Heirs to the King


The Daily Beast has decided to celebrate Martin Luther King Day by consulting thirty black leaders to find the thirteen Americans who are best carrying on Dr. King’s legacy today.  They chose, in order:

13. Freeman Hrabowski (President, University of Maryland)

12. Tony Dungy (former head coach, Indianapolis Colts)

11. Tom Joyner (nationally syndicated radio talk show host)

10. Roland Martin (syndicated columnist & CNN commentator)

9. Colin Powell (former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, U.S. Secretary of State)

8. T.D. Jakes (pastor, the Potter’s House)

7. Bill Cosby (actor & comedian)

6. Susan Taylor (former editor-in-chief, Essence magazine)

5. Jesse Jackson (pastor, civil rights activist)

4. Al Sharpton (pastor, civil rights activist)

3. Oprah Winfrey (nationally syndicated television talk show host)

2. Michelle Obama (First Lady of the United States)

1. Barack Obama (President of the United States)

As positive role models for the black community who have also done their share of charity work, most of the choices seem reasonable enough (if a little left-leaning).  In particular, Bill Cosby’s inclusion on the list should be commended—not only did he star in one of the most positive and constructive depictions of black America ever to grace television, but in recent years he has been a courageous advocate for personal responsibility, despite the complaints of less beneficial detractors.

Sadly, in true lefty fashion, the Beast saves the most prestigious spots for the least deserving candidates.  Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton are racial demagogues and con men of the worst order, who have built their careers on racial tension; don’t think for a second they have any intention of ending what has become their meal ticket.  As for President Obama and his wife, no conservative can deny the powerful, positive message sent by a black family occupying the White House—it proves how far America has come from our past of slavery and segregation—but all too often, the First Couple’s own actions have undermined that message.

Obama’s long-standing relationship with hate-monger Jeremiah Wright was an insult to the principles King espoused, and when it first came to light, Obama’s response was first to lie, then to deliver a halfhearted speech “on race” that still equivocated on Wright’s character and alluded to the boogeyman of right-wing racism.  Obama jumped on the bandwagons to crucify Don Imus and Sen. Trent Lott for “bigotry” that doesn’t even begin to match Wright’s.  His books reveal a less-than unifying attitude towards race relations, and the great uniter has done nothing to counter the Left’s rampant race-baiting in defense of his policies; indeed, he says one of the worst offenders, Rep. Alan Grayson, is an “outstanding member of Congress.”  Michelle Obama’s bitterness toward America is even more overt.

Lastly, it seems to me there are more than a few deserving candidates who were overlooked because their politics didn’t swing the right way. Allow me to try rectifying the situation by highlighting a few black patriots who deserve credit for their work toward a future of racial harmony:

- Clarence Thomas (Associate Justice, US Supreme Court)—Not only is Justice Thomas a brilliant legal mind who understands the true nature of constitutional jurisprudence, but his life’s story is a stirring testament to the American Dream and offers invaluable lessons in how to truly move beyond race and hatred.

- Reverend Jesse Lee Peterson (President, Brotherhood Organization of a New Destiny)—A fearless critic of race hustlers like Jackson, Sharpton, Hill, and Dyson, Reverend Peterson is a tireless advocate of individual responsibility and traditional families who works every day to show black Americans the true path to equality and success.

- Star Parker (President, Coalition for Urban Renewal & Education)—Much like Reverend Peterson, Ms. Parker also works tirelessly to spread the word that the path out of poverty and discrimination begins at home.

- Dr. Alveda C. King (Pastoral Associate, Priests for Life)—As Martin Luther King’s nice, it’s awfully curious that Dr. Alveda King didn’t make the cut in an article about his legacy, isn’t it?  Maybe that has something to do with her efforts to expose how one of the Left’s most cherished causes, abortion, has devastated the black community.

We’ve come along way since the March on Washington, but many of us still need to learn that it takes more than voting the right way to heal old wounds and overcome racial strife. As we celebrate Martin Luther King’s challenge that America make good on her promise to recognize that “all men are created equal,” which other black leaders do you think deserve the praise they’ll never receive from the mainstream media?

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Hailing from Fond du Lac, Wisconsin, Calvin Freiburger is a political science major at Hillsdale College.  He also blogs at the Hillsdale Forum and his personal website, Calvin Freiburger Online.


Related posts:

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  2. Sharpton’s Shameless Selectiveness
  3. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr: A Conservative, not a Radical