MLK Is Post-White America’s Founding Father
It’s a holiday tradition. Conservatives, including civic nationalists such Steve Bannon, praise Martin Luther King. Both leftists and white Identitarians say this is absurd. Both agree King was a dedicated socialist who worked with Communist Party members. King was also an adulterer, a plagiarist, and did nothing to stop a rape he witnessed. The rape incident was disclosed by a progressive reporter and biographer, who called the challenge to King’s stature “fundamental.”
This has had little effect on conservatives. Instead, they redouble their efforts to force Martin Luther King into the American and even the conservative pantheon. Heritage Foundation president Kay James tweeted: “Our founding principles would be the very tools we would eventually use to right our own wrongs. Dr. King helped us to prove we could do just that.”
The Heritage Foundation also published an article at its website, The Daily Signal, claiming that “our principles required that we solve our race problem.” King therefore becomes “our last Founding Father.”
Yet can the race problem be “solved?” Barring genocide (which at least some leftists intend for us), expulsion, or peaceful separation, the race problem can at best be managed. No society has ever “solved” the race problem. That’s why prophets like Enoch Powell warned against unnecessarily importing the problem to begin with.
Even the Daily Signal article implicitly admits this. “The Untied States at large had a race problem that traced back to when the first African slaves were first imported to Virginia in 1619,” wrote Dion Pierre. “It was not ameliorated when Abraham Lincoln’s Union Army dispossessed the Southern aristocracy of its slaves and remained acute in places like Birmingham, where King first established himself as the man that would lead the United States into the multiracial era.” It would have been better to avoid slavery and the “race problem” altogether, as well as the supposed necessity for a “multiracial era.”
Contrasting King with Malcolm X and other black nationalists, Mr. Pierre said that “King understood the temptation to fight identity politics with identity politics, but refused.” Mr. Pierre also claims King preached that “any form of race nationalism defied the ‘edicts of the Almighty God himself.’”
Of course, King explicitly defended racial preferences for blacks, which is the essence of identity politics. Considering his sexual behavior and his denial of Christ’s divinity, he didn’t take the “edicts of the Almighty God” too seriously either.
Mr. Pierre deals with this history by ignoring it. He simply asserts that King believed “character, not skin color, counted most.” Now, thanks to the last Founder, the descendants of slaves and former slave holders can all sing “My country, ‘tis of thee, sweet land of liberty, of thee I sing.”
Maybe Mr. Pierre even believes this. Meanwhile, in the real world, most Americans think race relations are getting worse. A huge black majority says the country hasn’t gone far enough in granting “equal rights.” Fifty percent of blacks say America never will. Desegregation and affirmative action haven’t appeased blacks and leftists. They increasingly blame racism for racial inequality, no matter what programs are introduced, resources redistributed, or statues torn down. No other explanation for racial inequality is possible in a country that refuses to acknowledge racial differences.
Most non-whites think their race or ethnicity is “central” to their identity. Whites don’t, probably because “American” and “white” are still implicitly linked. Thus, polls show whites are more patriotic while non-whites lead protests against historic American symbols like the Betsy Ross flag.
White identity is catching up with “American” identity. In the “multiracial era,” your passport is less important than your race. European-Americans have more in common with our Continental cousins than “fellow citizens” who don’t speak our language, identify with our history, or honor our heroes.
Conservatives awkwardly trying to fit King into the Founders’ mold must ignore what Thomas Jefferson, George Washington, Benjamin Franklin, Alexander Hamilton and others said about race. Instead, they reduce our “founding principles” to “all men are created equal.” This is as stupid as saying King opposed racial identity politics.
Conservatives need King. To admit there is a conflict between King and Washington is to admit the problem can’t be resolved. It denies “American exceptionalism,” which to many whites is akin to denying God. Most whites can’t stomach religious hypocrisy the same way Reverend King and his pastor friends could.
Mr. Pierre is right about King being a “Founder,” though not in the way he thinks. A fraud and hypocrite in almost every aspect of his life, King cloaked his agenda in traditional American rhetoric that appealed to well-meaning, naïve whites. Now, the mask is off. Thanks to demographic change, leftists and non-whites no longer need to pretend. They can admit America was created by whites, that Martin Luther King was “radical” (in Cornel West’s words), and that American institutions must be fundamentally changed to serve the new population. King isn’t the last Founding Father, but the first Founder of the new, post-white United States. If King truly was the “Founder” of a nation, that nation has nothing to do with us.
Whether such a dystopian, dysfunctional polity can long endure is impossible to say. What is certain is that Sam Francis was right: “The logical meaning of the holiday is the ultimate destruction of the American Republic as it has been conceived and defined throughout our history, and until the charter for revolution that it represents is repealed, we can expect only further installations of the destruction and dispossession it promises.” Deliberate refusal to understand is moral failure. Conservatives can no longer plead ignorance.