Martin Luther King: ‘We can’t keep on blaming the white men’

Martin Luther King: ‘We can’t keep on blaming the white men’, by Jason Riley.

After Martin Luther King Jr was shot dead 50 years ago as he stood on the balcony of a motel in Memphis, Tennessee, riots broke out in more than 100 cities. …

It almost goes without saying that the leading civil-rights organisations today can no longer count people of that calibre in their ranks. Which may be the clearest indication yet that the movement is over and that the right side prevailed.

If black Americans were still faced with legitimate threats to civil rights — such as legal discrimination or voter disenfranchisement — we would see true successors to the King-era luminaries step forward, not the pretenders in place today who have turned a movement into an industry, if not a racket. …

King and other black leaders at the time spoke openly about the need for more-responsible behaviour in poor black communities. After remarking on disproportionately high inner-city crime rates, King told a black congregation in St Louis that “we’ve got to do something about our moral standards.” He added: “We know that there are many things wrong in the white world, but there are many things wrong in the black world too. We can’t keep on blaming the white man. There are things we must do for ourselves.” …

Where King tried to instil in young people the importance of personal responsibility and self-determination notwithstanding racial barriers, his counterparts today spend more time making excuses for counter-productive behaviour and dismissing criticism of it as racist. Activists who long ago abandoned King’s colourblind standard, which was the basis for the landmark civil-rights laws enacted in the 1960s, tell black youths today that they are victims, first and foremost.

Bait and switch.

hat-tip Stephen Neil