Author: Carole Dailey

Dear Dr. King,

It’s been forty years since you were here. I would be greatly interested to know what you would make of the current sad state of affairs. I often wonder this about all my esteemed ancestors that blazed trails for me.

With much love, consideration and appreciation for you and your great sacrifices, I regret to inform you that your dream has become the “burning building” nightmare you feared shortly before you departed. Forgive my tendency to not mince words; however, I would most certainly like to be clear, with all due respect.

Let me start by saying, I never had the chance to resist and protest with you. This fact has been charged against me and my account several times in the last few days. I have been dismissed and informed that I am too young to have a valid opinion. Nevertheless, I am not offended, because truth be told- I don’t know that I would have marched quietly unarmed into harm’s way with you. No, in fact, I am sure that would not have worked for me. The soldier in me would not have been able to withstand the natural human response to defend myself against evil white supremacist sociopathic misguided souls. No, while I do share your Christian faith and beliefs; my understanding more resembles our white Christian brothers’ and sisters’ interpretation in some areas. I said resemble in that, unlike them, I don’t believe in being the aggressor in violent circumstances, however, I do strongly believe in self preservation and self defense. When Scriptures indicate that I should fight the good fight, I take it literally, when my opponent makes our opposition physical. Maybe I need more prayer? I will ask for forgiveness for my stance; I like to cover all bases, however it is my firm position. Furthermore, I think it less than honest to omit the fact that Pre-Mecca Malcolm X spoke in a way that I could better hear, understand and agree. I digress, please forgive me, I will make every effort to stay on point…

As I was saying it has been forty years. I attended a ceremony to celebrate your life, courage, and bravery yesterday. My purpose in attending was to honor you, your spirit of resistance and your efforts to protest white supremacy for which you paid with your life. I wanted to insure that I did my part to be sure that you did not die in vain. Dr. King, in honor of you and those of my ancestors with resistant to oppression spirits- I have committed my life to truth, love, wisdom and living with focused purpose. I honor all of my ancestors, those that I know and those that I don’t. I feel my ancestors’ presence day to day in my journey and seek to bring them no shame. I know that they paid dearly to afford me the considerable freedom I have today. I never take it for granted. I am ever conscious of the fact that we are one hundred forty years removed from physical enslavement and oppression. We are forty years removed from legislated second class citizenship, overt white supremacy and racism.

My generation now must wrestle with economic enslavement and the damaging nuances of covert white supremacy and racism. Looking at your journey, we are exactly where you left off; desperately needing to unite the country’s poor and disenfranchised. The fear and opposition to such action is just as intense and murderous as it were in your time. However, unlike when you were here, we Black folks now have to rescue ourselves from a warped, perverted version of “colorblindness”. Your dream has been misinterpreted to mean that we didn’t want our color to be seen or noticed. Of course, the penal, economic, and political systems did not get that memo and the color caste oppression system is still in full effect. Americans of African descent just can’t see each other, now. Our communities are in shambles as a result. Most of us don’t have any emotional connection to those that reflect back to us our images or to their suffering. I am truly sorry to report that fact, it must truly make you sad. I know it makes me sad that these same calloused Black folks act as if their success is based on their personal merit. I strongly suspect that when they are quiet and still they know this to be a lie. I have reached the conclusion that they have simply decided that selfishness and greed is more important than the truth; shame on them.

Dr. King it saddens me to report that we now work diligently to make others rich, sell out our dignity, value and respect for a shot at more things than we need or can possibly consume and the “American dream”. Oh, yes, the American dream has been re-vamped as well. The American dream now is to be white and/or white-like. In my journey I have personally met Jews, Asians, Hispanics, Persians, etc. that will become enraged if you challenge their assertion that they are “white”. When I was younger, I used to try to debate the topic, as I grow wiser I am content to assure them; this is America and you can be what you want to be. Our professionals, entrepreneurs, and educators for the most part devote their time, practice, and expertise to non-African American communities. As we aspire to all things white, we disrespect, hate, and reject ourselves for the whole world to witness. Of course, the most money for the spectacle is still made by Jewish and authentic white Americans. We still pay the Black Tax and have not made gains in the elimination of the white supremacist practice. Most of us will only truly exercise our right to free speech, when we are disrespecting, degrading and denigrating ourselves. In addition to that, we have new millennium Jim Crow rules of etiquette. We must never make the descendents of enslavers uncomfortable with the mentioning of their transgressions, the truth of our histories, or the continued entitlement and white skin privileges they enjoy in their presence. These rules reign, for the most part, no matter how close we profess to be to them or them to us. This widely observed unspoken rule prevents us from healing and moving forward; that and the absolute steadfast refusal to teach real American history in all public and private schools and universities; as well as make it a pre-requisite for all in order to claim to be “educated”.

We are intermarrying in record numbers these days, yet not any closer to solutions to race relations. We are diverse, with most colors represented most days, yet no closer to living as peaceful, respectful, free human beings. Of course there has always been the procreation between the enslaved and the enslavers. I am thankful to say that the forced procreation of days of old has been drastically reduced. Before you get too excited, know that the rape of American women of African descent is still virtually impossible to prove. It is still widely regarded as a figment of our imaginations. This, despite us making up a small percentage of the US population, yet still representing a disproportionate percentage of survivors of sexual assault. It saddens me to report that still fourteen year old Black girls today don’t fare any better than fourteen year old Sally Hemings of yesteryear. Only now, the alleged pedophile doesn’t resemble Jefferson, as that would cause an uproar, instead he looks more like you so he gets a pass. Did I say that white supremacy was still in full effect, topped with a healthy dollop of self loathing?

White supremacy, I said those words in my personal tribute to clarify your resistance, civil disobedience, and peaceful protest yesterday at your celebration. You would think the dream had been accomplished if you looked around the room and judged it based only on the diversity of skin color in attendance. There were African Americans, Hispanics, Asians, Jews, Indians (Indians from India- not the indigenous people of this land-the government is still refusing to honor their word and treaties with these persecuted people; gambling is making them rich and white Americans think this is “unfair” and it would only be “fair” to take great portions of their newly acquired riches as if white Americans hadn’t taken and profited enough from the exploitation of these people), and European Americans. Yet, when I did not comply with the unspoken new millennium Jim Crow rules of etiquette and dared to say that you and the freedom fighters of that era and today are resisting white supremacy and injustices born of white supremacy-the room went into an uproar. Yes, the room went into an uproar over the words “white supremacy” despite our country presently being at war or odds with pretty much every nation of color in the world. We have literally run out of soldiers. We could have two (2) more if we would go and snatch the President’s daughters out of the nearest bar and put them on the front lines. In retrospect, I wish I had said “world white supremacy” or “new world white supremacy order”. Ok, maybe not, it got pretty heated in there and I was unarmed. I know, I know Dr. King, but I told you, I believe in self defense. I think you would be proud that your efforts afforded those of us that have chosen to walk a conscious journey; the platform to walk, speak, and share the truth.

Dr. King, I said initially that it is as you have feared- we have been integrated into a burning house. Don’t be too sad. I share these facts in the hopes that you can appreciate this irony- the house is ablaze! I stand in a place in time when I can see clearly the descendents of enslavers operate in total confusion, anger, and fear. In the face of their collective corruption, greed, and wickedness toward mankind world-wide, the majority has stood silent. They have stood silent for so long in the face of world white supremacy, they too, now are threatened with and must confront injustice. We are headed rapidly into a time of white Americans experiencing a total violation of the Constitution as it relates to their white rights. Only the Americans of African descent have the basic boot camp training and centuries of experience to confront and operate around such violations. We are rapidly headed into a time when white Americans will have to experience the effect of living in a military state and country. Only the Americans of African descent have the basic boot camp training and centuries of experience to deal with such treatment. We Blacks and people of color are accustomed to and it is well documented that the military, police, National Guard, judicial system, CIA, FBI, the federal, and state governments have all worked together to deprive the community of color our Constitutional Rights and even our lives when we seek to resist the injustice of it all. In the form of the Patriot Act, white Americans have in many ways joined the ranks of Americans of African descent and nations of color world-wide. We have always been treated like subhuman criminals and suspects. Guess what Dr. King? Our white brothers and sisters don’t like it one bit and are the most ill prepared for the challenge as a result of their white skin privileges. You should hear them cry and complain at the “injustice of it all”. If it were not all so predictably pathetic, I would laugh.

Dr. King, you said it best, “injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.” I think those cowardly souls that knew crimes against humanity were being perpetrated and cried nonetheless, “Wait! Change is going to take some time,” have waited too long…

… I am thankful for your efforts and sacrifices anyways. I love you and pray your rest is peaceful. I am sure you’ve heard it since you departed, yet it stands repeating… job well done.

Used with permission