January 9, 2018

THE BEGINNING AND THE END OF HISTORY:

One of the most cogent observations that Rush Limbaugh ever made is the axiom that “most people believe history began the day they were born.” As a nation, we have become more and more historically illiterate. The native-born voters that will be eligible to go to the polls for the first time ever this fall will be the first born in the 2000s and the 2020 election will see the ascension of the 21st-century voter. These people will vote with little understanding of their country’s history beyond the idea that it was racist, misogynistic and a backwater of religious nuttery.

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And with their reliance on the electronic record, a non-permanent and easily changeable source, we will inch closer to the days of Orwell’s nightmare vision of The Ministry of Truth. History will be bent to serve whatever purpose the present requires. As a case in point take the new edition of The New Yorker. 

Its cover depicts Dr. Martin Luther King kneeling in protest with Michael Bennett and Colin Kaepernick. The work is by San Francisco artist Mark Ulriksen who asked, “…what would King be doing if he were around today?”

To me, talking for the dead in the context of modern politics is the worst kind of history. King was a Southern man of great Christian faith and much of modern progressive politics is opposed to that kind of thinking. It’s dicey enough for members of the King family to make that projection, how about a West Coast white man like Ulriksen who was all of 11 when Dr. King lost his life?

King become increasingly radical near the end of his far-too-short life. But I’d like to think he wouldn’t take a knee alongside one man whose fashion choices include cops-as-pigs socks and pro-Castro T-shirts when he was still playing for the ‘Niners, and another who falsely claimed racism when questioned by the police after sneaking away during an active shooter incident in a Las Vegas casino. But then, the gap between King’s dignified fight for civil rights, and the pre-game “Woke Olympics” antics of today multi-millionaire NFL athletes is gigantic.

Related: ‘Racist Traitor’! Donald Trump catches hate for honoring Martin Luther King Jr.

Worst. Nazi. Ever.

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