Rod Dreher is clinging to his foolish delusions about the dear Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. and the Civil Rights Movement this morning.
“What Arendt is saying is that if we start to think of each other primarily in terms of race, not our common humanity, we doom ourselves. This is why, in my view, the teaching of Martin Luther King, Jr., was one of the high points of the Western tradition. And look how quickly we threw it away! The dominant white power structure of the pre-Civil Rights period saw black people primarily in terms of race, and diminished their humanity. In so doing, whites also diminished their own humanity. King taught Americans to see this, and to repent of it. He was a Christian and a classical liberal in this way. …”
Conservatives have created a mythical MLK who was a Christian and a classical liberal and who actually believed in all of this colorblindness nonsense and “our common humanity.”
This was the “good antiracism” and Civil Rights Movement. This version of MLK wasn’t like all of his successors who knew the man better than anyone like the Rev. Ralph Abernathy or Jesse Jackson – the bad purveyors of “identity politics” – who were with King on the day that he was assassinated in Memphis. The real MLK was just another black activist and a cunning con artist who told White liberals what they already believed and wanted to hear. He was always funded by these people. He derived his power from these people. He was never anything more than the cynical instrument of these people.
The real MLK supported affirmative action. He supported the Civil Rights Act of 1964 which created our present racial caste system of protected classes. The real MLK justified the Watts Riot as a rebellion of the unheard. The real MLK was still around after Selma when the Civil Rights Movement turned toward violence and black power. Blacks never embraced anything resembling colorblindness and continue to have a strong sense of racial identity and a higher sense of racial self esteem than all other races. The Left moved on from their colorblindness tactic in the last three years of MLK’s life. The legislation that came out of the Civil Rights Movement wasn’t colorblind. It just restricted the freedom of Whites by creating protected classes. It also transferred even more power from the states to the federal government.
Forced integration demolished the Constitution and White institutions while failing in its own objective to close racial gaps. It legitimized anti-White discrimination. It made life vastly more expensive and worse for Whites who couldn’t afford to move to rich suburb or enroll their children in a private school. It fueled White flight and suburban sprawl. It paved the way toward political correctness and “identity politics” as other identity groups immediately began to organize to advance their own group interests.
“These progressive activists and their fellow travelers leading American institutions have no idea what evil seeds they are planting in the hearts of Americans. There are people alive in this country who lived in an era when the KKK murdered people over race. This is within living memory. The capacity of decent, everyday Americans to turn into savages when drunk on racialism is not something we put behind us forever. It remains with us, because we are human beings. Our common humanity means we share a common fallenness. For all its problems — and heaven knows I’ve talked about them here — classical liberalism has at least given us a means to rise above racialism, and live together in as close to peace and justice as we are going to manage in this fallen world. There are no utopias; we will constantly be working on making our democracy better. That’s just how it is. But these utopian totalitarians are taking us backward, in the name of progress.”
What is evil?
According to Rod, our ancestors were “evil” for having an accurate understanding of the immutable biological reality of racial differences. They were “evil” for understanding that the notion that race would cease to matter was always delusional. Instead of denying reality, they built a civilization and social order and institutions around these differences that prioritized the protection of their own descendants.
As for this nonsense about classical liberalism, we lived in a “racist” country all the way down to the Civil Rights Movement. In the 19th century (the age of “classical liberalism”), Americans argued over whether blacks should have equal rights, but even those who believed this typically did not believe in racial equality. They believed in liberalism, not “antiracism.” Darwin believed that blacks were so inferior that they would be wiped out and supplanted by other races. In fact, the civil rights laws destroyed classical liberalism by ending freedom of association and nullifying property rights in the name of protected classes.