Could Obama's Election Mean the End of the Black Civil Rights Agenda? No, the Black Elite Has Already Abandoned It

By Keyes, Alan L. | Ebony, November 2008 | Go to article overview

Could Obama's Election Mean the End of the Black Civil Rights Agenda? No, the Black Elite Has Already Abandoned It


Keyes, Alan L., Ebony


Accurately understood, the Civil Rights Movement was never just a struggle for Blacks. It was a struggle for justice. What is justice? As Martin Luther King put it in his "Letter From Birmingham Jail:"

"A just law is a man-made code that squares with the moral law or the law of God. An unjust law is a code that is out of harmony with the moral law. To put it in the terms of St. Thomas Aquinas, an unjust law is a human law that is not rooted in eternal and natural law."

Today, many recognized Black leaders reject this basis for justice. They embrace positions that exalt human choice above the requirements of natural law, or that imply the absence or irrelevance of any natural standards. To the extent that they do so, they abandon the understanding of what is right that gives meaning to the concept of rights. They return humankind to the belief that the successful imposition of human will--by physical force, majority, rule or other means--is the standard of political legitimacy.

What matters then is not who has the right, but who has the power. That is, whose choice is favored by the outcome of the battle or the vote, of evolution or of history.

Since this abandonment of moral understanding destroys the concept of rights, it effectively ends the civil rights agenda. The election of Barack Obama will not achieve this result because the moral apostasy of the Black elite he represents has already done so.

Like Obama, in their support for abortion, they exalt human choice over the claims of weak, innocent human life. They accept the false notion that the superior physical development of one human being gives her the right to destroy the dependent life of another.

Like others, in their support for same-sex marriage, they ignore the paradigm of justice established by the natural family. This paradigm validates the sovereign power of the weak as well as the form of government based upon consent. Under that form of government, the strong willingly accept their natural obligation to respect and serve the needs even of the weakest among us.

Like Obama, in their cries for "change," they espouse an empty mantra to distract from their utter disregard for the permanent ideas of good and right. We must be able to distinguish change for the better from change for the worse. …

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