Ending Identity Politics
Have you heard this before? Perhaps in a cliché, but seeing it in action is truly inspirational and uniting– something that has been sorely missed in these United States over the past forty or so years, with a brief exception after the horror of September 11th, 2011.
And why has the United States been so divided? In my assessment, because of “Power Politics” and the co-opting of a great movement that struggled for nearly a hundred years. It briefly saw the light of day under President Teddy Roosevelt, but was pushed back into the cellar until it was free at last. I’m talking about equal rights among all Americas– the great Civil Rights movement of the last century. But what happened to this movement? Sen. Everett Dirkson (R-IL) pushed for Civil Rights legislation for a decade (’57, ’60, ’64, ’65, ’68). But alas, Lyndon Baines Johnson and the Democrats decided to take credit for the effort, thus securing he and his party’s place as a Civil Rights champion, even though he and his party’s past behavior was clearly not as dedicated as Republican Sen. Dirkson. The fact is, the Civil Rights movement transcended Democrat and Republican politics– Dirkson was a proponent, and Sen. Barry Goldwater (author of “The Conscience of a Conservative”) voted against it (not necessarily because of racism, but more on his principle of reduced Federal government). In fact, when you look at the actual records, you’ll notice that a greater number of Democrats opposed the various pieces of civil rights legislation (e.g., LBJ, John F. Kennedy, Al Gore, Sr., Robert Byrd, et al) than Republicans. Here’s the breakdown (and links to the information can be found here and here):
House of Representatives: Democrats for: 152 / 61% Democrats against: 96 / 39% Republicans for: 138 / 80% Republicans against: 34 / 20% Senate: Democrats for: 46 / 69% Democrats against: 21 / 31% Republicans for: 27 / 82% Republicans against: 6 / 18%
The National Black Republicans Association (http://www.nbra.info) has some great information available, if you’re willing to be enlightened. I’d recommend reading the character assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr. article.
But I digress– regardless of it’s history, one has to wonder why Americans of African descent feel so beholden to the Democrat party. In my opinion, it is because of myth and mental conditioning by many of its leaders since the famed 1964 vote. Consider this– the rights that were newly granted to our black American brethren was largely implemented by a Democrat administration that administered the laws in the sixties. So if the Democrats are the implementers of this new freedom, it’s just human nature to naturally credit them with altruistic motivations in doings so, not just because of the law. And to make matters worse, many Civil Rights activists were quite upset with Barry Goldwater, the conservative face of the republicans, because of his opposition to the civil rights legislation (though it is argued his motives were due to libertarianism, not racism). This is a pretty powerful elixer, after all. This is all speculation on my part, but it seems fairly accurate. Regardless of how we got here, consider how your attitude would be if you were told all of your life that Republicans are evil and racist and that Democrats are the supporters of Civil Rights by people who you were told to trust (Pastors, parents). You’d probably be cynical of Republican attempts to set the record straight too. It’s amazing to me that people like Jesse Jackson, Sr. and Al Sharpton hold such sway among many in the Black community when their behavior is so anti-thetical to the very nature of the morality that drove the Civil Rights movement. If you don’t see the Civil Rights movement as something that is based upon the Judeo-Christian moral code, then you truly have missed the most basic elements of the Civil Rights movement. Remember King’s “I Have A Dream” speech? This was more like a sermon and the very clear and very strong illusions to Moses and the Bible, and the fact King carried the title of Reverend should put this matter to rest.
Enter a new age– I’ve just been exposed to The Blacksphere— Kevin Jackson, a blogger, author and speaker, whose slogan is “Ending Identity Politics”. If you haven’t subscribed to his Facebook page, you should do so! Kevin recently publicized the Exodus Now! movement as well.
I’ll leave you with this… a video from Exodus Now!