King & Affirmative Action

david horowitz (
Sun, 22 Nov 1998 18:07:36 -0500

McMillian throws around ad hominem slurs and then falls back on his
speculation as to what Martin Luther King might have thought about
affirmative action policies which were not even on the table in his
lifetime. He prefers this to defending his interpretation of the
actual texts of what King said and which he cited and which obviously
do not endorse racial preferences. There is not one word in all the
citations he lists that refers to racial preferences let alone
endorses them. There is good reason for this. The movement he led was
designed to achieve the historic legislation called "the civil rights
acts" and the sole purpose of these acts was to REMOVE racial
preferences from American law, to create a single standard for all
Americans, to achieve a "color-blind society." This phrase "color
blind society" was not invented by conservatives or by white males
seeking to deny the existence of racism and segregation. It was
invented by the civil rights movement, by people like Thurgood
Marshall, who used it to argue the Brown v. Board of Education case
which ended segregated schools. A "color-blind society" was the
proclaimed goal of King and the civil rights movement he led. And this
was at a time that there was far more racism in America than there is
today. Surely, if Martin Luther King thought that he was going to have
to reverse himself 180 degrees on the question of whether the
government should discriminate on the basis of race, he would have
address this issue frontally and said so, and defend his position and
his reversal.

Instead of dealing with this problem, with the absence of any
specific reference in anything that King ever wrote referring to
government enforced racial preferences in a positive way, McMillian
cites a a letter that King wrote at the age of 23 in which he
expressed a flirtation with socialist ideas. This means nothing when
compared to the public commitments of a leader and movement which was
defined by its opposition to racial preferences. McMillian then cites
King's support for garbagemen on strike against the city of
Memphis. What does this have to do with the price of beer in Siberia?
After all this, after failing to respond with any specific defense of
his citations as having any revelance to the question at hand, after
ignoring the fact that King's entire public life was devoted to ending
racial preferences and achieving a color-blind society, and the fact
that this was the policy of the entire civil rights movement,
McMillian has the gall to call me "embarrassingly naive."

Let me finish by correcting one other slander. I have not made it
a life goal to denounce the entire decade of the Sixties. For example,
as should be obvious from this post I am a fierce defender of the
civil rights principles advanced by Martin Luther King and now under
attack from leftists like Mr. McMillian.

David Horowitz