Melanie Campbell, the president of the National Coalition on Black Civic Participation, disgraced herself with her speech at today's memorial commemorating the 50th anniversary of Martin Luther King's I Have a Dream speech in Washington, DC. Here's part of Ms. Campbell's speech:
"Today there are no white sheets, but there are judges in black robes in the U.S. Supreme Court striking down Section 4 of the Voting Rights Act, opening the floodgates in many states to pass more voter ID laws... with the goal of ensuring we never see a black man elected to the president, or woman, of the United states of America."
Accusing conservative Supreme Court justices of being today's equivalent of the KKK isn't absurd. It's beyond that. That's the type of hate-filled rhetoric that Al Sharpton, Julian Bond and Harry Belafonte are famous for.
It would be presumptuous to say what Dr. King would think about Ms. Campbell's organization. It isn't the least bit presumptuous, though, to guess what Dr. King would think about Ms. Campbell's rhetoric. In his 'I have a dream' speech, Dr. King spoke of the day when his children and grandchildren would be judged "by the content of character, not by the color of their skin."
It's difficult picturing Dr. King sitting back while Ms. Campbell delivered her speech. That isn't because he was a moderate that brought people together. Many of Dr. King's beliefs were considered radical at the time he spoke them.
Dr. King wasn't assassinated because he was universally loved. It's because he said things that made people uncomfortable. The thing that made him a uniter was because the things he said made sense on a deeper level than just a political level. They made sense on a deep, personal level.
The things Melanie Campbell spoke don't make any sense, either from a political or personal level. She's the polarizing opposite of Dr. King in that respect.