Issues & Insights
sculpture of martin luther king jr memorial in gray concrete wall
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The Woke Movement Is Assassinating MLK All Over Again

Today we mark the 55th anniversary of the day the murderous James Earl Ray took the life of Martin Luther King Jr. The civil rights leader should be allowed to rest in peace, but he is being slain yet again, this time by a mob of mediocre minds with rock-bottom character that seeks to overturn his life’s works.

In what is widely acknowledged as his greatest speech, King dreamed that his “four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character,” that “one day right down in Alabama little black boys and black girls will be able to join hands with little white boys and white girls as sisters and brothers.”

King also damned the “dark and desolate valley” and “manacles” of segregation. He identified us all as “God’s children.”

He couldn’t have been clearer about his vision for a color-blind society. And in the 40 years that followed his death, our country moved in that direction, year by year, heart by heart.

But much has changed. The woke mob, critical race theory, and the DEI (diversity, equity, inclusion) movement have reopened a once-gaping, raw wound that had almost closed. Consider just a few of the many instances in which our “leaders” and institutional luminaries not only reject King’s teaching but actively try to return this country to an era of segregation and ugly, unapologetic bigotry. 

We could start just about anywhere, but we begin with ​​Florida International University, a public institution that mirrors the insurgents’ march through our institutions. Its diversity, equity, and inclusion program “condemns the United States as a system of ‘white supremacy,’” and “segregates scholarships and student programs by race,” says author and filmmaker Christopher Rufo.

Elsewhere in Florida, Rufo tells us, universities funded by taxpayers’ dollars are:

  • encouraging “active discrimination against the ‘oppressor’ class, characterized as ‘male, white, heterosexual, able-bodied, and Christian’”;
  • using psychological conditioning to address, among other issues, the killing of unarmed blacks, systemic racism and privilege, presumed to be all white;
  • creating racially segregated counseling programs;
  • adopting a series of DEI programs that divide “Americans along a ‘matrix of oppression,’ castigate Christians for their ‘Christian privilege,’ and offer a racially segregated scholarship that deliberately bars white students from applying.”

Remember, these few examples, which make Jim Crow look like Jim Eagle, are in Florida, a red state whose governor is diligently trying to ensure that schools educate rather than indoctrinate. Imagine how deeply embedded the rot is elsewhere.

Moving on to the federal level, we have an administration bent on tearing down a half-century of progress.

“There is nothing that President Joe Biden has done while in office that has as much long-term potential for doing damage to American society and government as his embrace of the woke DEI – diversity, equity and inclusion – catechism,” writes Jonathan S. Tobin, editor in chief of the Jewish News Syndicate.

DEI, says Tobin, “which stems from critical race theory ideology,” runs counter “to the principle of equality and the vision of a color-blind society that Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. spoke of.” Yet Biden’s mandate “that every federal department, agency and office devise and then implement its own equity plan ensures a future of quotas and heightened racial division.”

Divisive programs have even infected the Pentagon, which has a DEI office whose chief has sown division, and a chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff who’s said “I want to understand white rage, and I’m white, and I want to understand it.”

Locally, teachers, administrators, and school boards are wrecking the MLK legacy. If they’re not telling white students that they are racist, should be ashamed of themselves, and indulging radical speakers who believe schools are “spirit murdering” black children, then they’re lowering standards to aid minorities, fully consistent with the soft bigotry of low expectations.

And then there are the DEI shysters such as Robin DiAngelo, a white woman who has grown fabulously wealthy making progressive rich whites feel guilty for sins they haven’t committed (while simultaneously being disappointed by them), and telling “​​people of color” they “need to get away from white people and have some community with each other.”

None of this is what Martin Luther King Jr. lived or died for. But it’s a pot of gold for grifters, race hustlers, status seekers, political hacks, and just plain mean people. At least we know who they are.

— Written by the I&I Editorial Board

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