Letters to the Editor

Return of Jim Crow

Martin Luther King Jr. was especially noted for his "I Have a Dream" oration. It illuminated America's two-faced support for freedom, challenging us to close the gap between our espoused values -- including the affirmation in the Declaration of Independence that all are equal -- and our values in action -- postponing, at the drafting of the Constitution, the issue of slavery and enabling the return of apartheid, aka Jim Crow, after the Civil War. Our country, Dr. King declared, had presented an IOU on equality and then paid using bad checks.

Dr. King lived to see passage of the National Voting Rights Act and welcomed the ruling in Loving v. Virginia that loathsome anti-miscegenation laws were unconstitutional.

His speech confronted the obfuscation, doublespeak and persistent groupthink enabling America's false claim about honoring liberty.

Alas, bad checks continue to be written. The new Jim Crow legalizes prohibition of same-gender marriage. Bigotry is the law again. Some recipients of the old bad checks seem ironically to have written a few of their own to a minority of loving, committed couples. What a mockery of Dr. King!

When will that "promissory note to which every American was to fall heir" be paid?

Ray Crain