Rev. Norman Franklin. Provided

Letter to the Editor

In his 1967 book, “Where Do We Go From Here, Chaos or Community?” Dr. King posits that America is stuck between an uneasiness with injustice and the will to pay the significant price to eradicate it.

More than a half a century later we’re still suspended between the cost of unabated injustice suffered by the poor, the immigrant, the marginalized and people of color and the collective personal sacrificial costs exacted from White America to end it.

After victories through marches, boycotts, and legislation to guarantee Civil Rights and voting rights, Dr. King was disenchanted with America’s progress towards true equality. He realized that equality was subjective. “Most Whites in America in 1967, including many persons of goodwill, proceed from a premise that equality is a loose expression for improvement.”

“White America”, he writes, “is not even psychologically organized to close the gap-essentially it seeks to make it less painful and less obvious but, in most respects, to retain it.”

Dr. King asserted that Whites, the fulcrum of social and political power in America, made little effort to educate themselves about the realities of injustice. “It is an aspect of their sense of superiority that the White people believe they have so little to learn,” King states.

America still has no desire to learn; the banning of books and legislation that prohibits the inclusion of America’s true journey in school curricula has sentenced this generation to the perils of social and civic ignorance. The nation is submerged in the discord born out of our unwillingness to pay the cost to eradicate injustice and live up to our creed of equality.

Measures enacted to redress the iniquities of slavery, Jim Crow and encoded segregation encountered pushback when the cost became personal to Whites. In 1978, Alan Bakke, a University of California student, successfully argued ‘reverse discrimination’ based on race when minority students were accepted for admission over him. (University of California v Bakke)

The cost exacted on Whites in a little more than a decade since the 1964 Civil Rights Act was too much to accept.

We chose chaos. The nation is in a mess, a pitiful state of racial polarization under the guise of opposing political ideologies; it’s not Democrat or Republican, liberal or conservative, progressive or far-right, it’s about race dominance and power.

Emboldened by unsubstantiated claims of irregularities at the polls that led to the ‘stolen’ presidential election in 2020, legislatures in 39 states have considered hundreds of bills that make it harder for voters to register, remain on the rolls or vote.

Election deniers, a sanitizing label for those who have alternative facts about proven results, are candidates for state and local election offices. They can make decisions about the outcome of elections.

Scripture speaks of a time when people will turn away from the truth and follow myths. (2 Tim 4:4) The myth of election corruption is political fodder for candidates running for office. They gain popularity in the polls, even victory, when their campaigns reiterate the lie.

We chose the path to chaos.

The Rev. Norman Franklin,

Somerset, Kentucky

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