Friday, April 04, 2008
showed me how to be a man:
David Brooks does what conservatives feel they need to do: pretends he would have supported Martin Luther King Jr when it mattered. But I'm reading Rick Perlstein's masterpiece Nixonland, and he proves it just ain't so. Were Brooks -- the social-climber tribune of safe opinion -- writing in the 50s and 60s, he would have wrung his hands at the radicalism of King's challenge to white America, and fretted over how "divisive" he was. At least Bill Kristol has the honesty -- it's Bull Connor's honesty, but still -- to say we shouldn't ever discuss race in America.

Brooks writes, "If Barack Obama's presidential campaign represents anything, it is the triumph of King's early-60s style of activism over the angry and reckless late-60s style." Weasel words. King became angry. He should have been angry, because to not be angry in late-60s America was to be unaware. His truth was too powerful for the David Brookses. Consider:
Forty years ago today, a madman from David Brooks' America murdered our prophet. For a variety of reasons I obviously wish King had lived. But one of them is so we would have seen the right unmasked. Had King not been martyred, the right would treat him like it treats Jesse Jackson -- as nothing more than a "hustler" or a "huckster." You know, all those two-syllable words that are supposed to mean a different two-syllable word that starts with an N. It will forever be our responsibility to fight them, and it's a responsibility we should relish, savor and enjoy on the way to victory.
--Spencer Ackerman
David Brooks does what conservatives feel they need to do: pretends he would have supported Martin Luther King Jr when it mattered.

Wow. So freakin true.
Blogger Eric Martin | 8:37 AM

You ever listen to MLK's Vietnam speech where he ties together racism, economic inequality and militarism? My favorite.
Blogger Ron | 10:53 AM

Okay, but there's a parallel, if less serious, vice on the left. King was magnificent orator and canny politician, who was born at the right time to undertake an impeachably just cause with some prospect of success. But "our prophet" goes a little bit far.
Blogger TheWaldganger | 2:31 PM

Why?
Blogger Spencer Ackerman | 5:34 PM