With MLK Day comes another opportunity for politicians to act like they care about black issues and/or black history. I say "act" because they use this as a platform to push their own political agendas. They are not making speeches in honor of MLK. Instead they are exploiting his memory by turning his memorial day into a soapbox. Normally, I would harp on Republicans for this, but they are not the ones I speak of. No, it is the other useless party in American politics, the Democrats.
The best example of the day comes in the form of Delaware senator Joseph Biden. Last week I was singing his praises for his rejection of the Bush Iraq plan. Today, I realize he is nothing more than a political stooge in the Democratic party. Speaking at a rally in Columbia, South Carolina, the Delaware senator said, "If I were a state legislator, I'd vote for it to move off the grounds -- out of the state." Biden is speaking of the Confederate flag that flies on the capital building grounds as part of the Civil War memorial. Much protesting has removed the flag from the top of the capital building to its current location, but that is not enough to please those like Biden.
This type of political gesturing is completely uncalled for at such an occasion. MLK Day is suppose to be a day of remembrance. It is not a day for a Delaware senator to speak his mind on South Carolina's politics. This whole flag debate is pointless. It's just a piece of cloth. Let those who wish to fly this flag do so. Let those that do not wish to fly this flag do as they will. This is not a matter that should be debated endlessly or brought up on such a day as this. Biden is simply trying to bolster his image in the black community by appearing to care about black opinion. It is yet another example of how the political machine holds nothing sacred.
Jim Hanks, a flag supporter, made probably the best point of the day. While he said many things about why the flag should stay where it is, his one comment about Biden hits the nail on the head. Speaking of Biden and others like him (running for President) he said they "would probably say most anything if it would get them votes." And he is exactly right.
While there will always be debate over the Confederate flag, MLK Day is not the place for it. Instead of trying to drum up votes from the black community with non-issues, lets hear what these politicians think about real problems. The flag is not a real problem. Our foreign policy is a real problem. Let's talk about that. If asked, I'm sure Dr. King would agree. In a time where our own freedom is hanging by a thread, Dr. King would probably want us to stand up. The flag is not the problem. Our own government is moving closer each day to denying these same rights that MLK fought so hard and died for. We are moving backwards as a culture. Not because of a piece of cloth from Dixie, but because we have forgotten what real freedom is all about. Not just words and empty promises on the lawn of some capital, but action. If we can't get that from our leaders, then MLK Day is celebrated for nothing.