Martin Luther King, Jr. had demonstrated through his tireless work that black Americans must be accepted as social equals in a society that shouted “whites only”, and that segregation will not be tolerated any longer. His labor was not in vein, as society has made advances to level the playing field. But just as racism is never going to be eradicated, segregation somehow finds its way back, though it appears in other forms.
But as iconic as the name Martin Luther King, Jr has become in America- and justifiably so- his name and the use of his legacy has become a political football that is applied to fit neatly into whatever PR campaign someone chooses. Even if, in some cases. the ideology and words of the Good Doctor just simply could not fit into whatever political package in which it is being pedaled.
But if we examine the body of work in the voluminous vault of historical records, it is impossible to ignore certain characteristics of Martin Luther King, Jr. Yes, we could argue theology all day over King. And surely we could argue his politics, and question his association with unpopular movements of the time. But two truths about King mentioned above were ideologies that he consistently fought for and cannot be contested by anyone in their right mind. No more than someone can contest that the holocaust wasn’t a hoax or the earth is round!
So how could he suddenly be for segregation that leads to further oppression of the people he was trying to bring liberty to? In short, Martin Luther King could not be for segregation today if there is no historical evidence that he ever was for it. Likewise, he could not be for liberty of his people, then suddenly want them to be oppressed all over again. You may not believe it at first glance, but this very concept is happening right before our eyes! It’s as if Dr. King’s message has been completely re-written to fit the narrative of a movement that has grown like a tall weed sprouting from between the cracks in your driveway, under the heat of summer.
The movement I’m referring to is called partisanship; and it is tearing our country apart at the seams! Merriam-Webster defines a partisan as a firm adherent to a party, faction, cause, or person; especially : one exhibiting blind, prejudiced, and unreasoning allegiance (emphasis me). Now here is what Merriam-Webster says about segregation: the separation or isolation of a race, class, or ethnic group by enforced or voluntary residence in a restricted area, by barriers to social intercourse, by separate educational facilities, or by other discriminatory means (me again). Are you seeing some alignment of terms. No? How about if we look at Roget’s International Thesaurus?
The word partisan is associated with these words and phrases: loyalist, wheelhorse, and party hack (verbatim), to name a few. The index list the words most closely related to partisan as follower, supporter, factional, prejudiced, and unjust! Partisanism (in the index) was most closely related to cliquism, injustice, politics, and religion. The index for segregation is strikingly similar to partisan and partisanism. Starting with Segregate: discriminate, exclude, quarantine, separate; Segregation: differentiation, discrimination, exclusiveness, prejudice, quarantine, seclusion! Is it starting to sink in?
So it is quite clear that with partisanship we are describing a form of segregation. But some may say partisanship is a choice, whereas segregation was mandated by law. To the letter of the law, yes. But in practical application of partisanship we see that there is an oppressive nature to it. It’s a “join us or die” mentality. Don’t think so? How about we take a look at a very recent event to demonstrate further the oppressive partisanship that is dividing all of us as citizens.
Just a few short days ago, President Trump hosted a news conference honoring Dr. King’s upcoming birthday. One of the speakers at this ceremony was Issac Newton Farris, the nephew of the late Martin Luther King, Jr. Mr. Farris was present to honor his uncles’ legacy. “If my uncle were here today, the first thing he would say is ‘what are you doing for me?’, or ‘what are you doing others?’.” Mr. Farris would go on to share the inspiration echoed by the late Coretta Scott King when she spoke before Congress. “Congress agreed with my aunt, and also made it a day of service (the King holiday) ..as a matter of fact at the King Center, we refer to it as a day on, not a day off.”
But shortly after this historic and heartwarming dedication, the MSM, in true partisan fashion, chose to focus on an unfounded claim that the POTUS is a racist. The press pool asked Mr. Farris the question. Here is what he said: “I don’t think that President Trump is a racist in the traditional sense as we know in this country.” Mr. Farris goes on to say, “I think President Trump is racially ignorant or racially uninformed,” Farris explained. “But I don’t think that he’s a racist in the traditional sense.”
So why must this question be asked at all on such a lovely occasion? How is it relevant to a declaration? What are the grounds for such claims when so many in the Trump White House say that the president, in fact, is a true advocate of black people? There can only be one answer if there are no grounds for such a claim: Partisanship. An opportunity to unite Americans instead is meant with animosity and strife. This is a conscious choice for the MSM to make this distinction.
The MSM, however, is not the only ones that demonstrate partisanship. though they may be leading the charge towards partisan divide in our country. And, there is most certainly more evidence that they are dividing us, than the so-called evidence that our president is a racist! But the major parties are culpable of partisanship as well. And each party has chosen to use Martin Luther King, Jr., as a political football.
But what is getting lost in this partisan banter, is the ever-changing message that is being applied to Martin Luther King’s purpose for his movement. And when you crystallize his message down to it’s purist form, it would include one primary thesis: to bring equality in all societal functions for black Americans through integration and acceptance, while demolishing the divisiveness of segregation. Now we see the desire to bring a form of segregation back by way of partisanship, and in some cases in the name of Martin Luther King! How can this be? Who would try to justify this?
That’s simple. Washington’s version of the Hatfield’s and the McCoy’s: The Republican Party versus The Democratic Party. And as time goes on, each party with their bloated war chests fight the battle of political relevancy by trying to prove they are the party that best represents the people of America. Unfortunately, their methodology and model are both built not on the strength of their own ideas, but much more on the idea that the opposing party is out to destroy them or diminish their way of life!
This is the partisan divide that is killing the soul of our Nation. For one party in particular, the partisanship is literally a model of what Martin Luther King, Jr. fought against his whole life: segregation! The Democratic Party model is based on dividing all people into to groups in order to conquer the ideology on the right. It is found in every speech, in every catch phrase, and in every sound bite you see on mainstream news channels. You often don’t see it because it’s always there, hiding in plain sight, as part of the nauseating stream of rhetoric that makes the average citizen sick to their stomach.
There is yet another movement in which we see not only partisanship, but the rewriting of history about Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and his body of work. This movement is the modern-day ‘civil rights’ movement. From Tele-Rev-Race-Pimp Al Sharpton to the domestic terrorist group known as Black Lives Matter, each wants to lecture us on what Dr. King would do, and then proceed to do the opposite.
As much as Dr. King did not want to see segregation continue, I do not want partisanship to continue. Both of these social ills create greater division, which lead to isolation, then when isolation is left to fester comes anger and violence that is driven by fear and lack of real dialogue. This is what we are heading towards the more we breed partisanship. We must breakdown the walls of partisanship in a few very important ways:
- We must put the truth first and our political ideology and party second.
- We must agree to have open dialogue with each other rather than continue to build walls based on ideological myths and legends.
- We must place God above party when making decisions about issues and candidates.
- We must agree to hold the MSM accountable to tell the truth and present all of the facts, and call them out for misusing their first amendment privilege , rather than follow an obviously outlined agenda that they demand we adhere to; or else.
If our country is ever to be as strong as the sum of it’s parts, we must embark on the pursuit of integration, not segregation, to bring healing to our nation and stop the petty infighting. This would be my hope on the birthday of Martin Luther King, Jr. And while we’re at it, let us not toss around the Good Doctor like a political football. If you want to honor his memory today and every day, then stop trying to divide and segregate the nation all over again!
(Chris Gaines is an author and Editor-in-Chief of Patriot Gaines. He lives in the Cedar Valley of Northern Iowa with his wife, Jennifer, and two kids, Patrick & Megan.)
Photo Sources: Getty Images, San Francisco Chronicle, Minneapolis Star Tribune