Martin Luther King Jr. would be pleased that we are celebrating the 54th anniversary of his “I Have a Dream” speech on Aug. 28. We can expect not only the usual adulation for the speech from the keepers of America’s conscience, but also the knee-jerk condemnation of President Trump, the cause of everything evil in this land — from fires in California and constipation in Florida to acid reflux at The New York Times.
If you think current accounts of what Donald Trump has done for black people — unemployment at the lowest level ever, except for small (disproportionately black) babies disfavored by the Democratic Party — are vicious, think what the history books, at least those written by left-wing zealots (which is most of them) will say. If the past is any guide, it will not be pretty.
Here, for example, is what The American Pageant (12th edition), widely used in U.S. high schools and especially in AP courses, has to say about President Dwight Eisenhower:
President Eisenhower was little inclined toward promoting integration. He shied away from employing his vast popularity and the prestige of his office to educate white Americans about the need for racial justice. His personal attitudes may have helped to restrain him. He had grown up in an all-white town and spent his career in a segregated army.
That is very misleading. Eisenhower was in fact positive and forceful in promoting integration. He started his presidency with supportive words, and followed them with action. In his first State of the Union message, Eisenhower said:
Our civil and social rights form a central part of the heritage we are striving to defend on all fronts and with all our strength. I believe with all my heart that our vigilant guarding of these rights is a sacred obligation binding upon every citizen. … A cardinal ideal in this heritage we cherish is the equality of rights of all citizens of every race and color and creed.
He followed this address with a pledge to end segregation in Washington, D.C., that was so heavily imposed by Woodrow Wilson — a Democrat, to whose virulent racism the textbook authors devote only three sentences. Ike ordered an end to segregation in schools run by the federal government in military posts. He further appointed Frederic Morrow as the first black person to serve on a president’s staff; Eisenhower also created the Civil Rights Division within the Justice Department.
Eisenhower’s policies impressed leaders in the black community with the president’s seriousness of purpose. The NAACP praised Ike’s “strong and constructive” leadership on race, and Rep. Adam Clayton Powell of New York, probably the leading black spokesman in America, endorsed Eisenhower for reelection in 1956. No wonder. Eisenhower’s Republican Party platform in 1956 proclaimed, “The Republican Party accepts the decision of the US Supreme Court that racial discrimination in publicly supported schools must be progressively eliminated.”
The Democrats in their 1956 platform stated, to the contrary: “We reject all proposals for the use of force to interfere with the orderly determination of these matters [of racial integration] by the courts.” The conflicting views of the two parties on racial integration resulted in the strongest black vote for a Republican presidential candidate, Eisenhower, in the preceding 85 years. He received almost 40 percent of the black vote, which helped him win reelection by a landslide. Ike was leading Americans where they wanted to go — but he was a Republican so the textbook authors don’t give him any credit.
The Education and Research Institute of Washington, D.C., (of which I am the chairman) has put online a critique of The American Pageant from which the comments above are taken. ERI’s goal is to give students a chance to learn real history — true American history, not the left-wing biased version.
MLK Jr. began his speech by saying, “I am happy to join with you today in what will go down in history as the greatest demonstration for freedom in the history of our nation.” But how does a speech “go down in history” if historians and textbook writers distort the truth? Which is what they are doing with the story of Trump.
Trump hasn’t a chance in the history books, as he has no chance in the daily news.
Even so, back at the ranch, black people have jobs, and more jobs than the left-wing Black Lives Matter-type politicians have been able to provide — ever! Martin Luther King Jr. would be pleased.