By State Representative, Leon D. Young
Earlier this week, we celebrated another birthday of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. If Dr. King was still with us today, he would have enjoyed the good fortune of being 89 years old. For many Americans, Dr. King is remembered for being the outspoken drum major in the struggle for civil rights, which sought to end the practice of Black Americans being relegated to the ranks of second-class citizenship.
But, Dr. King also espoused a vision of a beloved community where people of all races, religions and ethnicities would live in equity and justice together. For Dr. King, The Beloved Community was not a lofty utopian goal to be confused with the rapturous image of the Peaceable Kingdom, in which lions and lambs coexist in idyllic harmony. Rather, The Beloved Community was for him a realistic, achievable goal that could be attained by a critical mass of people committed to and trained in the philosophy and methods of nonviolence.
Moreover, Dr. King’s Beloved Community is a global vision, in which all people can share in the wealth of the earth. In the Beloved Community, poverty, hunger and homelessness will not be tolerated because international standards of human decency will not allow it. Racism and all forms of discrimination, bigotry and prejudice will be replaced by an all-inclusive spirit of sisterhood and brotherhood. In the Beloved Community, international disputes will be resolved by peaceful conflict-resolution and reconciliation of adversaries, instead of military power. Love and trust will triumph over fear and hatred. Peace with justice will prevail over war and military conflict.
Dr. King’s lofty goal of achieving total inclusiveness and acceptance is in direct contrast to the political agenda of the current occupant of the White House, Donald Trump. And, Trump’s never-ending call to “Make America Great Again” is nothing more than a dog whistle alert that advocates for a bygone day, in which non-whites were summarily excluded and knew their place.
In Trump’s America, nearly 800,000 Dreamers would be forced to leave, immigrants from Haiti and Africa (shithole places) would be passed over in favor of white immigrants from Scandinavia and Europe, Muslims would be banned and, of course, Mexicans would be fenced out by building the wall. Moreover, Trump has a real affinity for the Alt-Right. Following the despicable spectacle that unfolded in Charlottesville, Virginia last August, in which one woman was killed, Trump was unwilling to condemn the white supremacists that precipitated the violence. Trump finally responded, after the fact, by offering some false equivalencies between white bigots, who caused the violence, and the innocent protesters, who were victimized.
If Dr. King had to deal with Donald Trump and the current mood of the country, he would have his hands full. But, he would not demonize, or hate, his adversaries. Instead, Dr. King would devote his time, energy and talents in trying to uplift the content of Donald Trump’s character.