Martin Luther King Jr. and Affirmative Action
According to the Merriam-Webster New World Dictionary, Affirmative Action is defined as an active effort to improve the employment or educational opportunities of members of minority groups or women. To put that definition in English, it means a program designed to help either minorities or women achieve equal rights, as with the rest of the population. In this case, the minorities are being discussed, or to be less broad, the African Americans.
“I have a dream today.” This is a famous quote by one of histories most famous and influential civil rights activists of all time, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Being a civil rights activist, Dr. King wanted nothing more than for his people, the African Americans, to have equality. In the effort to gain equality, there were four steps he took. The first step was the collection of facts. In other words, this meant that they would identify the justices and the injustices. The second step in Dr. King’s plan was negotiation. To make that simpler, negotiation was actually a compromise on the part of the African Americans. The third step in his plan was self-purification. In doing this, the African Americans would get together in prayer and they would sing the psalms. The fourth and final step in Dr. King’s plan was non-violent direct action. Dr. King and his people tried each and every one of these steps, but sadly none of them were successful.
Like Hillary Clinton and Howard Stern, in my opinion, Martin Luther King Jr. and Affirmative Action just would not mix. Dr. King wanted to earn civil rights he didn’t want them handed to him. That’s why the term is noted as the “fight for civil rights.” The word “earn” in this sense is pretty vague. What Dr. King wanted was for his people to “earn” their rights. He would probably argue that affirmative action was a “handout,” which isn’t what he wanted. Dr. King simply wanted the whites cooperation in the African American achievement of equal rights. No fights or handouts, just cooperation. “King understood that racial power subverts moral power and he pushed the principles of fairness and equality, rather than black power because he believed those principles would bring blacks their most complete liberation.” Shelby Steele.
The opposition might argue that Dr. King wanted so desperately for his people to be free and equal that he would eventually back down and let affirmative action take its course. But that wasn’t his style. Dr. King was all about equal rights for all people, peace and freedom. If you can say that allowing an African American to fight for his rights and not standing in his way is considered Affirmative Action, then that is the only kind Dr. King would have supported. Otherwise he would be strictly against it.
A definition of “reverse” is “the opposite to a previous or normal condition.” If you put that word with “racism,” you have the product of Affirmative Action. Affirmative Action can easily be pinned as reverse racism. Say you were given two men, the same age, same education, and same qualifications. Qualifications means to fit by skill or training for some purpose. With affirmative Action, the black man would automatically get the job, simply based on his color. That is a problem with affirmative action, it judges a person on what they are, not who they are. This would totally contradict Dr. King. “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 their character.” Dr Martin Luther King Jr.
“We know through painful experience that freedom is never voluntarily given by the oppressor; it must be demanded by the oppressed.” Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. It is very evident that Dr. King was a fighter. In fact, he fought until the day he died for his people. And all he fought for was the chance for his people to get a cup of coffee at the same lunch counter as a white man.