January 18, 2021
MY CORNER by Boyd Cathey
Martin Luther King Day and Its Meaning
[For the past several years I have been publishing—and then republishing—an essay on Martin Luther King on this day which I originally put out five years ago. Each time I slightly edit it (but not much), but almost always it remains essentially what I wrote back in 2016. Like the disastrous Civil Rights and Voting Rights bills of the 1960s, the establishment of the King Holiday is a watershed event in American history, symbolic of what had happened to this country and a predictor of what was to happen… and is occurring now. And so, once again, I offer this longish essay for consideration. The history that is recounted has not changed, but perhaps we can see now, understand better where it has led us. –BDC]
Indeed, in some ways Establishment “conservatives” such as Jonah Goldberg, Rich Lowry (National Review), D’Souza, Glenn Beck, the talking heads on Fox…and many others, not only eagerly buy into this narrative, they now have converted King into a full-fledged, card-carrying member of “Conservatism Inc.”—the (contemporary) “conservative movement,” a “plaster saint” iconized as literally no one else in our history.
To answer that Dr. Jack Kerwick penned an essay several years ago that addresses these futile attempts to sanitize and “conservatize” King on the part of “conservatism inc.,” in its efforts to shore up its leftward flank and, through sanctifying him, to defend the template of egalitarianism as central to the American Founding.
I will not be celebrating this day; rather, it is for me a mournful reminder of what has happened and is happening to this country.