Forty years ago Dr King was shot and killed by James Earl Ray.
My Mom was not a fan of Martin Luther King, Jr-she would always maintain that he was nothing but a womanizer. Like President Kennedy, Dr King left life and entered mythology instantaneously. If there was anything bad about the man, it was forgiven, forgotten, or flatly denied. The man hardly matters now, it is the legend that lives on.
I have to wonder if Martin Luther King had lived, would he be like Bill Cosby, wringing his hands about what a bunch of lowlifes poor black people have become and how we need to do something, anything, to fix them.
But I don’t think he would. Martin Luther King fought for Freedom for His People. While it is likely he never thought that a lot of them would use that freedom as they have-would he really want to take that freedom back because so many people are so stupid? We are all free now, race is still an excuse a lot of people use, but it is no longer the reason anyone spends their life on welfare or has children when they are still children themselves. That’s good old personal choice-that’s Freedom, Brother.
Martin Luther King and Lyndon Johnson had at least one thing in common, they were men of ideas. It is hard to believe that the world of today is what either of these men had in mind. I mention President Johnson and President Kennedy not to belittle Dr King, but to show that these were men who shared, at least in part, his world view and had the power to do something about it. Marches and Boycotts are all well and good, but the law had to be changed for any of it to matter.
Jessie Jackson was there when Martin Luther King was shot. And Jessie Jackson has tried to stay in the public eye and keep the cause alive-even after all the battles were won and the war was over. It can be argued that racism is still alive and well, and I can see the validity of that argument. There are now racists of every color and plenty of hatred to go around for one and all. But by and large, we don’t live in the world Dr King lived in. We live in a much better one. We are still free to hate each other, but the Government no longer demands that we hate each other.