; by some called Anglo-Ameri-Khazaristan, do you? Okay, it’s understood…

    Comment by Mikey — January 22, 2024 @ 7:56 am

  6. @Green as Grass. Thanks. I’ll listen. Epstein is one of my intellectual heroes.

    Comment by cpirrong — January 22, 2024 @ 1:17 pm

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