The Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s “I had a dream” speech was perhaps the most memorable address of the 20th century. It’s theme was equality and justice. Wednesday’s 50th anniversary commemoration of that speech was forgettable. Its theme was politics, race-baiting and grievance.
Although intellectual lightweights like Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson spoke at the event, black leaders who rose to their positions through hard work and determination were noticeably missing from the program.
There’s only one sitting African-American member of the U.S. Senate — Tim Scott, representing South Carolina. But he’s a Republican. Wrong party, but then again, MLK was reputedly a Republican.
“Senator Scott was not invited to speak at the event,” Greg Blair, a Scott spokesman said in a statement to the Washington Examiner. “The senator believes today is a day to remember the extraordinary accomplishments and sacrifices of Dr. King, Congressman John Lewis, and an entire generation of black leaders. Today’s anniversary should simply serve as an opportunity to reflect upon how their actions moved our country forward in a remarkable way.”
Also missing at the dais was Clarence Thomas, the sole sitting black member of the U.S. Supreme Court, and only the second African-American to have been elevated to that position.
Thomas may have been a tough one though. Also speaking was Melanie Campbell, the president of the National Coalition on Black Civic Participation. She compared Supreme Court justices to the KKK. The only difference in her mind was the color of the robes, according to Breitbart News.
How about Condoleezza Rice? She was our only female African-American Secretary of State. Her problem was that George W. Bush nominated her to that position — not Barack Obama.
Nor was the crowd treated to the wisdom of either Herman Cain or Dr. Benjamin Carson, two individuals who obtained success and prominence outside of the political arena. In the case of businessman Cain, he made it crystal-clear that his allegiance lies with the GOP. Carson knows that true success is achieved through hard work — not handouts.
Not all the speakers were black. Presidents Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton spoke. The 43rd president, George W. Bush, the man credited with doing more for the people of Africa than any other president — past or president — wasn’t there.
Rather than calling it a 50th commemoration of Martin Luther King, Jr.’s most famous speech, they should have called it what it really was — the 2013 Democratic National Convention.