Seeing the many faces of the world is one thing. Seeing behind them is quite another. Nothing but experience will ever give you that…experience and all that comes with it. ~ From my Letter to Sam
I wonder what your responses would all be when asked, “What is the craziest thing you’ve ever done?” My wife thinks mine is the tree frog I swallowed on a dare when I was a few years older than Sam. In fact, the craziest thing I have ever done I experienced myself doing when I was Sam’s age. Thinking back on it now, it seems more like a death wish than anything else…
“I HAVE A DREAM!” I shouted at the top of my lungs…at 2:00 am in the morning…after a night of heavy drinking…a very white man standing in the blackest section of Patterson, New Jersey. This is how I know the Grace of God…the fact that I am alive today to share this story. Nothing on earth is capable of such mercy. But this is also how racially ignorant I was in my experience at Sam’s age.
It may now be a little easier for you to imagine why my parents sent me away to a private school in North Yarmouth, Maine to complete my high school education. While there, I had my first racial awakening. I befriended the only black on the all white boy campus. I had never seen a person mistreated so deeply because of simple appearance before…and I knew in my heart it was wrong. What was so strange about it was that this bad behavior came from not only the other kids on campus, but the town kids as well. What was even stranger is not so much how easy it seemed for them to be cruel, but how afraid they all seemed to treat him nicely…it was as though, as a herd, we had all been conditioned to act this way. He became my first black friend. That was 1970…
In 1975, I found myself in the “Heart of Texas” as a welder/pipefitter on a crew of about a dozen or so of the nicest and whitest (with the exception of the scarlet red necks) good ole boys on the planet…minus one small flaw. They hated, resented and despised ALL black people…for the crime of being black! So one day, the boss hires a young black man named Rufus. We not only became friends…we rode to and from work together every day!
The point of sharing these three separate experiences with you is this. The most important thing that separated the foolish drunk in Patterson, NJ from the sober friend in Bacliff, TX was experience and an innate appreciation for right and wrong…which brings us to the present Martin Luther King Day. After all, it was Dr. King whose spirit I invoked so disrespectfully on that early summer morning in 1970…and it is my experience and my same innate sense of right and wrong that convinces me of the following Truth, so help me God…
As foolish as my 1970 King invocation was, it pales in deep comparison to the insult these same words became, flowing from the lips of Barack Hussein Obama in Washington this past week. Dr. Ben Carson and Thomas Sowell are the living manifestations of Martin Luther King’s Dream! The manifestation of Barack Obama was King’s worst nightmare…completely antithetical to his dream and his greatest hopes for America!
My friend Pastor Johann Christoph Arnold’s latest book, Rich in Years, is all about finding meaning and purpose late in life by serving others…and guiding youth from the power of our own love and unique experiences. In it, he describes the horrifying experience of Victor Frankl who spent three years in Auschwitz where he discovered that the biggest killer of men wasn’t cancer, heart disease or Nazis…it was the “loss of hope”.
If Dr. King was a minister of Hope which I truly believe he was, then Obama is more his assassin than James Earl Ray could ever claim to be! I’ve often wondered how the Progressive is able to pull off the political gimmick of “Leaning Forward”, while it seems so hell-bent on keeping us mired in the past with the powerfully emotional magnets of films like The Help and more recently, The Butler.
By the Grace of God, I am here to tell you that Ray’s bullet killed one. But the words and actions of our President are destroying an entire nation…and with it, the best hope of man on this earth. In men like King, Carson and Sowell; the virtues of freedom, faith, gratitude and truth radiate outward inspiring everyone around them to aspire to the same. Conversely, in Obama we are drawn to the depths of victim-hood, dependency, narcissism, hate and envy…where we are left to die in stages. First hope and then spirit…until all that is left withers on the vine.