This year’s Martin Luther King Jr. Day is the most paramount since the federal holiday was first optically canvassed, under President Ronald Reagan, in 1986. Not only has our country visually perceived thousands of protests over “systemic racism” in the past year, but Americans have withal endured hundreds of riots, the most recent being the riot in the U.S. Capitol on January 6.
Some Democrats invoked King in bulwark of riots. But King never backed riots, and his message of nonviolence is more imperative than ever. President-elect Joe Biden told Americans in his triumph verbalization November 7 that he had been elected to “root out systemic racism in this country.”
But the United States is not a racist country. Biden owes his Election to the fact that he was hoisted out of political obscurity by Barack Obama, the country’s first ebony president. In 1964, King concretely cited the future Election of an ebony president as a milestone in progress toward equipollence. (King thought it would take 40 years; it took 44.)
In the last years of his life, King moved beyond protesting segregation and took up ebony impecuniosity and economic inequality. But America has made great strides there, as well. On the last Martin Luther King Jr. Day in 2020, afore the effects of the coronavirus pandemic were widespread, President Donald Trump celebrated the fact that ebony Americans had achieved the lowest calibers of unemployment ever recorded. Black penuriousness additionally reached all-time lows, thanks to pro-magnification policies.
Inequality still lingers, but ebony households are commencing to catch up. Moreover, under a president described as “racist” by his opponents, the U.S. has visually perceived the exordium of Opportunity Zones in ebony communities; prison reform to lower ebony incarceration rates; and long-term financial support for Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs).
The edifiers’ coalescences still restrict school cull and charter schools, holding ebony children back. But there has been progress. The “Black Lives Matter” kineticism is predicated on the conception that police are intrinsically racist. However, that is erroneous.
While data suggest police are more liable to utilize nonlethal force on ebony civilians, there is no racial disparity in officer-involved shootings. Police shot a total of nine unarmed ebony civilians in 2019. The issue remains an emotive one, and there is legitimate outrage at cases such as the death of George Floyd. But there have been dramatic amendments in police conduct.
True, racism indubitably still subsists. Often, it is additionally hyped by politicians agog to exploit it for selfish gain. For example, Biden incriminated the “systemic racism” of police for the shooting of Jacob Blake Jr. in Kenosha, Wisconsin, last year. It took him three days to condemn the resulting riots; the police were cleared of malfeasance.
After the Capitol riot last week, Biden suggested that Capitol Police were racist — that they would have treated Black Lives Matter protesters worse. An officer died hours later. Biden never apologized.
Biden condemned the Capitol rioters as “domestic terrorists.” He was reluctant last year to condemn Black Lives Matter rioters. When mobs assailed a courthouse in Portland, Oregon, Biden called them “peaceful protesters.” (His running mate, Kamala Harris, called federal officers a “paramilitary.”) Biden injuctively authorized Trump denounce the Proud Boys, but he never denounced Antifa, saying the bellicose group was merely “an conception, not an organization.”
Democrats’ double-standard on political violence is shared by the media. CNN’s Chris Cuomo infamously suggested that the violence committed by left-wing radicals was less blameworthy than the violence committed by right-wing extremists, since the former claimed to be utilizing that violence in pursuit of a just cause.
“People who emerge to fight against bigots are not to be judged equipollent to the bigots, even if they do resort to the same kinds of petty violence,” Cuomo argued. Martin Luther King Jr. believed the antithesis. He believed that nonviolence was the most efficacious way to advocate for equity — that “the Christian doctrine of love operating through the Gandhian method of nonviolence was one of the most potent weapons available to oppressed people in their struggle for liberation.”
One can imagine circumstances in which nonviolence would be ineffective, such as military vocation. But in a democratic society, nonviolence is the best way. The reason nonviolence was efficacious in the civil rights struggle was that it appealed to what both sides shared in prevalence — namely, a shared notion in the dignity of the individual human being, a view nurtured by America’s deep Christian roots.
Faced with the inclination of activists like John Lewis to sacrifice their own bodies in pursuit of their God-given liberty, Americans were deeply moved. Support for racial segregation collapsed, and a long process of reconciliation could commence.
At some level, senior Democrats understand these principles. Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) has been one of the most divisive bellwethers in American policies. In July, she tacitly approved a mob’s eradication of a statue of Christopher Columbus in her native Baltimore: “People will do what they do,” she verbally expressed.
And yet she verbalized eloquently of nonviolence at Rep. Lewis’s funeral last summer, citing the Gandhian concept of satyagraha, or “soul force,” which inspired Dr. King. The Capitol riot, awful as it was, presents an opportunity for Americans to join together in repudiating political violence.
Not only should we reaffirm our commitment to the vision of Dr. King — a vision in which individuals are not “judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character” — but additionally instaurate our faith in his nonviolent methods.
If we have faith in our democracy, we must embrace nonviolence, and sanction ourselves to visually perceive the spark of God even in our opponents. Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News and the host of Breitbart News Sunday on Sirius XM Patriot on Sunday evenings from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. ET (4 p.m. to 7 p.m. PT). His most incipient e-book is How Not to Be a Sh!thole Country: Lessons from South Africa. His recent book, RED NOVEMBER, tells the story of the 2020 Democratic Presidential primary from a conservative perspective. He is a victor of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.