Clenard Childress
November 13, 2008
Where do we go from here?
By Clenard Childress

Where do we go from here?

This is probably the most asked question presently in America since the end of the Civil War, but I am wondering: who is asking it more? Due to the historical implications and the political climate throughout the world, the Global spotlight is clearly on the United States. The world wants to see how Barack Obama will navigate the tumultuous course ahead of him. In his Election Night Acceptance Speech he references Dr. Martin Luther King's famous and prophetic speech, "I've been to the mountain top." Barack Obama said, "We may not get there in one year or four years." It was at that point there seemed to be a degree of uncertainty and this is totally understandable when one considers the state of economic and social affairs of our country and global unrest. I would personally encourage and insist the nation ask another question along with the previous inquiry: 'where do we go from here and what will it look like when we get there?'

In Dr. Martin Luther King's last and most radical presidential address to the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, he entitled his message just what we find ourselves asking at the moment: "Where Do We Go From Here?" Martin said, "First we must massively assert our dignity and worth, we must stand up amidst a system that will oppress us and develop an unassailable and majestic sense of values." Martin Luther King then says that the priority in getting to your destination, are your values, not economy. If that's what's needed then the journey must be delayed indefinitely until we gain those unassailable, unmovable, indestructible values that are divine, lofty and exalted.

But where do we go from here? We can go nowhere until this nation recognizes all of its citizens, especially our most vulnerable, many whose 'unalienable Rights' are presently denied. Until our national values reflect the Giver of our rights "endowed by their Creator" as the Declaration of Independence describes to us, there will be no 'there' there when we arrive. In so saying, as Martin Luther King was speaking at a church conference in Nashville Tennessee, he spoke across the decades these profoundly portentous words:

    "There must be the recognition of the sacredness of human personality. Deeply rooted in our political and religious heritage is the conviction that every man is an heir to a legacy of dignity and worth. Our Hebraic Christian tradition refers to this inherent dignity of man in the biblical term the image of God. This innate worth referred to in the phrase the image of God is universal, shared in equal portions by all men. There is no graded scale (not pay scale) of essential worth; there is no divine right of one race that differs from the divine right of another. Every human has etched in his personality the indelible stamp of the creator. The idea of dignity and worth of human personality is expressed eloquently and unequivocally in the Declaration of Independence."

Allan Guttmacher reveals that the most dangerous place for an African-American to be is in the womb of their African-American mother. When the Man on the Mountain, Barack Obama, says one of the first things he is going to do is to get the Freedom of Choice Act passed, FOAC would eliminate all state prohibitions and restrictions on abortion, the leading cause of death of African-Americans; I do not want to go to that land. When King went up, he said, "I've seen the promised land. I may not get there with you but we as a people will one day get to the promise land." And what land is this? A land with unassailable and majestic values; a land where America lives out its creed; a land where the endowed rights of the Creator are given to all of its citizens, even the unborn!

Ironically, when Dr. Martin Luther King gave this address, he was deeply concerned with the rate of infant mortality. Dr. King said, "The rate of infant mortality among Negroes is double that of whites and there are twice as many Negroes dying in Vietnam as whites in proportion to their size in the population." In Iraq, 6% of the deaths are African-Americans yet African-Americans make up 12% of the population. When compared to the war against children in the womb, 37% of all abortions are African-Americans or more than 3 times the percentage of representation. 52% of all African-American pregnancies are ended tragically through abortion. When I read of Martin's deep concerns over the infant mortality rate in the 60s, what would Dr. King say if he could have lived in a nation where 16 million African American infants were victims of the abortion industry? Even if you take into consideration AIDs, violent crimes, accidents, cancer and heart disease, this number would not account for half the amount of infants killed in the womb by abortion. What would Martin Luther King say to a nation where an African-American baby is 5 times more likely to be killed in the womb than a Caucasian baby? Where do we go from here, and what will it look like when we get there if Obama's agenda comes to fruition?

Interestingly, one day a newsman came to Martin Luther King and said, "Dr. King, don't you think you're going to have to stop now opposing the war and be more in line with the administration's policy. As I understand it, it has hurt the budget of your organization and people who once respected you, have lost respect for you. Don't you feel you really have to change your position?"

Dr. King answered, "Sir, I'm sorry you don't know me. I'm not a consensus leader. I do not determine what is right and wrong by looking at the budget of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference. I've not taken a Gallup Poll of the majority opinion. Ultimately a genuine leader is not a searcher of consensus, but a molder of consensus. On some positions, cowardice ask the question, is it expedient? And then, expedience comes along and asks the questions, is it politic? Vanity asks the question, is it popular? Conscience asks the question, is it right?"

I absolutely concur!

© Clenard Childress

 

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Clenard Childress

Rev. Dr. Clenard H. Childress, Jr., is the senior pastor of The New Calvary Baptist Church in Montclair, NJ. He is the founder of the website Blackgenocide.org and president of Life Education And Resource Network, Northeast. LEARN is the largest African-American pro-life group in the US... (more)

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