Monday, January 21, 2008

What Wasn’t Needed On MLK Day

This nation is suffering greatly of not being able to connect with one another. While the relationship between blacks and whites are far better now then when it was on April 4, 1968 when Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated, there is still those who create unrest between the races for their personal agendas.

While the Rev. Al Sharpton would rather see Golf Channel anchor Kelly Tilghman fired for a very foolish foot-in-the-mouth moment regarding her lynch comment than to have a far more sensible solution, say taking an educational stroll in a civil rights museum, his way of causing unrest among the two races are nothing compared to what happened today.

The white separatist group Nationalist Movement held a protest in Jena, La., a town that has seen its recent share of racial drama in the form of the Jena Six incident, where six black youths were accused of beating a white boy that sparked a controversial firestorm. Not only was Richard Barrett, the leader of the Nationalist Movement, and his group protesting the Jena Six incident but also the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday, reported the Associated Press.

And the New Black Panthers Party were also there with other counter-demonstrators who were protesting the Nationalist Movement, reported the Associated Press. A riot didn’t break out between the two extremist groups but it would almost be poetic if it did. But thankfully that fateful confrontation did not happen on a day set aside to appreciate the honest efforts of Martin Luther King Jr.

While many things have improved since King’s death there is much work that needs to be done but too many groups have their personal agendas. For example, Sharpton’s call for Tilghman to lose her job over her slip of the tongue. He is not helping race relations. Tilghman’s words did not have the intentions of racism. What the members of the Nationalist Movement said today at Jena did. That is true racism and that is the type of prejudice that needs to be attacked.

It’s that type of racism and prejudice that is holding back this great country of ours. Any type of racism, either from white separatists or black separatists are counterproductive and their views greatly clash with that mountain that was in a dream of equality for all.

And true racist white people like Barrett and his followers will never understand that this is our country, a country for everyone. And the black extremists need to understand that not all whites are racists. In their warped, twisted way, the two misguided groups who are preaching their hate fail to realize they are hurting the very people they have sworn to protect.

While these groups have the freedom and the right to speak and preach their hate, we also have the right to come together and protest that vile hate in the peaceful way that Martin Luther King Jr. called for.

And what’s more important is that while both the whites and the blacks peacefully protest these groups it is equally, if not far more important, that each race faces off against the radicals of their own race. The most critical blow to members of the Nationalist Movement is if whites stand up against them and tell them that their brand of help is not wanted.

And it would be a devastating upset to the New Black Panthers Party if black people told them that their militant beliefs are not for them.

The extreme views of these organizations have to be brought to light and fight the injustices they cause. They are eroding what this nation is supposed to stand for. And what is also chipping away at this nation’s pillar are the petty attacks and making a spectacle of someone who innocently used the wrong choice of words.

Fighting all forms of real prejudice is what the man who is honored today would have wanted. Let us not forget what Martin Luther King Jr. stood for and died trying to teach us how to accept one another.