Liberal News Media: Some Equality Movements More Equal than Others

August 28, 2013

The Reverend Martin Luther King, Junior

Today marks the 50th anniversary of the Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s famous “I Have a Dream” speech, given before a “March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom” crowd of 200,000300,000.  Everyone is talking about it.

That’s great, and praise God for the Civil Rights Movement and the enormous progress (it is still a work in progress) toward equality in this country, but did you know that an even bigger crowd now gathers in that same place every single year for the civil-rights issue of our time?  The March for Life is estimated to have had 500,000 participants earlier this year.  Do the liberal news media not think that’s worth talking about?

Don’t take my word for it; take it from people like Alveda King, niece of the famous Rev. King; she and others consider abortion a civil-rights issue.  It would not be unreasonable to call abortion, which kills more than a million innocent children every year, the great moral struggle of our time, the equivalent of slavery or Jim Crow laws in other times.

But today is the day to honor the Rev. King and “I Have a Dream”, and it is fitting that we should do so.  Black & Right reprises some reflections on the speech and events since: “In 2013, ‘The Dream’ is Still Unattained”.  The indispensable Thomas Sowell also reflects: “A Poignant Anniversary: Fifty years after King’s famous speech, too many are still judged by the color of their skin.”

Jonah Goldberg reflects on history and ideas.

The National Review editors have some thoughts for the occasion.

The civil-rights revolution, like the American revolution, was in a crucial sense conservative: It did not seek to invent rights . . . .

The revolution was also a religious movement, overwhelmingly made up of Christians and Jews, unashamed to be led by a minister, willing to make an explicitly theological argument for itself: “Now is the time to open the doors of opportunity to all of God’s children.”

By the way, in case it comes up in other discussions, don’t forget that Democrats were the party of slavery, then the party of segregation.

A lot more Republicans than Democrats (both proportionately and in absolute terms) voted for civil rights, in the votes for both the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965, in both the House and the Senate.  The former was filibustered in the Senate by Democrats (18 Democrats and 1 Republican).  (Black & Right offers a longer, more detailed timeline.)  As recently as 2010, the Democrats had a sitting senator (president pro tempore of the Senate, actually, as recently as 2010) who had been a “Kleagle” and “Exalted Cyclops” in the KKK, and had recruited more than a hundred other people into the KKK, and who used the N-word on national television as recently as 2001.

After finally giving up on segregation, Democrats are now the party of affirmative action, the latest perpetuation of inequality as official government policy.  In practice, affirmative action hurts even its intended beneficiaries, as discussed here, here,

“If this research is right,” they write, “we now have fewer minority science and engineering graduates,” “fewer minority college professors,” and “fewer minority lawyers” than we would have under race-neutral admissions policies.

and here.

But the Times story conveys a subtler point as well: Racial preferences are not just ill advised, they are positively sadistic.

Update (August 29th, 2013): This puts it more succinctly than what I had above: Alveda King “sees the prolife movement as a continuation of the civil rights struggle.”

See also interesting thoughts from Kathryn Jean Lopez (and others): “What Would MLK Jr. Say about 40 Years of Legal Abortion?”

5 Responses to “Liberal News Media: Some Equality Movements More Equal than Others”

  1. Snoodickle Says:

    Didn’t you once tell me that you wanted to repeal the Fourteenth Amendment?

  2. The Fourteenth Amendment was supposed to enable Congress to make the states stop discriminating against black people, not empower judges to crown themselves king and start dictating policy (to the federal government!) on everything from welfare spending to the definition of marriage. (Meanwhile the Supreme Court leaves both the states and the federal government free to discriminate on the basis of race!) Yes, under present circumstances—including a changed culture in which racial discrimination is not the problem it once was, and a judicial-supremacist judiciary that very much is a problem—it would certainly be better if we could repeal the Fourteenth Amendment.

  3. Snoodickle Says:

    How does the Fourteenth Amendment empower the judiciary to dictate policy to the federal government other than by allowing the judiciary, through its power to define the rights embodied by the Fourteenth Amendment, to tell Congress when it can and cannot abrogate 11th Amendment immunity or otherwise exercise its Section 5 enforcement powers against the States? As for repeal, do you actually believe it makes sense to leave the States with virtually no federal constitutional restrictions while the federal government is still subject to the Bill of Rights? In my view, entrusting the protection of individual rights vis a vis the states to state courts interpreting state constitutions, often by elected judges with disparate constituencies, would be unwise.

    The better solution, of course, is to appoint federal judges that follow the law, and don’t try to invent rights from the bench (e.g. the right to abortion). But repealing the Fourteenth Amendment is not a viable solution.

  4. […] In honor of this 50th-anniversary year of the Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s Letter from a Birmingham Jail and famous “I Have a Dream” speech, below are a few selections to meditate on from these historic works.  (He even gives a shout-out to the Tea Party!)  Of course they are also worth reading in their entirety (follow the links below).  See also some thoughts on the anniversary. […]

  5. […] The pro-life movement is growing and winning, as even a liberal who isn’t happy about it explains.  Her pictures tell the tale:  The pro-life movement today is full of young people who are willing to put a lot of energy and work into this modern-day fight for human rights. […]

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