Are We Free At Last?  

So, I spent a good deal of time yesterday contemplating what I felt about the holiday and how best to put my feelings into my blog. I struggled, not sure of how to say what I was thinking. I feel a sense of regret that I was not alive to see the direct impact of a man like Dr. King. But, I'm also grateful that the times in which I grew up were not so tumultuous that they needed this type of figure.

My greatest sense of remorse, however, was for the utter lack of respectable leadership for the black community or for the ACLU currently. With this on my mind, I decided it best not to post anything on the topic at all.

I went to bed with said intentions.

It has been our practice for a while for my wife and I to read before we go to sleep. Sometimes it will be separate books, but most of the time I will read to her until she falls asleep. We have been reading (and finished last night) 100 People Who Are Screwing Up America by Bernard Goldberg. It was this book that changed my mind.

I don't know enough about Anthony Romero (current director of the ACLU) to comment on his particular actions in these events, but here is what the book had to say about the organization as a whole.

[In the past few years]...

The ACLU sued the Boy Scouts of America and got them kicked out of a city park in San Diego, where they had camped out for decades, on the grounds that it was a religious organization.

The ACLU has argued that even a moment of silence in public schools can amount to the 'establishment of religion' and is therefore unconstitutional.

The ACLU forced the county of Los Angeles to take a tiny cross off its seal, on the grounds that it violated the separation-of-church-and-state doctrine, even though it represented the historical founding of Los Angeles by Catholic missionaries and wasn't advocating religion in any way.

The ACLU has argued that a doctor should not be allowed to tell a wife that her husband has the AIDS virus, because 'the benefits of confidentiality outweigh the possibility that someone may be injured' as an ACLU spokesman explained it.

And the ACLU has even defended the loathsome North American Man Boy Love Association--an organization that 'celebrates the joys of men and boys in love'--arguing that just because one of its members read material on the NAMBLA Web site and then, with a friend, went out and kidnapped, sexually assaulted, and killed a ten-year-old boy, NAMBLA cannot be held responsible for helping incite the murder.

That got me going a bit, not that I hadn't heard or read about each of these incidents before. I was still resolved not to post anything about Jesse Jackson or Al Sharpton. Until, I read this amazing quote by a truly great man. One who really educated and helped people much the same way as Dr. King.

'There is a class of colored people who make a business of keeping the troubles, the wrongs and the hardships of the Negro race before the public. Having learned that they are able to make a living out of their trouble, they have grown into the settled habit of advertising their wrongs--partly because they want sympathy and partly because it pays. Some of these people do not want the Negro to lose his grievances, because they do not want to lose their jobs.

Booker T. Washington

I don't feel that this is a fitting way to celebrate the holiday and for that reason I'm glad that I didn't post anything about it yesterday. My greatest hope is to see a leader white or black; man or woman, rise up and unite the masses. Rather than do their best to divide and secretly segregate us.


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