How Barack and Michelle Obama can truly honor Dr. Martin Luther King

As America remembers Martin Luther King Jr., Barack and Michelle Obama can honor his legacy or fail to do so. It is up to them. Photo: Associated Press

LOS ANGELES, January 16, 2011—May the dream of MLK live long after we all do.

On this holiday to honor Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., there is a general consensus about race relations that is far from an absolute consensus. The general consensus is that race relations are better than they have ever been, but that racism still exists. The general consensus is that “reverse racism” also exists.

Most Americans despise racism, anti-Semitism and other forms of bigotry, and those who level these charges falsely. While most Americans want to come together, a select few poisonous individuals benefit financially and emotionally from continued racial antagonism.

Because Dr. King is such a universally revered man, everybody wants to adopt him as one of their own. Republicans claim he was one of them. As a Republican myself, that might be overstating the case. Dr. King was not a raving leftist, but he could have fit in seamlessly with what represented the mainstream center-left coalition before the Democratic Party veered far left.

Dr. King appeals to Republicans because he sincerely wanted to bridge the various divides in American society. He was a black Democrat who understood that harmony with white Republicans would benefit all of society. He was able to keep his own principles while respecting others with different views.

“Different” views does not mean accepting racism. It means resisting the temptation to automatically refer to conservatives and Republicans as racists. Dr. King said in his “I have a dream” speech that people should be judged, “not by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character.” It is in this vein that the moral clarity of Dr. King is compared and contrasted with the contradictory lessons of President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama.

Barack Obama ran as a racial healer. He was Dr. King and Will Smith combined, a black man who could appeal to white America. It was white Americans in Iowa who turned him from a dark horse candidate into a legitimate contender. It was white Americans who voted him into office. During the campaign, Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton were nowhere to be found. America had truly turned a corner.

So what went wrong?

Barack and Michelle Obama did not believe their own lofty rhetoric. To call them racists would be taking things too far, but it would be fair to say that they see some racism in others that does not exist. Whether they truly believe they are victims of persecution or are simply pretending to be victims for political gain is for others to decide. Either way, their concerns are wrong. If America were a racist nation, Barack Obama could not have been elected.Yet the Obamas never miss an opportunity to demonize conservatives as racists.

When a white police officer arrested a black Harvard professor,  Obama immediately declared that the white police officer “acted stupidly.” Obama ended up with egg on his face because he spoke without having the facts of the case. He was wrong.

When a black woman working in the agriculture department was fired over racially charged remarks aimed at white farmers, Obama was the one who ordered the firing. When it was learned that her remarks were  taken out of context, Obama appeared again to be shooting first and asking questions later.

Obama referred to his grandmother as a “typical” white person. He was never asked to explain what he feels a typical white person actually is.

Obama hired Van Jones to handle environmental issues, despite Jones being an avowed Communist and a man who disparaged Republicans using various epithets.

Barack Obama hired Eric Holder as his Attorney General. When the New Black Panther Party intimidated white voters at polling places, Holder declined to prosecute the aggressors. When Holder faced congressional questioning for his possible role in the gun-running “Fast and Furious” scandal, he claimed that those questioning his ethics and competence were motivated by race.

Yet if Barack Obama and his appointees are controversial, it is Michelle Obama who remains a lightning rod. She has faced significant criticism, and in recent days has implied that critics of her are motivated by race. She implied that conservatives see her as an “angry, black woman.”

An honest analysis of that phrase requires looking at all three words. Anybody except for the legally blind will concede that she is a black woman. Michelle Obama is a different gender than me and a different race. I am a white male. She is a black female. So far, this seems non-controversial.

The third word that causes hackles to rise is the word “angry.” In 1994 the election was all about “angry white males.” I was upset with the Clinton administration, so perhaps I was one of those angry white males. I was labeled and stereotyped. Nobody likes being compartmentalized into a box. The whole point of integration is to treat people as humans and not classifications.

So for Michelle Obama to object to being seen as an “angry, black woman” would make sense if not for one small problem. She takes coincidences and tries to create causation where none exists.

There was nothing in 1994 other than a fake media narrative. White males were angry with Clinton’s policies, but this had nothing to do with race or gender. He raised taxes and enacted gun control laws.

Michelle Obama does sometimes come across as angry. She can be seething with rage. Yet this has nothing to do with her race or her gender. There are plenty of black women who come across as overwhelmingly pleasant. Dr. Condoleeza Rice is one of the most elegant, classy women on Earth. Oprah Winfrey is universally beloved. Disposition knows no race or gender.

Determining that Michelle Obama, and to a slightly lesser extent Barack Obama, are angry, leads to the important question. Why?

Why are they angry? If it is not racial or gender-based, why would people who control the highest levers of power be angry?

The answer is ideological. The Obamas are leftists. Leftists by and large are very angry individuals. Most political extremists on the left and right are angry.

Dr. King was a moderate. As a moderate, he was able to speak in lofty terms about coming together because he actually meant it. He believed in non-violence. He believed in singing “we shall overcome.”

Barack and Michelle Obama are not moderates. They are doctrinaire leftist ideologues. They share a world view with violent movements like Occupy Wall Street. They believe in rhetoric that pits people against each other based on race, religion, gender, class, and most importantly, ideology.

Dr. King did not see white moderate middle America as evil. Barack Obama and Michelle Obama truly do see malicious intent in the eyes of those who disagree with them.

Mainstream conservatism offers people like Ward Connerly, Armstrong Williams, Congressman Tim Scott, Herman Cain, and many more. Pointing out that they are all black is about as useful as noticing that they are all bald. What matters is that they are all pleasant individuals who seek to unite people rather than divide them. Pleasantness is as uncorrelated to dark melanin content as it is to thin follicle content.

My life is dedicated to ending “Ideological Bigotry.” I wrote a book on the subject with that very title. Ward Connerly and Armstrong Williams endorsed it on the back cover. One day, hopefully in my lifetime, ideological bigotry will be eradicated.

A good start would be if Barack Obama and Michelle Obama would truly honor Dr. King and learn the lessons he taught all of us.

We do not celebrate Dr. King because of his race. We celebrate him because he loved all of us regardless of our race. The goal is not to make race, gender, religion, or sexual orientation something to be celebrated or condemned. The goal is to get to the point where those characteristics are utterly boring.

Most Americans are already there. The Obamas are not.

The good news is that there is always time for them to improve. The reason for this is because there is room for all of us to improve, and the truly great among us are the ordinary people who freely admit this and sincerely get past the lip service. That is “change we can believe in.”

We are all human. We are all flawed. Yet on a day that a great man in Dr. King is honored, the best way to live up to his legacy is to end racial bomb-throwing. Those engaging in real racism must stop. Those crying wolf for personal and political gain must stop as well.

Like it or not, on this planet we are stuck with each other. We might as well get along, because the world is a better place for all of us when we do. It is also a happier one.


Read more about Dr. King here:

Martin Luther King Jr.: I have a dream (Speech transcript and video)

Honoring Dr. Martin Luther King: Photographer captures the memorial (Slideshow)

Remembering Dr. Martin Luther King: A man more complex than one speech (Video)



Brooklyn born, Long Island raised, and now living in Los Angeles, Eric Golub is a politically conservative columnist, blogger, author, public speaker, satirist and comedian.

Eric is the author of the book trilogy “Ideological Bigotry, “Ideological Violence,” and “Ideological Idiocy.” Eric is 100% alcohol, tobacco, drug, and liberalism free. After years of dating liberals, he has finally seen the light and now only dates Republican Jewish women. His family is pleased over this. Republican, Jewish women, you may contact Eric above.

Follow Eric on Twitter @TYGRRRREXPRESS

Eric Golub is an independent writer for the Communities. Read more from Eric at his TYGRRRR EXPRESS blog.

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Eric Golub

Eric Golub is a politically conservative Jewish blogger, author, public speaker, and comedian. His book trilogy is “Ideological Bigotry,” “Ideological Violence,” and  “Ideological Idiocy.” 

He is Brooklyn born, Long Island raised, and has lived in Los Angeles since 1990. He received his Bachelors degree from the University of Judaism, and his MBA from USC. A stockbrokerage professional since 1994, he began blogging on March 11th, 2007, the three year anniversary of the Madrid bombings and the midpoint of 9/11. He has been inflicting his world view on his unfortunate readers since then. He blogs about politics Monday through Friday, and about football and other human interest items on weekends.



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