In King's teachings, affirmative action approaches were not "reverse discrimination" or "racial preference". King promoted affirmative action not as preference for race over race (or gender over gender), but as a preference for inclusion, for equal opportunity, for real democracy. Nor was King's integration punitive: For him, integration benefited all Americans, male and female, white and non-white alike ~ Paul Rockwell writing for FAIR, as quoted in his 5/1/1995 article "The Right Has a Dream: Martin Luther King as an Opponent of Affirmative Action".
Affirmative Action. Conservatives hate it. Why? I'd say that it's because they have racial biases; biases they willingly acknowledge or biases they are in denial regarding. Many of these Conservatives (in denial or not) like to cloak their biases in lies about their goal being total equality. As an example I present to you the words of one Dennis Marks, a Conservative who often argues against AA, often asking (something along the lines of), "What is so wrong, Dervish, about giving everyone a fair shake?"
Then he, as many Conservatives have done over the years, quotes Martin Luther King Jr in defense of his anti-Affirmative Action position...
|MLK: I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character. [source].|
The "I have a dream" speech was "a public speech delivered by American activist Martin Luther King Jr. on 8/28/1963". A speech "in which he called for an end to racism in the United States". Note the "end to racism" bit. Does anyone seriously believe that racism in the United States has been ended? Witness the stark racial divide in the aftermath of the George Zimmerman verdict. According to a WP-ABC News poll "86% of African-Americans disapproved of the not guilty verdict [while] 51% of whites... supported the verdict".
We are not living in a post-racial society; and I could come up with many more examples than the Zimmerman verdict to prove it. Most (if not all) of us know this, so I believe the following advice from MLK still applies (and I offer this quote to rebut the previous quote from Dennis. A quote he incorrectly believes shows that MLK would oppose AA).
|MLK: It is impossible to create a formula for the future which does not take into account that our society has been doing something special against the Negro for hundreds of years. How then can he be absorbed into the mainstream of American life if we do not do something special for him now, in order to balance the equation and equip him to compete on a just and equal basis? [source].|
The large number of hits and responses to my posts about the Zimmerman trial were a wake up call to me. Although I'm sure these Conservative bloggers do not represent the mainstream thinking of the Republican electorate (as with the primaries, it appears as though the Conservatives who blog represent the fringe)... still, it was a little shocking to me how racist many of the comments I received were.
The Repubs and racists (those who exist in both parties and in society at large) still have their thumbs on the scale, tipping it in disfavor of Black Americans. Therefore, as MLK advised, it is still appropriate that there exists some method by which the scales can be tipped back (if even only a little bit) in FAVOR of African Americans.
But the Repubs (even though there may be White Dems who fall into the racist camp) are still the party of the racists. They left the Democratic Party and traveled over to the Republican camp after then candidate Richard Nixon used the Southern Strategy to gain "political support or winning elections in the Southern United States by appealing to racism against African Americans". They've been employing it ever since, yet some Conservative are in total denial regarding this strategy.
To illustrate this I present another quote from the Conservative who is hip with those who wish to rewrite history (I'm talking about Mr. Marks)...
|dmarks: The Southern Strategy? Quite defensible. When the Dems became racist, favoring "affirmative action" policies which tilted the playing field in favor of blacks and instead of whites, people who wanted a fair, level playing field were understandably disenchanted with the Dems. A ripe time for the GOP, which then and now pushes for a level playing field to come in. (5/5/2013 AT 4:53pm, comment on the blog My Daily Trek).|
The Dems became racist by opposing racism? The Dems became racist when they realized racism was tipping the scales in disfavor of Blacks - so it was necessary to come up with something to counteract that? Some will try and convince the gullible that up is down and black is white, but rational thinking people reject this nonsense (peddled by the likes of Dennis Marks and others on the deceitful Right). In response to these people (those who complain about the "reverse racism" of Blacks "discriminating" against Whites), I offer another quote from MLK...
|MLK: Nothing in all the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity. [source].|
In my opinion this quote applies to many Conservatives. Those who do not practice conscientious stupidity or are sincerely ignorant use calculated deceptiveness to dupe others (those in the first camp) into voting Republican. But the duping is only possible because they are receptive to it. If not strongly racist they harbor some racial biases. These biases usually concern Blacks wanting "freebies" (even though more Whites receive government assistance) as well as blaming them for being victims of poverty (even though the number of poor Whites is greater).
Yes, there are more Blacks than Whites living in poverty, percentage-wise, but this is due more to White privilege and generational poverty, and much less to do with poor Black people getting comfortable in a social safety-net hammock created by Dems in an scheme to trick them into not voting Republican. This is the kind of victim blaming Republicans excel at.
The bottom line is that the Republicans will use any tool at their disposal to keep poor people down. That there is a group of people who can't compete (and get ahead) due to their race is just fine by them. In fact, we should maintain that disadvantage. Although they lie about that being their goal, which explains the denials when it comes to the racists in the Tea Party (for example). Dennis sounds sincere, but his denials give him away. It would be another thing altogether if he acknowledged the racism within the Republican Party; if he acknowledged that the ENTIRE PURPOSE of the Southern Strategy was to appeal to Southern racists. He does not; instead Dennis presents a laughable lie that "the GOP... THEN and now pushes for a level playing field".
He says they did this "then", as in back then when Richard Nixon used the Southern Strategy. That would be the same Richard Nixon who said this...
|Richard Nixon: From now on, the Republicans are never going to get more than 10 to 20 percent of the Negro vote and they don't need any more than that... but Republicans would be shortsighted if they weakened enforcement of the Voting Rights Act. The more Negroes who register as Democrats in the South, the sooner the Negrophobe whites will quit the Democrats and become Republicans. That's where the votes are. Without that prodding from the blacks, the whites will backslide into their old comfortable arrangement with the local Democrats. [Source].|
But Dennis says the Southern Strategy was all about the Democrats moving "away from equal rights, leaving their political opponents a space to rush into". Sure. Clearly Dennis is employing the big lie strategy... and I find it hard to believe that Dennis does not know exactly what he's doing. Anyone who would defend the Southern Strategy and actually attempt to portray it as an anti-racist platform to go against the "racist" Dems?... I say that person has a screw (or more) loose, or is big lie-ing his ass off.
2/11/2016 Update: dmarks sez (in a 5/4/2015 comment) "whatever someone said about riots being the language of the unheard: they were very wrong on that. Riots are the language of the greedy, the violent, debased, the savage: those who just want to steal stuff and commit savage acts of violence".
The ignorant dmarks is obliviously unaware that it was MLK who said "a riot is the language of the unheard". Which it is. Although, MLK identifying that people riot because they feel they are unheard doesn't indicate he supported it. This I pointed out to Mr. Marks after he wrote "I find it hard to that this American saint of nonviolence was supporting such orgies of violence against innocent people".
Again displaying his ignorance, in that, Dennis, as a White guy, has no clue what's it's like to be unheard. And yet Dennis quotes MLK on his blogger ID page (where it says: "Life's most persistent and urgent question is, What are you doing for others?"). Looks like another example of a Conservative cloaking his biases, IMO. I'd bet a lot of money that if MLK were alive today he'd be strongly WITH the Black Lives Matter movement... and that Dennis would be calling him racist.