Rep. Allen West Says Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Would be Appalled at Current State of Black Community

Rep. Allen West says Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. would be appalled and have “a tear in his eye” at the condition of the black community, saying we have gone backwards since the Civil Rights era.

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. & Current State of Black Community

Rep. Allen West (R-FL) is talking again and this time he said Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. would be appalled to see that the black community has digressed rather than progressed from the Civil Rights era.

“if Dr. King were to come back and see what has become of the black community, he would be appalled: The exorbitantly high unemployment rate, the second- and third-generation welfare families, the rampant decimation of the inner-city black communities, the incarceration rate of young black men, and the breakdown of the black family would all bring a tear to his eye.”

The black community is now existing on a new plantation, a 21st-century plantation [that] enslaves their will and conscience … actually worse than physical slavery. We have gone backwards from Dr. King’s dream; regardless of certain individual success stories, collectively, we are failing. We have not overcome! Source: National Journal

I certainly agree that there are elements in the black community that have regressed and they are giving us all a bad name. However, we have made significant strides since the Civil Rights era. We have a black president (even if you think he’s ineffective or underperforming), we have black CEOs and many black business owners. We are able to attend colleges and universities without fear of the Ku Klux Klan or the National Guard escorting us to school. I believe, though there are still racism in this country, one is largely limited by one’s capabilities on many fronts.

Some people, like West, believe we haven’t overcome and my response to that is there is a level of personal responsibility tied to that failure, as much as societal forces that have largely given blacks a late start in achieving the American dream.

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Janet Shan is a freelance journalist and managing editor of the Hinterland Gazette, who is working on her first novel, a mystery based in the hills on Montego Bay.