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Rev. King’s Dream or BLM Nightmare?

Yesterday we celebrated the Martin Luther King Jr. Holiday. For the last 21 years my church has hosted a successful event attended by hundreds of people in Chesapeake, Virginia. This year we had ten people carry on with the ceremony in a room designed to comfortably hold 400 at tables of ten. The draconian and senseless restrictions, are serving only to close businesses and put people out of work. That’s an issue for another time. Our Martin Luther King Breakfast was conceived to bring citizens together across racial and cultural lines to celebrate community leaders from all backgrounds. While many cities were burning in 2020, Chesapeake - the second largest city in Virginia - remained peaceful and stable. We don’t take credit for that, but we do believe that our event helps set a tone in race relations that makes Chesapeake a great place to live. The process of addressing America’s need for racial healing and reconciliation began sixty years ago with the peaceful, but powerful Civil Rights movement under the leadership of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King. Yet after sixty years of reform, anti-discrimination laws, and affirmative action, race seems to be an ever more polarizing issue. There were 570 riots in 220 locations last year. They began as peaceful protests against the tragic death of George Floyd but quickly devolved into riots, looting, anarchy, murders, and calls to defund and dismantle the police. In recent years, instead of deemphasizing racial distinctions, new concepts of racial grievance have been added to our vocabulary: systemic racism, unconscious bias, micro-aggressions, cultural appropriation, and intersectionality. We once understood racism and discrimination to be identifiable behaviors by particular people or organizations. Today mere statistical disparities are enough to unleash accusations of racism. No other explanation is sought or accepted. The mark of racial discrimination used to be conscious intent. The mark of being discriminated against used to be real life harm to flesh and blood human beings. It was denial of housing, jobs, or other economic opportunities simply because of skin color. For decades there has been a societal consensus that racism as we understood it is morally wrong and unacceptable. Over the years the Left has been moving the goal post. One can abhor racism and still be racist by virtue of being “white.” You need not intend racism to be racist. All “white people” are racists and beneficiaries of “white privilege.” All “people of color” are victims of racism. There need be no tangible proof of harm and no intentional act of discrimination. Racism is the heart beat of all white Americans, indeed of America itself. According to the Left, America is by definition a “white supremacist” country. This is the same kind of racial demagoguery which led to the attempted annihilation of the Jews in Germany. Moreover, it puts the Left, which claims the mantle of MLK, an infinite distance from what he represented. Rev. King dreamed we would all sit down at the “table of brotherhood.” He wanted unity. What the Left wants is division because it benefits them politically. As I write this letter, the FBI and Capitol Police have locked down Washington DC and are preparing for an attack by white supremacists in every capital. Clearly the Left’s strategy is working for them, but it’s not working for America. STAND is dedicated to creating a new perspective on race in our country. Americans of African ancestry have been lied to, indoctrinated, and manipulated. Our children have been taught to see America as a place of rampant racial injustice. As one of those black Americans who escaped the indoctrination process to think freely and independently, I see America for what she is: the greatest nation in the history of mankind; and the greatest place on earth to grow and thrive, obtain an education, raise a family, build a business and fulfill your dreams. This is true for any American who is willing to work hard and do those things that lead to a stable, happy life. When the Left says this is not available to black people, I am living proof that they are lying. I was born into poverty, raised in the ghetto, placed in foster care, became a juvenile delinquent and an academic failure. Yet here I am, a product of American freedom and opportunity: Marine Corps veteran, Summa Cum Laude college graduate, Harvard Law School graduate, former business owner, retired Attorney and married for fifty years with three beautiful children. My black children - a son and two daughters - have never spent a day in jail, on drugs, collecting welfare, or fighting with police. We are Americans who embrace the legacy of freedom and prosperity which is the birthright of every citizen. For those who believe that they are victims of racism whose destinies are controlled by others, their lives are a self-fulfilling prophecy. They will descend to the level assigned them by the Left as perpetual members of the class of the downtrodden. I do not claim to be special or brilliant. I simply made up my mind by the grace of God to do something with my life. There is no other place in the world where one’s talents can be put to more productive use to benefit your family and your fellow citizens. In America, that privilege is available to everyone of sound mind and body, no matter how long and loudly the Left claims it is not so. For the rest of my life, I am going to communicate this truth to voters of all backgrounds, but especially those who have been seduced to believe the lie that their own country is the enemy, and that their fellow citizens are out to harm them because of the color of their skin. We at STAND are going to proclaim the fundamental decency and good will of the American people because I have personally witnessed it and experienced it again and again. Please make the most generous contribution you can to our next big project: “Winning Hearts and Minds.” That is our effort to change the perceptions of minorities and help them see the truth as opposed to being blinded by the lies of the Left.

For now, we plan to host virtual town halls. Once COVID is finally under control, we will host in-person meetings with Pastors, Christians, and community members. This year - 2021 - is Phase One. We are targeting nine states with significant minority populations: Pennsylvania, Virginia, Ohio, North Carolina, Arizona, Michigan, Georgia, Florida, and Texas. We will also use social media and gospel radio stations to communicate with communities, families, and individuals in these states. A Pew study says that gospel radio is one of the most effective means of reaching black voters. Americans want a good education for their children, a good job, decent housing, and a safe community. Having darker skin does not change that. Racial demagoguery does nothing to achieve these shared aspirations.

My beloved father, who rescued me from foster care, passed away nearly 20 years ago. He instilled in me optimism for my own life and for my country. He used to say, “Son, reach for the stars. Even if you don’t quite get there, you’ll land on the moon. Either way, you’ll get a lot farther by reaching than if you just sit around and do nothing.” The Left today is inculcating in young and old alike that we are owed, entitled. My father taught me that nobody owes me anything, and that I should never ask others to do for me what I should do for myself. I was taught I have no right to what someone else has earned. I was taught that it is up to me to earn what I want out of life. These are the lessons I learned from my dear departed father. How I miss him and the common sense wisdom he dispensed! I believe Rev. Martin Luther King would have agreed. King once famously said, “If a man is called to be a street sweeper, he should sweep streets even as a Michelangelo painted, or Beethoven composed music or Shakespeare wrote poetry. He should sweep streets so well that all the hosts of heaven and earth will pause to say, 'Here lived a great street sweeper who did his job well.'” Young people are not hearing such wisdom today. They need to. I am committed to making sure they do. Part of “Winning Hearts and Minds” is reaching young people. We will partner with and support leaders and organizations such as Charlie Kirk and Turning Point USA, Campus Reform and Candace Owens. We cannot win this war without recruiting young people and redeeming a generation from the politics of entitlement. Your generous contribution today is an investment to help create a better future for our country and those who come behind us.

Dr. King said, “I have a dream. It is a dream deeply rooted in the American dream.” So many have forgotten that Martin Luther King did not call for the overthrow of America, but the fulfillment of her promise. That is also my dream. It should be the dream of every American: to live in peace and harmony with our neighbors; to share the common hope that our nation offers; and to enjoy life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

That is not the dream of the Left. They are determined to destroy the dream. We must defend it and defeat the forces that are trying to fundamentally transform our nation into a godless, secularist, socialist culture.

STAND will never give up, back down, surrender or quit. We fight until we win. Thank you for being in the fight with us. God bless you and may He bless the United States of America to fulfill the dream.

For God & Country,

Bishop E.W. Jackson Sr. Chairman STAND America PAC

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