Chairman's Corner - individualism overcomes racism

Monday, January 20, 2020 8:52 PM | Deleted user

This week we stop and focus on the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. For the second year in a row, the Cobb Republican Party sponsored a table at the Cobb Ministerial Alliance's (CMA) Martin Luther King, Jr. Gala. We had no idea what an overwhelming response we would have and have to give a shout-out to the Metro Area Republicans for filling three additional tables with Republicans.

Additionally, as a point of pride for our Party, we got to watch as Cobb Young Republican Chair DeAnna Harris stood at the podium to introduce Kelvin King, an active part of our County Party and the recipient of the Pacesetter award.

In the end, Pastor Sherman Scott, the head of the CMA, talked about unity, which was the heart and soul King's message. He spoke about how proud he was to have a room full of Republicans, Democrats, and Independents, and how his organization would be working with all organizations to educate voters.

Dr. King's dream was that one day, his four little children will live, "in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character."

King's legacy was on full display in that Marriott Ball Room last night, but is it on display in anywhere else in politics? I wrote most of what I am saying below last year, but it's sadly all to still relevant, especially in light of the Democratic members of the Cobb School Board who can all see the color of one's skin, not the content of the character, and are judged by their colleague on their character alone, but they only believe it's because of skin color.

Today we seem as far away from that dream as our nation was when Dr. King spoke those words over 56 years ago in front of the Lincoln Memorial during the March on Washington. Many who would claim the mantel of Dr. King and claim to be among his disciples do not seem interested in that day. They may bring it up in speeches and interviews, they might write it in essays and op-eds, but their actions speak louder than their words. 

The left continues to use race as a divider and, in the name of social justice, attack minorities who believe in conservative values as somehow being "traitors" to their ethnicity. It is a concept that flies in the face not only of Dr. King's speech, but in the face of the very concept of who we are as Americans.

Embodied in a statement like, "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their creator with certain inalienable rights, among them are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness" is the essence of Dr. King's dream.

How can we be equal when we are judged solely on the color of the skin, a trait that is not chosen by us, but chosen for us when we were conceived, and not the content of our character?

Dr. King's statement truly resounds more on the right, which holds as its precipice the ideal of "the individual." Republicans go further as we speak of "rugged individualism" as central to the values and platform of the Party. In that regard, we must hold the idea that an individual must be judged by who they are as an individual defined by their character, not by their group or national origin or ethnicity or race.

My colleague in Gwinnett County, Chairman Edward Muldrow is black. He writes in an op-ed in the Atlanta Journal Constitution , " Historically, Black people have been conservatives. We hold strong family values, have an undeniable faith in God, and we believe in hard work. The Second Amendment serves to allow us protection, and today’s conservatives refuse to let us forget that the Republican Party freed Blacks from enslavement. The problem is that, on all sides, they want black people to be monolithic."

If we are created equal, then none of what is part of our creation can be considered unequal to anyone else's creation. In the eyes of our republican constitutional system, we are all equal, just as we are all equal in the eyes of our Creator.

It is for these beliefs that Republicans are call "racists."

You see, for too many Democrats, they do not want to judge an individual by the content of their character, but by the color of their skin (or gender, or sexual orientation, or natural origin). 

"Diversity" has taken the place of "rugged individualism" as the highest goal and the greatest morality. The goal then becomes making sure groups are represented by checking off boxes in the ultimate triumph of the superficial.  

Muldrow makes that point as well as he continues to write in his op-ed, "Dr. King’s message of unity was not unity by forsaking individuality. It was quite the opposite. Dr. King recognized there is diversity in unity. Part of his message was that we should live in a place where we would not be judged by the color of our skin but by the content of our character. Dr. King recognized there is uniqueness in unity. Individual character, individual experiences and individual thoughts should be the core that unifies us."

This is possible in our society because people understand the value of true diversity in achieving success. We learn more and understand more when we surround ourselves with those who have had different experiences, come from different backgrounds, and provide different perspectives. But that kind of diversity is still a diversity based on the content of one's character, and not simply the color of one's skin. The best teams do not look at the outside,but what's inside. Talent, character, drive, competence, and devotion do not come from the outside, but the inside.  

In the end, it is not diversity, but division that is created. That division is used to set those who should be joined together with a common creed, into disunity. We become Balkinized based on the lines and the result is a house divided against itself cannot stand.  

However, the answer to the dream lies in the very speech itself. Dr. King concluded it with the words, "Free at last! Free at last! Thank God Almighty we are free at last." 

The triumph of the individual is also the triumph of freedom. We know that while the Creator created us as equal, man has since made that creation unequal. It is when we are unshackled from man's division of the Creator's order, then our natural state is made whole and that is a state of freedom.

Speaking in West Berlin in front of the Brandenburg Gate in 1987, Ronald Reagan noted, "Freedom leads to prosperity. Freedom replaces the ancient hatreds among the nations with comity and peace. Freedom is the victor."

That is not to say we do not have those in our party who speak counter to that, but the obsession of our party as a whole is not one bound in the color of one's skin, but the content of one's character. For the Democrats, that is not the case. That is why they can without a moments hesitation call the right "racist" for not being focused on the color of one's skin, while they do not see themselves as such for focusing only on that.

They see a couple of bad actors and label the group, because they have forgotten the dream and still, like Democrats in 1963, judge people on the color of the skin, not the content of the character.  

Yours in Freedom,

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Jason Shepherd

Chairman, Cobb County Republican Party


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