Tribute to a Republican
The Reverend Doctor Martin Luther King, Jr.
by Tom Dillin
This week, our county celebrated Rev. King’s birthday. In the past I have paid tribute to Rev. King by speaking to the Bonner County Human Rights Task Force. But, the Democrats in Sandpoint, their Democrat dominated Human Rights Task Force, and the media have a history of raveling the man’s legacy in noise and domination, which they inaccurately portray as one of political correctness, affirmative action, social welfare, self-righteous volunteerism, racially bias benefit programs, divisive name-calling, denying racial relations have improved, and censuring conservative Republicans for all the racial woes that ever existed.
Rev. King and his family were Republicans and wanted none of this. To set the record straight, Rev. King was, most of all, a Christian, who stood for God, love, truth, freedom, the constitution, justice, self-respect, individual responsibility, and nonviolence. The Republican Party has a greater right to claim him as one of their martyrs, much more so than the Democrats; yet, Republicans, including myself, have remained silent about Rev. King’s Republican connection out of respect for the holiday and refusal to turn the holiday into a political event as the Democrats have done.
But, enough is enough; it is time to separate the wheat from the tares; it is time to quash the fake history of uninformed or delusional crying progressives and condemn their Democrat demagoguery, racist propaganda and divisiveness, which they have disgustingly, vehemently, hypocritically expanded to include President-elect Trump.
In 1854, when slavery became a major issue in American politics, the Republican Party was founded, as an expressly abolitionist party. The GOP grew rapidly in power and when the GOP elected Abraham Lincoln as their Presidential candidate in 1860, the Whig Party collapsed. It was the Republican President Lincoln that freed the slaves, not the Democrats.
Back in 1964 my brother and I spent an hour with Rev. King in St. Augustine, Florida, during his campaign to pass the Civil Rights Act. Rev. King, along with Ralph Abernathy and Andrew Young, were acutely aware of his allies in the Republican Party and his opponents in the Democrat Party. My brother was a reporter, who invited me along as his assistant.
When we first walked into Rev. King’s office, past his very large body guards, they were jumpy and looked frightened. But after we were introduced and seated, Rev. King was very friendly and personable. In fact, there was an aura surrounding his head. I’ve met many prominent people in my life, including U.S. Presidents; I have never met anyone with an aura like Rev. King. There is no doubt in my mind that this man was on a divine mission.
After our interview, Rev. King invited us to a rally at the local Baptist Church. I sat in the front row next to a couple of hardened reporters. One worked for Newsweek and the other worked for the Associated Press. The church was overflowing. Many people were in the street unable to enter the building. Inside, people were sitting in all the open windows and standing around the walls.
The meeting began with singing and swaying to the old slave song, “Nobody Knows the Trouble I’ve Seen, Nobody Knows but Jesus.” When Rev. King entered the church, they broke out with the spiritual, “When the Saints Go Marching In,” dancing and raising their hands. After that they started clapping and chanting “Who’s our leader—Martin Luther King,“ and finished with the spiritual, “Which Side Are You On, Lord?”
As I sat in the press section with the other reporters I could not hold back the tears of joy; I was simply overcome by the love, spirit, and supernal joy that was packed into that divinely inspired little church. It was praise and rejoicing on a Biblical level. Leaning across me, the AP reporter said to Marshall Frady, the Newsweek’s reporter, “My God, Marshall, have you ever heard anything like this?” Marshall, overcome with emotion, lips quivering, simply held up his arm, which bristled with goose bumps and hair on end.
I sat just a few feet from Rev. King, as he lectured for over an hour and all that time I had goose bumps and hair on end. It must have been 100 degrees in that marvelous, spiritually inspired church. There was no air conditioning and very little air. The sweat poured off of Rev. King’s face, but he never let up and gave the greatest speech I’ve ever heard in my lifetime. It was historic.
There was no hate, no attacks on any individual, no animosity, and no victimhood that you hear and read about today; the man was all about love and truth—the power of unconditional love and unadulterated truth. Only love can drive out hate, just as light drives out darkness. Only truth can disarm lies and make them powerless. What a beautiful contrast to the Ku Klux Klan rallies I had attended earlier, where the theme was all about hate and false beliefs. What a contrast to the mesmeric hateful discourse of the main stream media today. Such was the clarity of the St. Augustine campaign, such was the beauty; it was a demonstration of how good overcomes evil.
Love, truth, Rev. King, and the Republicans won that year. The Civil Rights Act passed in 1964, in spite of a filibuster by 20 Democrats in the Senate. If it were not for the leadership of Senator Everett Dirksen (R-IL) and the overwhelming support of the Republicans to override the Democrat filibuster, the Civil Rights Act of 1964 would never have passed.
Racial relations in the South have improved dramatically in the past 52 years and Democrats should celebrate that fact, as Republicans do, and support the universal brotherhood of all men, as advocated by Rev. King, instead of instigating violent divisiveness in our communities. Rev. King constantly put down the divisive violent element in the Southern Christian Leadership Conference. For vastly improving racial harmony, for his love of all men, and for his truth-telling, I am deeply grateful to Rev. King on this holiday. Rev. King was an adult, responding to attacks with stoic nonviolence and paying tribute to any success. I am also grateful to the adult response by Republicans, who have quietly endured the malicious attacks on their President-elect and his supporters, including me personally. It is past time for the Democrats to grow up and get on with their lives. Rev. King’s restraint is an example for all of us. He was a servant of love, truth, and grace, a true disciple of Christ Jesus, and a man of God; and for that I love this man and all the good he stood for and accomplished.
President-elect Trump met with Rev. King’s son, Martin Luther King III; and, Rev. King’s niece, Alveda King, said she voted for Donald Trump. It looks like the King family is still Republican after all these years.
Today, CNN analyst Marc Hill said, in response to all those blacks meeting with Trump on Martin Luther King Day, “Yeah, those are a bunch of mediocre Negroes.” I’ve got news for the hypocrites at CNN and all the left wing media: The King family is not mediocre; no man is mediocre; we are all the children of God.
As Rev. King would say, “I have a dream; a beautiful symphony of brotherhood; freedom rings from every mountaintop; when all of God’s children can join hands and sing: Free at last! Free at last! Thank God Almighty, we are free at last!”
The Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. made the ultimate sacrifice in 1968.
“Greater love hath no man than this: that a man lay down his life for his friends.”
Sandpoint Precinct Committeeman
Bonner County Republican Central Committee