The past weekend and today mark the celebration of Martin Luther King, Jr.’s legacy for racial progress in America.
It’s been almost 44 years since his death, and almost 48 years since the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Very few people can honestly argue today that we haven’t had a revolution in race relations since that time. There’s little need to cite a long string of evidence for this point. President Barack Obama stands as the most important testament to the nation’s commitment to equal opportunity before the law, for all Americans regardless of race, creed, or color. And it bears repeating and should be shouted from the rooftops, but nearly 9 out of 10 Americans today support marriage between blacks and whites: “Record-High 86% Approve of Black-White Marriages.”
This kind of progress on race — the overwhelming repudiation of Jim Crow racism — would have been literally unfathomable 50 years ago, before the civil rights revolution of the 1960s. Americans have broken “the color line,” in all its forms — that last barrier to full acceptance and inclusion for all people, discussed in Earl and Merle Black’s magisterial work, Politics and Society in the South.
But as real world events constantly remind us, it has taken the election of a black president to reveal where the true threats to racial progress linger in America today — on the far left-wing of the political spectrum. Just recall, for example, during the 2008 nominating campaign, when former President Bill Clinton attacked candidate Obama with disgusting racist commentary, and when Jesse Jackson himself (who was with MLK on April 4th, 1968) viciously attacked candidate Obama, suggesting he should be lynched by castration. Only on the left would such vicious Ku Klux Klan style racism be giving an abject, absolute pass. Racial bigotry on the left engenders no political recriminations and no political costs. This is the very discourse that today harms our progress on equal rights.
And here’s yet another exhibit, the sick racist fantasies of Tulane University professor Melissa Harris-Perry:
Professor Harris-Perry claims the GOP presidential campaign has been driven by thinly veiled reactionary race talk that’s reminiscent of America in the 1860s. Seriously, the exclusive audience for this kind of phantasmagorical discourse exists only on the hard left — and apparently there’s a huge market for it, given that MSNBC is giving Harris-Perry her own show starting in February.