What Do We Have to Show for this MLK Jr. Day?
Eric Lendrum, Politics Contributor
Once again, we have come upon the latest annual celebration of the life and achievements of one of the greatest Americans: the reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. To this day, we must never forget the most valuable lessons he taught us: embracing true equality for all Americans, love and respect for even those who disagree with us, and prioritizing a peaceful approach to a violent approach whenever we need to address a grievance of some kind.
And although the last eight years have left many of us feeling that his legacy has meant just about nothing, this MLK Day we can finally begin to feel, once again, what he felt all those years ago: hope.
Yes, under the last eight years, his legacy has been stomped on and forgotten. The first African-American president has done more to stoke racial division and hatred than any president since the end of Jim Crow. The evil hate group Black Lives Matter has sparked numerous race riots, caused the deaths of many police officers, and reverted American race relations back to pre-1960s levels. And all the while, the vast majority of today’s left-wing student activists have made clear their preference for the tactics and rhetoric of Malcolm X rather than those of Dr. King.
But, at the dawn of this new MLK Day, there is a new hope for our nation. His name is Donald J. Trump.
One of President Trump’s biggest campaign promises was to finally help America’s struggling inner cities, and particularly to turn the situation around for the African-American community. More so than any other candidate in recent memory, he addressed this epidemic head-on. He addressed the symptoms (massive crime and poverty rates), called out the causes (illegal immigration and unfair trade deals, among others), and has now vowed to do more for this community than any past president.
His close friendship with, and selection of, HUD Secretary Ben Carson proves his devotion to this cause. For this crucial position, President Trump chose someone who has experienced these conditions first-hand. Now, the decisions concerning this crucial aspect of many African-Americans’ lives can be made by someone who actually experienced it, just like them, rather than another wealthy bureaucrat.
And President Trump’s efforts to meet with African-American leaders, including hundreds of religious leaders and even celebrities, has proven his dedication to reaching out to those who can best convey his message to the community. Just the other day, acclaimed TV host Steve Harvey met with President Trump and also spoke to Secretary Carson; despite backlash from his more left-wing fans, he admitted that he has faith in President Trump’s motives and believes he will fight for what is best for the African-American community.
Most importantly of all, the fact that the most promising figure for the African-American community right now is Donald Trump - a white man - reaffirms another one of Dr. King’s most valuable lessons: unity.
Dr. King always believed that only by coming together could our problems be solved. He always preached love and devotion for our fellow man, regardless of race. He knew that their goals of desegregation and equal rights could only be achieved by convincing white people - and all other races - that these were causes worth fighting for. One nation, one people.
This stands in stark contrast to the language of his radical contemporary, Malcolm X, which is echoed by modern-day groups like Black Lives Matter. With a mentality that essentially boils down to “We can take care of ourselves!”, both espoused ideas of separation, isolation, and supremacy for the African-American community. Back then, it was Malcolm X opposing desegregation so as to keep what he believed to be the superior race separate from the “inferior” whites. Today, it is such examples as Cal State University Los Angeles offering segregated housing exclusively for African-American students. This leftist mentality of separation, independence of the strictest and smallest kind, is inherently poisonous due to its sheltering a certain group from the rest of the world.
Today, with President Trump in power, both communities will have no choice but to come together once again. African-American leaders from across the country will work with President Trump, and vice-versa. Maybe then, only with true cooperation, can we finally begin to solve these problems.
And so, on this anniversary of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, that iconic phrase can once again be repeated: I have a dream. I dream that a new era of unity and true progress is upon us. This is the beginning of an era that truly would make Dr. King proud.
You can follow the author on Twitter: @EricLendrum26.