He also said, “What happened in Ferguson may not be unique, but it’s no longer endemic, or sanctioned by law and custom.” In a sense, I couldn’t disagree more.
Mr. Obama was referring to racism. I maintain that “what happened in Ferguson” was more than that--it was a hardness of heart that led and still leads some people to view others as “not one of us.” It was--and is--a heart condition that pits us against each other, so much so that it has become endemic, systematic and symptomatic of our society.
The President, perhaps unintentionally, played into this “us versus them” mentality in his speech when he mentioned almost every identity group that now comprises our fractured nation. But he omitted one group of people who are still the victims of violence and discrimination “sanctioned by law”--the unborn.
Over the last 42 years, abortion has become endemic, systemic and symptomatic in America, particularly in African American and Hispanic communities. Even while abortion numbers are declining most everywhere as ultrasound machines become more prevalent, the abortion industry tries to entrench itself where its racist founder, Margaret Sanger, would want it to be.
In the news, just recently, have been reports of Planned Parenthood trying to open large new abortion clinics in New Orleans and El Centro, California. Why? Because Planned Parenthood says New Orleans, which is 60 percent black, and El Centro, which is 81 percent Latino, are “underserved.” In other words, Planned Parenthood thinks women in those areas aren’t having enough abortions.
Abortion has become systematic in America. The abortion industry has not just made itself into a giant disassembly line, getting women in and out the door as quickly and profitably as possible. It has tried to “normalize” and systemize the death delivering process.
Naturally, trying to make acceptable what is abhorrent and gruesome requires enormous effort. So the abortion industry has built its own marketing system, much of it facilitated with our tax dollars. It has tried to insinuate itself into the culture with influential media friends who help it maintain the illusion that babies are not killed in its chambers--those arms, legs, and eyeballs are just “products of conception,” “clumps of cells,” or former “uterine contents.”
Abortion is also symptomatic of the violence that is endemic in our society. And I don’t mean to say that violence is unique to our country. Our aggression toward others is endemic, not because we are Americans, but because we are human.
Since humans first rebelled against God, it has been part of the human nature to be self-centered, to satisfy our wants. If anyone stands in our way, our instinct is to push him or her aside. To constrain us requires brute force, law or love.
As part of God’s human family, one human race, it’s time we choose love.
“Of one blood, God created all people to live together on the earth.” Acts 17:26
I believe the words of my Uncle M.L. when he said, "I refuse to accept the view that mankind is so tragically bound to the starless midnight of racism and war that the bright daybreak of peace and brotherhood can never become a reality. ... I believe that unarmed truth and unconditional love will have the final word."
Indeed, unconditional love will have the final word. Until that happens, though, we have a duty to pursue the kind of love that unites. By that, I mean that we have a responsibility to love each other as ourselves, to regard one another not as antagonists, but as neighbors. I write of these principles learned from my daddy AD King, Granddaddy King and Uncle ML in my book KING RULES. These principles are part of our “King Family Legacy.” Yet they belong not only to our family but to the whole world.
Recently, President Obama, in Selma, cited our Declaration of Independence: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal.” He said these words are “a call to action, a roadmap for citizenship.” Indeed, they are.
And speaking of roadmaps, the Psalmist wrote, “The Lord tests the righteous, but his soul hates the wicked and the one who loves violence.”
The way is clear. Let’s put away the race card. Let’s proclaim the “in God we trust” message. Let’s not divide one against another. Let’s not sweep away those who are powerless and inconvenient, pretending they don’t already exist.
President Obama also said in Selma:
“What greater expression of faith in the American experiment than this; what greater form of patriotism is there; than the belief that America is not yet finished, that we are strong enough to be self-critical, that each successive generation can look upon our imperfections and decide that it is in our power to remake this nation to more closely align with our highest ideals?”
We can more closely align our nation with our highest ideals, especially the ideal that all men (all people male and female) are created equal. Those who marched across the Edmund Pettus Bridge overcame racism, discrimination and injustice. We just have to overcome ourselves.
Dr. Alveda King, niece of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., is the founder of King for America, Inc. and consultant to the Africa Humanitarian Christian Fellowship.