In honor of African-American History month, let’s take a quiz. In each of the following problems, a famous African-American is quoted. Identify that person among these answer choices: (a) Jesse Jackson; (b) Jeremiah Wright; (c) Al Sharpton; (d) Louis Farrakhan; (e)Barack Hussein Obama; and (f) Martin Luther King, Jr.
1). George Washington was undoubtedly valorous. “But to the end of his days he maintained a posture of exclusionism toward the slave,” and he “was a fourth-generation slaveholder.” Washington “only allowed” blacks “to enter the Continental Army because His Majesty’s Crown was attempting to recruit” blacks “to the British Cause.”
2). The black American is “the child of two cultures—Africa and America. The problem is that in the search for wholeness all too many” blacks “seek to embrace only one side of their natures.” Blacks in America are “Afro-American [.]”
3). “Colonialism could not have been perpetuated if the Christian Church had really taken a stand against it.” For example, “the vicious system of apartheid in South Africa” had among “its chief defenders…the Dutch Reformed Protestant Church.”
4). “If the Church does not participate actively in the struggle for peace and for economic and racial justice” future generations will look back upon it as “one of the greatest bulwarks of white supremacy.”
5). President Lyndon Banes Johnson had a “comprehensive grasp” of the problems of poverty and civil rights that he faced. He had “sincerity,” “realism,” and “wisdom” in how he approached them.
6). Blacks, like everyone else, have “a right to expect the resources of the American trade union movement to be used in assuring” them “of a proper place in American society.” Young blacks especially “need to think of union careers as earnestly as they do of business careers and professions.”
7). America maintains “a continued alliance…with racism and exploitation throughout the world.”
8).Both Marxism and “traditional capitalism” are partially true and partially false. The former may fail to “see the truth in individual enterprise,” but the latter fails to “see the truth in collective enterprise.”
9). Communism was “a judgment on” the “failure” of “Western nations…to make democracy real and to follow through on the revolutions that we initiated.”
10). The “potential explosiveness of our world situation is much more attributable [than anything else] to disillusionment with promises of Christianity and technology.”
11). America “is still behind European nations in all forms of social legislation.”
12). “Our children are still taught to respect the violence which reduced a red-skinned people [the American Indian] of an earlier culture into a few fragmented groups herded into impoverished reservations.”
13). “The misery of the poor in Africa and Asia” is the “result of years of [Western] exploitation and underdevelopment.”
14). “We in the West must bear in mind that the poor countries are poor primarily because we have exploited them through political or economic colonialism. Americans in particular must help their nation repent of her modern economic imperialism.”
15). If there is to be “peace on earth,” people’s “loyalties must transcend” not only “race,” “tribe,” and “class,” but “nation.” This “means [that] we must develop a world perspective.”
16). “There is nothing new about poverty. What is new, however, is that we now have the resources to get rid of it.” What this implies is that the time is now “for an all-out world war against poverty. The rich nations must use their vast resources of wealth to develop the underdeveloped, school the unschooled, and feed the unfed.”
17). The United Nations is to be applauded, for it is the product of “the fear of war.”
18). Since “the destructive power of modern weapons eliminates even the possibility that war may serve as a negative good,” those “who sincerely feel that disarmament is an evil and international negotiation is an abominable waste of time” are sorely mistaken.
19). “A nation that continues year after year to spend more money on military defense than on programs of social uplift is approaching spiritual death.”
20). America “must not only radically readjust its attitude toward” blacks; it “must incorporate in its planning some compensatory compensation [“Affirmative Action”] from the handicaps [blacks] inherited from the past.”
21). What’s necessary for combating poverty is “a broad-based and gigantic Bill of Rights for the Disadvantaged, our veterans of the long siege of denial.”
22). Because America was “born in genocide,” “racial hatred,” and “racial supremacy,” nothing less than “a reconstruction of the entire society, a revolution of values” is demanded. After all, “a nation that put as many Japanese in a concentration camp as” America did during World War II will think nothing of putting “black people in a concentration camp” as well.
23). America needs a “revolution of values”—i.e. “democratic socialism.”
24). The Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965 were “at best surface changes.” Only a “redistribution of economic power” could rectify the injustices inherent in “the system” of “capitalism.”
25). The Vietnam War was “senseless,” “unjust,” and “racist [.]” In truth, it is America that is “the greatest purveyor of violence in the world today [.]”
*Bonus Question: Which of the foregoing famous African-Americans said this about Ronald Reagan?
That a one-time “Hollywood performer” who lacked “distinction even as an actor” could “become a leading war hawk candidate for the presidency” had to have been due to a most “melancholy turn of events [.]” In fact, “only the irrationalities induced by a war psychosis” could explain it.
If you selected “(f),” Martin Luther King, Jr., as your answer to these questions, then you achieved a perfect score!
That’s right: Though some word tenses were changed so as not to date the quotation in question and give away the answer, the hard truth of the matter is that, contrary to what contemporary “conservative” commentators would have you believe, King was obviously about as much of a conservative, to say nothing of a “Reagan conservative,” as any of the other famous black Americans mentioned at the beginning of this article. His statements, in fact, reveal a man of the hard left, and certainly to the left of Barack Obama.
“The truth,” as Friedrich Nietzsche so simply, yet powerfully, put it, “is hard.”