Phi Beta Cons

Civil Rights, Then and Now

Despite their unshakeable habit of invoking the name of Martin Luther King Jr. at every opportunity, most self-proclaimed “civil-rights leaders” these days just can’t help but illustrate the glaring differences between their agenda today and the goal of the civil-rights movement in the 1960s.
At an NAACP fundraiser to fight against the Michigan Civil Rights Initiative (which would ban racial preferences in that state), Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee used the language of liberation, but the context made her words ring hollow. Stating that “a hand up is not a handout,” she warned that ending racial preferences in Michigan would place “shackles” on minorities in the state. This is the new thinking: that treating minorities equally under the law would be an active infringement on their rights, because they need the help of the state to succeed. What a poisonous thing, for this mentality of victimhood to be pushed so vigorously by a woman who is looked to as a leader and a role model in the African-American community, which so desperately needs to hear a message of self-empowerment.

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