What Good Are Civil Rights To The Dead?

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While President Obama was being re-inaugurated their were Martin Luther King Parades happening across the country including in New Orleans. Tragically, those parades will not be remembered for the celebration of civil rights Americans are said to enjoy after King’s efforts. No, what will be remembered were the shootings of five teenagers in New Orleans1.

Predictably, we are now hearing that the causes of the shootings are the RSTLN and E of inner city life in the United States: Not enough police on the streets; too many guns; not enough education “programs”, society doesn’t care, et cetera et cetera.

Let’s take a look back on what King said about 3 young black girls who were murdered for racism in Alabama.

In his “Eulogy for the Martyred Children” King rightfully called out the Republican hypocrites and Southern Dixiecrats alike for their contributions to the environment of death but then, turned the spotlight on the living, channeling the children.

“They say to each of us, black and white alike, that we must substitute courage for caution. They say to us that we must be concerned not merely about who murdered them, but about the system, the way of life, the philosophy which produced the murderers. Their death says to us that we must work passionately and unrelentingly for the realization of the American dream.2

Were he alive today, King would wonder where all the men were hiding in New Orleans; fathers, big brothers and Pastors and why public dependence had been chosen over responsible Fathers. In the Martyred speech King praised a life spent with God. “And no greater tribute can be paid to you as parents… than where they died and what they were doing when they died. They did not die in the dives and dens of Birmingham, nor did they die discussing and listening to filthy jokes. They died between the sacred walls of the church of God, and they were discussing the eternal meaning of love.3

That is a discussion that is eternally missing from cities like New Orleans and cries out for a Martin Luther King to bring it back.

1. http://www.nola.com/crime/index.ssf/2013/01/nopd_4_people_shot_in_central.html#incart_most-comments

2. http://mlk-kpp01.stanford.edu/index.php/kingpapers/article/eulogy_for_the_martyred_children/

3. Ibid