Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Meant a Lot More Than a Holiday


Dear Subscriber,

And so it goes. Is our “new and improved” Supreme Court getting rid of Affirmative Action in college entrance procedures? As a few of the justices have stated openly, “Racism no longer exists, so why do we need Affirmative Action?” By the way, the Civil Rights Movement, in the 50’s through 80s, wasn’t always “civil” between Blacks either. Some wanted power for their race only (Black Panthers, Extreme Muslims, and other radicals) and, in the words of Malcolm X: “By any means necessary.” The same division existed in the Nineteenth Century. Some Blacks, kept back by Jim Crow laws, believed only by getting “separate but equal power,” could they attain any political influence.

If one analyzes the overall changes going on in college education, one can see that it adheres to a hierarchical power structure much as they had in the Nineteenth Century. I know, as I did research into what it was like for the “coloreds” in 1887 in Washington D.C., which was supposedly the heart of the change going on after the Civil War.

My historical mystery The Angel’s Trumpet, and its plot, hinges upon an educated Negro woman who assassinates a Supreme Court nominee because he won’t approve her petition to attend Harvard Law School, as her male teacher once did, and he graduated with honors, but he was not allowed to practice law, so he became a Negro High School principal.

Being “not allowed to attend” was common practice against Blacks back then. Now our current Supreme Court, as they did with the Roe v. Wade decision, decides there’s no more racism, so why not go back to our practices of 1887, including, I assume what’s really happened in today’s schools: segregation by race, using the same practices that occurred in the Nineteenth Century by returning the power back to the racist states to initiate their well-known (to historians) Jim Crow laws.

For example, as a person of color or from economic hardship, I can be given a scholarship, social perks, and all the other surface amenities of attending an Ivy League college, but if I don’t “fit in” with the powerful families and their children, then there’s “no way in hell” I’ll get to “share their power.” If the Supreme Court deletes Affirmative Action, then our flimsy process of “racial and economic diversity” will crumble like the wood pulp it was written on.

Thanks, Supreme Court, for helping us to go backwards.

This decision is very important, as when you “crunch the numbers,” racism and economic persecution by race, including imprisonment and other social discrimination, still exists.

Dr. King, upon whom I today base most of my philosophy and purpose for writing socially aware fiction, made it very clear that when the folks in power refuse to stop unjust laws from being carried out, then we must proceed to the final step he mentions in the above image: “direct action.” This means sit-ins, marches, non-violent resistance, labor srikes, boycotting of products, and many other actions by we “The People.”

Thanks, and please have a peaceful and enjoyable day off and keep reading! MLK would love you for it.

James Musgrave

San Diego, CA

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