On Aug. 28, the country celebrated the 50th Anniversary of the March on Washington and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech. It was an emotional day for some; for others, it was an opportunity to continue to highjack the 1960s Civil Rights Movement and demonize Republicans.
And that, even though it was the Republican Party, the party of Lincoln, that initiated the removal of the scourge of slavery, fought for the passage of the 1964 Civil Rights Act, the 1965 Voting Rights Act, affirmative action and the elimination of institutional discrimination in housing, transportation and all other areas of life in America.
Look at the faces on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial and you know it was not the diverse country Dr. King envisioned.
It was only the Democratic faces of the so-called African-American “leaders” (Jesse Jackson, Al Sharpton), black entertainers (Jamie Foxx, Oprah Winfrey), Civil Rights Movement icons (Andy Young and Congressman John Lewis) and Presidents Barack Obama, Bill Clinton and Jimmy Carter. Of course, the King family was there, along with other dignitaries.
Go back and look at the steps of the Lincoln Memorial in 1963. You will see real American diversity: black and white, Republicans and Democrats, Christians, Jews and Muslims.
Conspicuously absent in 2013 were black (or white) Republicans. Organizers said that Presidents George W. Bush and George H.W. Bush were invited but declined because they were recuperating from illness. But no other member of the Bush family was invited. Yet Caroline Kennedy was invited and, remember, President John F. Kennedy shunned the original march and warned Dr. King to cancel the event.
Why weren’t Sen. Tim Scott, R.- S.C., former Republican Reps. J.C. Watts and Allen West invited? Surely the only black senator in the 113th Congress should have been invited. What about former Secretaries of State Condoleezza Rice, Gen. Colin Powell and U.S. Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas? Or the numerous other notable black Republicans who attended the 50th anniversary celebration luncheon sponsored by the Republican National Committee the day before?
Where were the white Republicans? House Speaker John Boehner and House Majority Leader Eric Cantor were invited on short notice so it was too late for them to participate. Was it an oversight or deliberate?
But, most of all, where was the Congress of Racial Equality (CORE), which was intimately involved in the Civil Rights Movement and was one of the six big organizing groups for the March on Washington in 1963?
They organized the “Freedom Riders” and sponsored the three civil rights workers who were murdered in Mississippi in 1964 by the Ku Klux Klan (all Democrats). The story of these three was the basis for the movie Mississippi Burning. Yet neither Roy Innis, CORE chairman, nor CORE spokesman Niger Innis was invited to speak.
According to Democrats, there is no room for choice in the black community so only Democrats were represented. And all those who spoke, including Obama, had only harsh words for Republicans when referring to stand-your-ground laws, the Second Amendment and voter ID laws.
The spirit of Dr. King’s “Dream” message was missing or perhaps forgotten.
Choice in the local black community was also forgotten a day earlier at a town hall meeting at the Urban League of Greater Miami.
The meeting was supposed to address the quality of education, which is at an all-time low, with poor test scores, failing schools, decreasing graduation rates and the fact that almost every black student from the black community in the city of Miami who has entered Miami Dade College over the past few years has had to take remedial courses before being able to take their assigned college courses.
The distinguished panel representing charter schools was drowned out and continuously insulted by a group of rude and disrespectful people who were obviously anti-choice. They were not interested in a discussion to improve education for the poor black and Hispanic children in the failing schools. They were interested only in making sure nobody heard any of the speakers there to provide information to parents about the choices available to them for their children.
This organized mob screamed and yelled and hurled insults during the entire meeting.The sad fact is that they were all teachers and members of the teachers’ union. It was absolutely pitiful. I asked one of the loudest dissenters what she would do if her students acted like she and the others had. Instead of being embarrassed, she became more belligerent.
These are the same people who teach the children we were there to help. No wonder the schools are failing our children. The real problem is that these people are dead set against parents having the power to choose. It is no secret they are all Democrats. It is the same people who fight against charter schools and the Opportunity Scholarships.
And guess which president cut off those scholarships in Washington and forced hundreds of children back into the failing schools there? If you guessed Barack Hussein Obama, you would be right.
The Democrats/liberals all across the country are against parents’ right to choose the school their children attend. But these are the same Democrats/liberals who are fighting for a woman’s right to choose to murder her unborn child, even up to the last days of her pregnancy. They have even demanded and passed legislation that allows a little girl the right to have an abortion without the permission of her parents.
These same people fight against members of the black community when they choose to belong to the Republican Party or when black parents choose to send their children to a charter school. Yet, they march en masse and do anything they can to pass laws that allow a woman or even an underage girl to have the right to choose to have an abortion. It is the epitome of hypocrisy.
How’s that for the fight for civil rights? Is this what Dr. King and other martyrs died for?
*Barbara Howard is a political consultant, radio host and commentator and motivational speaker. She is Florida State chairwoman for the Congress of Racial Equality (CORE) and Trade & Travel Goodwill Ambassador for Kenya. She may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org