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Why MLK Is Inconvenient for Black Lives Matter


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One name that goes conspicuously unmentioned by those self-proclaimed champions of racial justice such as Black Lives Matters is an internationally acclaimed American hero who lived his life for racial equality. Martin Luther King Jr. gave his life for it, too. King’s quest for equality and his legacy are inconvenient for today’s vigilantes, because his efforts contrasted sharply with theirs—both with regard to their goal and means.

While today’s self-righteous violent protesters have left vulnerable inner-city neighborhoods devastated and residents in tears of anguish, King staked all he had on a belief in the unifying power of passive resistance and nonviolence, as did others who brought about worldwide change, from Mahatma Gandhi to Nelson Mandela.

Today’s racial-grievance opportunists portray blacks as impotent victims, unable to move forward or upward under the weight of a legacy of slavery and the all-purpose villain of institutional racism.  In their agenda, equality of opportunity makes no difference. Instead, their proclaimed goal is to demand equality of outcome by monetizing the suffering of their ancestors as reparations—checks that would be handed to them. The demand for reparations ignores problematic issues of who should pay for and who should receive remuneration and the situation of the descendants of blacks who owned slaves and of those who arrived on our nation’s shores—penniless but filled with hope—long after the end of slavery.  The accounts of sports superstars of the NFL and NBA who were once millionaires but ended up bankrupt can serve as cautionary tales regarding the inconsequential impact of cash payouts in the absence of qualities such as delayed gratification, personal restraint, and foresight.

In contrast with today’s racial justice vigilantes, King did not advocate lowering the bar for standards of behavior and ethical values among those he represented. The most aspirational element of his famous Dream was that his children would one day be judged by the content of their character. The history of the black community is replete with evidence that, even against the greatest odds and oppression, moral qualities of personal responsibility, determination, integrity, and mutual assistance were sufficient to empower men and women to achieve success.:snip:

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