Martin Luther King and Political Correctness (and a boy living in “Hillbilly Heights”)

Martin Luther King and Political Correctness (and a boy living in “Hillbilly Heights”)

I was just a white kid at the time born in 1950 living on the Southeast side of Baltimore Maryland. The place was a project (actually old WWII military housing) called O’Donnell Heights. Most folks

knew the place as Hillbilly Heights” as most living there were from somewhere south of the state. To this day I recall running around the old warehouses on the water front and seeing colored fountains and white fountains or colored restrooms and white restrooms. I can still remember wondering why?

I also clearly remember asking people including Mom why it was like that. I can still hear Mom saying you just respect people no matter who they are – everyone deserves respect. Among the people living around me most said it wasn’t right to do this. Of course there was the occasional person who would say it’s because they’re n. Even as a little boy it didn’t sit well with me hearing someone say it’s because they’re n. In case your wondering why I use a small n instead or caps it reminds us how small minded those people who use it to keep people under them really are.

The reason I point these things out is:

1) The north was not nicer to blacks than the south.

2) The majority of people then did not think it was right to treat black people poorly.

This I will contend is why when in the mid 50’s when Martin Luther King started the Bus Boycotts in Montgomery people however slowly began to align with what he talked about. By the time he helped

Organize the 1963 “March on Washington” where he gave his “I have a Dream” Speech things begin to change quickly as compared to the previous 100 years.

Now bear in mind during this time you had the Klu Klux Klan trying to bomb, maim and lynch to keep blacks in there so called place. None the less because of the approach Martin Luther King used:

non violent bible based/constitution based coupled with my earlier observation that most people did not agree with the treatment blacks put up with – change was coming in a big way.

At the same time I still remember seeing black people working in the Heights selling fruit or picking up junk using a horse and buggy. In fact the horse in buggy in Baltimore was used for these purposes unitl recently when the city banned their use. You always knew when the guys were near by if they had fruit they would bellow in a low strong tone apppplllle, nanna, watteerrmmeellon, lope or the junk man would just say wooooooooooooo,   woooooooooooooo,  woooooooooooo. In any event you knew they were there. How dangerous I ask could the fabled Hillbilly Heights have been for blacks who sold or picked up there on a daily basis.

These things Martin Luther King knew and that is why it was the time for the black person to do what? Ask for special rights? No. Ask for what white people had? No. Then what did he ask for?

I wish to point to one except of the “I Have Dream” speech:

“I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: ‘We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal.’”

Of course this simple request was viewed as total nonsense by the power brokers of the day in much the same way as it was when King George the 3rd and his brokers hear or read it. Then as during the pre revolutionary days political correctness said that the power people were your betters. You were merely a serf, servant or subject to be exploited – sound familiar. The English citizen was a better to the lowly colonist as the final indignity.

He asked for the same Declaration of Independence philosophy that applied to everyone else in America. That all men are created equal.’ So simple a request to have to struggle for so long to achieve. Mr. King made his point and it resonated with America. Never forget that in an overwhelmingly white America unless the overwhelming majority agreed with what Martin Luther King wanted it just never would have happened. Then, he knew this and knew it was going to take

some beating and mistreatments – in some cases like his own, death would come but so would victory for black people finally.

This of course was only the beginning of the victory as there was still much to overcome for the black person to have a seat at the table. Why would it takes more years of struggle to get what the majority of people knew was right – it didn’t and doesn’t make sense. Let look at what the real problem was and had been for years. Martin Luther King was fighting against political correctness more then he was fighting racism. Political correctness said you did not mingle with blacks, have black friends, you didn’t take issue with people calling black people n and you did not dare have a boy or girl friend that was black. We’ll talk more about this later but think about my point on how then as now political correctness is the force we must overcome.

In any event then as now political correctness is used as the means to control thinking and maintaining the status quo – nothing new here. Within a few short years of Martin Luther King blowing a hole in the fabric of America by peaceful means came the radicals. Of course we already had the klan but now added the weather underground bombers, the black panthers, the national states right party and for a solo act H Rapp Brown.

Mr Brown came to my home state of Maryland calling for riots and to burn down America. Of course he found himself in jail and years later convicted of murder. The underground bombers of course liked blowing up buildings, robbing brinks trucks and killing the guards – Yet had time to find ways to blow themselves up. Of course two of them found homes in a college in Illinois but that is a story for another day. The panthers not to be outdone found occasions to get into gun fights with the police by ambush or otherwise. Of course the klan hated and killed their way out of existence.

Martin Luther King was a smart man and knew to make real progress required winning the war not by the bomb or the gun but by idea’s. Again I maintain the over whelming majority of people agreed with Martin Luther King but political correctness kept them silent. Let me use the national states rights party as the example. They set up a headquarters in Baltimore in my new neighborhood of Highland town on Eastern Ave. Heck when they first set up shop many times late at night I would sit on their steps out front after hours. In hindsight I guess people driving by thought I was a hater like them but I a boy of 16 didn’t have a clue what they believed.

Then one day walking across Patterson Park arriving at Baltimore St I thought we were having a parade or something. There were thousands of people lined up but not for a parade but rather a states rights party rally. I can still remember watching and wondering who these people were as I believe was the case with most people present. Police were lined up between the speakers and the crowd and then I heard; the n is the lowest of the low with theses unfortunate black police standing there on duty.

It struck me even then how low these states rights people really were to talk like that especially with these poor black officers bearing the brunt. Of course political correctness said it was normal to talk and treat people in this way. Political correctness can cause much mischief and is always used by the power that be as just doing the right thing – duh!

You may be asking how this is showing Martin Luther King making progress and rightly so. Let me continue because over the next year the public began pushing back against political correctness or racism as the authorities started getting in line. Any way the following year the national states rights party hosted another rally and I kid you not I again was crossing the park (as I regularly did) and found myself at yet another rally. Only this time there were no police, not stage, no microphones, nothing. Just a pathetic hateful man talking almost to himself as no one was there to listen to the hate this day.

The wonderful part of this was Martin Luther King lived to see this swing in the publics push back against yes political correctness. He must have known black people were finally taking a seat at the table of “We Hold these Truths that all Men are Created Equal’ – Finally. Many more years of setting things right were yet to come but the table was set no doubt. Unfortunately Martin Luther Kings smile

over what he had helped make happen were short lived. The following year in April 1968 Martin Luther King a man renamed after the legendary Martin Luther leader of the protestant revolution and the Lutheran Church was assassinated by a lone gunman in Memphis Tennessee. All hell would breakout when the news went out.

During all this chaos I worked at Eckels Ice Cream Company on North Ave and Gay St (a predominantly black area of town) where blacks and whites got along everyday. We were friends and kidded each other, ate and worked together without a harsh word or deed ever taking place. I showed up for work and saw black arm bands on people on the street and at work. The black folks I worked with were treating me as if I had done something wrong to them. I could only think to myself I didn’t hurt Mr King or anyone else why am I now considered a problem to black people? Well because the rebel rousers were talking hate the white folks and acting on it by injuring quite a few along with 300 fires. H Rapp Brown must have been a happy camper along with the panthers watching their dreams come true. Unfortunately the klan and the national states rights party was loving every minute of it as trouble was their dream as well.

Yet Martin Luther King must have been crying from his grave STOP IT! I did not live and die for this to happen; STOP IT! The riots went on for days in Baltimore and many other cities. On a personal note I can still remember crowds forming along Gay St and watching out the rear window of the bus I was on going home from work and seeing flames and smoke. I thought what the heck was going on back there. I found out when the news came on and realized I took that bus just in time as I may easily have been injured by the mob. Some things we never forget and for me looking out the bus window and later learning what was happening was one such moment.

Now however unlike the year 1968 when Martin Luther King could be heard crying from his grave STOP IT! He now smiles watching the absolute progress America has made. In so many ways I mean just a few short years later relatively speaking we have blacks in the highest positions of power in the country. Yet among some it remains politically correct to view the destruction in 1968 as somewhat understandable. Yet I can still hear Martin Luther King crying STOP IT!

As for the groups that worked so hard to create chaos: weathermen, panthers, klan, states rights party and H Rapp Brown they are forgotten by almost everyone and for good reason. The things they all had in common were violence on people they didn’t even know or hating people they didn’t even know –what a legacy. Among the people that still admire any of them we find the same traits that have the groups in the dustbin of history – thank God.

From this day forward always remember when thinking about people like the REV. Martin Luther King that the truth will surface and defeat political correctness and evil. The thing I most want to get across is we all need to put political correctness in the same dustbin of history as the hate groups, now.

It was used then and will continue to be used for great sounding purposes depending on who’s listening. In the end nothing good can come by adhering to political correctness.

From this day forward always remember when thinking about people like the Rev. Martin Luther King that the truth will surface and defeat political correctness and evil. The thing I most want to get across is we all need to put political correctness in the same dustbin of history as the hate groups, now.

It was used then and will continue to be used for great sounding purposes depending on who’s listening. In the end nothing good can come by adhering to political correctness.

Power brokers will continue using us via political correctness to maintain their status quo. That is why it took over two hundred years and the death of a man known as Martin Luther King for blacks to get a seat at the table of “We Hold These Truths To Be Self Evident; That All Man Are Created Equal”.

 

 

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