Cornel West has given us another example of why his invitation to be a main speaker at this years Catalyst Conference in Atlanta, a Christian youth leadership conference, should raise questions. In a recent New York Times op-ed, “Dr. King Weeps From His Grave,” Dr. Cornel West depicts one of the most self-serving and dishonest pictures of the Reverend, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. in the media today, and that’s saying something.
West believes Dr. King’s legacy is being dishonored, which is arguably a true statement, but it certainly is not for the reason described in this op-ed. Cornel West believes that our leaders should be articulating “radical democratic vision and fighting for homeowners, workers and poor people in the form of mortgage relief, jobs and investment in education, infrastructure and housing,” to truly honor the dream of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
West should know from the days when Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. fought fervently for civil rights and equal justice that a pure democracy and government handouts are not the answer to the housing crisis and poverty. The government choosing sides, picking winners and losers, and ignoring injustices was a big problem during the days of the civil rights struggle. A “radical democratic vision” would put all the power in the hands of the federal government, preventing local communities, who know the problems of their neighborhoods better than a giant overbearing government, to find solutions that work best for them.
For example, West speaks of investment in education, and then says the best way to address this problem is by electing progressives. Well, we currently have a progressive democrat in the White House that removed school vouchers in Washington D.C.’s inner city schools. These vouchers allow students in poor, ill-equipped schools to attend better schools. These voucher programs and charter schools are often protested and blocked by progressives and democrats, and one big reason for this is that they care more about unions and special interests than cleaning up the cities they represent. The union bosses help fund their elections, so that’s whom they take care of.
All one has to do is look at the leadership of the poorest and most crime ridden cities across the country to see the pattern of progressive politicians running these cities, union involvement, and a lack of improvement throughout their term(s) in office. Dr. King was not a progressive, he was a Republican, and Republicans supported him. Reconstruction collapsed because of multidimensional racialism related to the spread of democratic idealism (progressivism). What began as region wide passage of ‘Jim Crow’ segregation laws that focused on issues of equal access to public activities and facilities spread throughout the south, mandating the segregation of whites and blacks in the public sphere. There were plenty of good guys and more than enough bad guys during the era of segregation and Jim Crow, but the idea that “support of progressive politicians like Senator Bernard Sanders” is the answer to the poverty in America is a destructive deception to tell anyone living in poverty.
Dr. King knew the answer to our problems is love, compassion for your fellow man, and faith. The government can’t love you, and it certainly does not have faith in the American people. The current administration has been proving that to us on a regular basis with every new regulation they implement. Despite all of the problems in Washington, D.C., America still provides more private charity to those in need than many other countries combined. The majority of Americans want the inner cities cleaned up, education to improve, and poverty to decrease. We can accomplish this through faith in God, charity and compassion for our fellow man better and far more efficiently than the government can through taxes and redistribution of wealth. Habitat for Humanity does not control those that they build a home for. They will not tell you what type of appliances to use, how to keep your lawn, what to keep the thermostat on, and they will not confiscate it back from you. When the government provides a service or entitlement, they can control every aspect of that service or good, or simply take it away from you.
A radical democracy is nothing more than mob rule, giving the minority no voice. A Democratic Republic, like the one we have in the United States, is unique in that every group can be represented. We have representatives from all types of communities across the country. Each state “red” or “blue” is represented in Washington D.C. Each holds the power to implement the best policies for their state, aside from those allocated to the federal government through the Constitution. The solutions to poverty are going to be found at the local level, if the federal government will get out of the way.
Those living in poverty need to believe what I heard Dr. West say to a classroom of school kids while on his “Poverty Tour.” Each one of those young people need to know that they are just as special as the other. That anyone, black or white, rich or poor, is capable of achieving success. Whether that means living in a big house in the suburbs, being a talk show host, a school teacher, a movie star, a doctor, or even the president of the United States. They also need to know they can do it on their own. That they don’t need Big Brother to hold their hand. All the things most Americans thought had been proven through individual accomplishments from individuals like Oprah, Denzel Washington, Beyonce, Barack Obama, and yes, even Cornel West himself.
All individuals need is opportunity—opportunity to succeed and to fail. That was Dr. King’s dream–equal opportunity and equal justice, regardless of our skin color. However, opportunity is destroyed by socialist policies pushed by progressive politicians who punish success, and that is what we are seeing today. The door is being slammed shut on the people at the bottom.
Dr. King’s message was one of equal opportunity and equal justice under the law, but more importantly, it was a message of faith, hope and love. In Dr. King’s Letter from a Birmingham Jail, his message is loud and clear, a message of faith and love that would likely be labeled ‘Religious Zealotry’ by today’s mainstream media:
“Was not Jesus an extremist for love: “Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you.” Was not Amos an extremist for justice: “Let justice roll down like waters and righteousness like an ever flowing stream.” Was not Paul an extremist for the Christian gospel: “I bear in my body the marks of the Lord Jesus.” Was not Martin Luther an extremist: “Here I stand; I cannot do otherwise, so help me God.” And John Bunyan: “I will stay in jail to the end of my days before I make a butchery of my conscience.” And Abraham Lincoln: “This nation cannot survive half slave and half free.” And Thomas Jefferson: “We hold these truths to be self evident, that all men are created equal . . .” So the question is not whether we will be extremists, but what kind of extremists we will be. Will we be extremists for hate or for love? Will we be extremists for the preservation of injustice or for the extension of justice? In that dramatic scene on Calvary’s hill three men were crucified. We must never forget that all three were crucified for the same crime–the crime of extremism. Two were extremists for immorality, and thus fell below their environment. The other, Jesus Christ, was an extremist for love, truth and goodness, and thereby rose above his environment. Perhaps the South, the nation and the world are in dire need of creative extremists.”
Cornel West is a firm believer in Black Liberation Theology, friend of Nation of Islam leader, Louis Farrakhan, and supporter of Barack Obama’s former pastor, Reverend Jeremiah Wright. Black Liberation Theology, described as “Christianized Marxism,” paints Jesus Christ as a victim of “the oppressor” to apply the gospel to political issues, over personal sin and redemption. The Gospel is used to push a message that black Americans are being rescued from political and social injustice. Black Liberation Theologians undermine the true message of Jesus Christ freeing man from the oppression of sin to love God and our neighbors.
In disgusting fashion, Cornel West uses Dr. King to promote his “Poverty Tour” and gain support for progressive leaders, such as Socialist, Bernie Sanders. He claims Dr. King’s response would be one of “revolution.” That revolution, according to West, means “support for progressive politicians,” and “extensive community and media organizing; civil disobedience; and life and death confrontations with the powers that be.”
In the current climate of political unrest, union riots inside state capital buildings, flash mobs that turn violent, and the near death of Rep. Gabby Giffords from a shooting at a town hall, none of which revolved around race, one has to wonder why he is saying this. These words would not have fit into Dr. King’s message of nonviolence. Cornel West’s plan of action sounds more like a path to the dream of the Weather Underground or the Democratic Socialists than of Martin Luther King, Jr.
According to Cornel West,
“The absence of a King-worthy narrative to reinvigorate poor and working people has enabled right-wing populists to seize the moment with credible claims about government corruption and ridiculous claims about tax cuts’ stimulating growth. This right-wing threat is a catastrophic response to King’s four catastrophes; its agenda would lead to hellish conditions for most Americans.”
The idea that progressives will solve the problems of the poor, especially in the minority community is simply a lie. Progressives have been enslaving the poor to the government for decades. It is progressive democrats that stand against school voucher programs that give students an opportunity to attend better schools in safer areas. Since the Democrats took control of congress in 2006, the number of people in poverty has skyrocketed from 36 million to over 43.6 million, and continues to do so under Barack Obama. It was under a progressive president, Woodrow Wilson, that the army was segregated. It was progressive Margaret Sanger who founded government funded Planned Parenthood with the goal of exterminating the black population.
West believes we need a “fundamental transformation of our way of thinking and living that promotes a transfer of power from oligarchs and plutocrats to everyday people and ordinary citizens.” This again brings one to questions why he would push for progressive politicians like Bernie Sanders, a self-described democratic socialist. Bernie Sanders receives big donations from the unions such as the AFL-CIO, who takes money from union members to fund Democrats running for office, making him one of the politicians “beholden to big money.”A problem Cornel discusses early in his op-ed. Democratic socialism often leads to government control of business, healthcare, and regulations of our day to day operations. Democratic socialism is a big government power grab, and fast track to communism, not an empowerment of the everyday person.
Cornel West says, “Like King, we need to put on our cemetery clothes and be coffin-ready for the next great democratic battle.” It is unlikely that West’s young students at Princeton, or those attending Catalyst Atlanta—where he was invited to speak on leadership—will hear the truth about the Civil Rights Movement in America, or those who really care about the poor, injustices, and freedom in our country.
For the record, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was a Republican. Yes, a Republican. In fact, almost all black Americans were Republicans. How can that be? From its founding in 1854, as the anti-slavery party until today, the Republican Party has championed freedom and civil rights for blacks. It was the Democrats who fought to keep blacks in slavery and passed the discriminatory Black Codes and Jim Crow laws. The Democrats started the Ku Klux Klan to lynch and terrorize blacks. The Democrats fought to prevent the passage of every civil rights law beginning with the civil rights laws of the 1860s, and continuing with the civil rights laws of the 1950s and 1960s.
Today, Dr. King’s message of love and mission of equal justice are being corrupted by the very same party who fought against them in the 1960′s, while continuing to ignore his faith and work as a man of God.