60 years ago, Martin Luther King Jr delivered his famous ‘I Have a Dream’ speech in which he said, “I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.” Dr. King understood that creating a color-blind society was the only way our country could transcend its unconscionable racial history. For that to happen, barriers had to be broken down, minds had to be changed, and hearts had to be transformed. And for a short period of time in this country, Dr. King’s dream had come true. We all can remember that period of time in America when skin color had become irrelevant, when a person’s character was his defining characteristics, when we had indeed become a color-blind society.
But now we have come full circle. We are back to judging people based on the color of their skin. DEI, equity, and intersectionality have taken hold over college campuses and have infiltrated the ideological left. These woke concepts judge people and create societal hierarchies based on skin color, gender and LGBTQ status. These concepts have permeated all parts of our society. A few years ago, our current President publicly stated that he would only select his Vice President and nominate a Supreme Court Justice if they were a woman of color. 60 years after Dr. King’s speech, one of the main criteria for the two of the most important jobs in our government was the color of the person’s skin. And the two people who this type of process produced was Kamala Harris, who has never spoken a coherent sentence in her life, and Ketanji Brown Jackson, who is unable to define what a woman is.
This backward ideology is permeating the rest of our culture. In the NFL, teams are required to interview at least one black candidate for their Head Coaching and General manager positions. So, a sports league which is run on merit has decided to use race as one of the criteria for selecting the most powerful positions in their organizations. In Hollywood, movies will not be considered for Oscars if they do not have the requisite percentage of minorities working on the film. So, the best movie of the year if it didn’t meet the minority requirements would not get recognized as such.
Last year, Harvard, one of the most prestigious Universities in the United States named, a woman of color, Claudine Gay as their 30th President even though they knew about and covered up several allegations of plagiarism in her academic work. Six months on the job, she was forced to resign because she refused to condemn calls for genocide of the Jews on her campus, and it was discovered that she had actually committed over fifty acts of plagiarism in her academic work. Once again, this is what is produced when the main criteria for selecting someone for a job is race and gender. This is not to say that black women are incapable of achieving at a high level, they most definitely are, but it becomes much harder to find the high achievers when achievement takes a backseat to skin color.
Colleges and Universities are actually going backwards. In 1954, the Supreme Court ruled in Brown v. Board of Education that the “separate but equal” doctrine was unconstitutional, thus putting an end to segregation once and for all. In the 1950’s and 60’s, National Guard troops had to be called in to colleges and public high schools throughout the south to ensure that the racial integration of those schools was peaceful. In the 1970’s, states spent millions of dollars busing public school students across cities to integrate their schools. Racial segregation was seen as one of the evils in our nation’s history that had to be rectified. But today, segregation is no longer in the past. Colleges have implemented racially segregated dorms and public spaces, and they have graduation ceremonies for people of color only. It appears that certain people of color believe that racial segregation is now a good thing when in the past racial segregation was seen as the height of racism.
We see this sharp departure from Dr. King’s dream every election season. Democrats continually talk about the “black vote” and the “Hispanic vote”, because they see those voters a monolith, based on their race and ethnicity, and the candidates treat them as such. They pander to them. The most famous example was Hillary Clinton in 2007, speaking before a black congregation in Selma, Alabama, affecting an exaggerated, southern drawl, quoting the words from a famous James Cleveland hymn, “I Don't Feel Noways Tired”. A white woman born and raised in Chicago speaking to a group of southern black people in a fake southern accent is the definition of pandering.
In 2020, Joe Biden infamously told black Americans, “If you have a problem figuring out whether you’re for me or Trump, then you ain’t black”. He continually calls Donald Trump and all of his supporters racist. There is very little messaging about political ideology, direction of the country. His message is mainly, ‘vote for me because my opponent is a racist’. When in reality, candidates who treat black people the way Hillary Clinton did and Joe Biden does, are the racists. They do not see black people for the human beings that they are; they see them as a monolith based on their race. They are a racial voting block to be pandered to, and they distill their message down to the least common denominator among black people – racism. They do not talk to them about improving their schools, or fighting crime in their communities, or stopping drugs and gangs which threaten many black people’s lives, or creating economic opportunities in their communities. They distilled their message down to race because that’s all they see when they look at a black person – their race.
We are no longing striving for that color-blind society which was an integral part of Dr. King’s vision for America. In fact, merely stating that you want a color-blind society will get you accused of racism. Certain factions in America do not want to have a color-blind society because race can so easily be politicized, weaponized and monetized in modern day society to their advantage. They are willing to sacrifice the racial harmony that so many before them fought so hard to achieve on the altar of wokeism, and their own personal and political ambitions. Dr. King’s dream has not only been deferred; it is dead.
Judd Garrett is a graduate from Princeton University, and a former NFL player, coach, and executive. He has been a contributor to the website Real Clear Politics. He has recently published his first novel, No Wind.