CNN celebrated the birthday of Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. in an unusual way. Instead of heralding his accomplishments as a fearless civil rights leader, it acclaimed him as “an environmental hero” and as “a socialist before it was cool.”
Even assuming both statements are accurate, it’s akin to honoring Abraham Lincoln as an accomplished wrestler. Although that may be true of the great emancipator, his pre-WWE career isn’t why we honor him today — it’s wholly irrelevant.
The same holds true with King. CNN tweeted:
CNN’s John Blake snatched a remark King made during a sermon five months before his assassination as proof of King’s environmentalism.
"All life is interrelated,” he said in his Christmas sermon. “We are all caught in an inescapable network of mutuality. Whatever affects one directly affects all indirectly. We are made to live together because of the interrelated structure of reality."
Blake took support from activist and author Drew Dellinger, who called that statement "the essence of ecology."
"The first law of ecology is that everything is connected," he said.
And from that we’re supposed to assume King was concerned with global warming? It’s more reasonable to believe he was talking about the interconnection of all human life — his lifelong concern was, after all, the human condition.
Socialist Before It Was Cool
Let’s make one thing clear at the start — no matter what Millennials may believe, socialism was never cool.
A 2016 Harvard University poll said 51 percent of young Americans — 18- to-29-year-olds — oppose capitalism. And a poll conducted the next year by YouGov and the Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation found that most American Millennials preferred to live in a socialist country than a capitalist one.
Those 51 percenters should consult someone living in Venezuela or Cuba before voicing their own opinion on socialism. Venezuelans struggling for food scraps and Cubans driving 1951 Chevys (if they’re lucky) will all agree — it doesn’t work.
No one is clamoring to get into Caracas or Havana.
On this issue, Blake observed that, “King called for universal health care and education, a guaranteed annual income and the nationalization of some industries.”
Fair enough. Maybe King leaned left on economics. But that’s not what made him great. Former President George W. Bush took up portraiture after leaving the White House. But people remember him for bringing the nation together after the 9/11 terrorist attack — not for his painting of Benjamin Netanyahu.
The final point Blake made was one that everyone can get onboard with — that King “never let a political disagreement turn nasty.”
Unfortunately, that’s a lesson liberals forgot. Instead of listening to opposing views, the far-left shouts them down. Conservative speakers like Ann Coulter, Ben Shapiro, and Milo Yiannopoulos are shut out of university appearances before they even step on campus.
The divisiveness extends to government as well. Hyper-partisanship has replaced honest debate to the point where immigration negotiations came to a standstill over President Donald Trump’s reported use of a single phrase — “s***hole countries.”
As a result (or an excuse), Democratic lawmakers now refuse to attend the president’s first State of the Union address — just as they stayed home for his inauguration.
They didn’t learn a thing from the late civil rights icon.
“People fail to get along because they fear each other,” King said. “They fear each other because they don't know each other; they don't know each other because they have not communicated with each other.”
And communication requires two things: Speaking one’s mind without fear of reprisal; listening to the other person without the barriers of prejudice.
In the future, I hope CNN celebrates King for the civil rights giant he was — not for those things that were incidental and what the cable news giant imagines.
CNN was founded on honesty, accuracy and integrity. It’s time for it to find its roots.
Michael Dorstewitz is a retired lawyer and has been a frequent contributor to BizPac Review and Liberty Unyielding. He’s also a former U.S. Merchant Marine officer and an enthusiastic Second Amendment supporter, who can often be found honing his skills at the range. To read more of his reports — Click Here Now.
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