It’s Time to Cancel the Martin Luther King Holiday; Bonus: The Gripes of Wrath

I realize that’s a provocative title, but let’s face it, as things stand, the third Monday of January would be better used to celebrate grandmothers or our beloved pets. By devoting a national holiday to Rev. King, we’re only highlighting the abyss that exists between his hope that we begin judging one another by our character rather than by our skin color and that inconvenient thing called reality.

As we saw during the entire Trayvon Martin/George Zimmerman brouhaha, the majority of blacks see everything in terms of black and white. And why wouldn’t they when their so-called leaders, including the man in the Oval Office and the fellow heading up the Justice Department, see America in those same myopic terms?

Recently, when the white students at Georgia State University decided to start a White Student Union, judging by the cries of outrage from the usual suspects, you would have thought the Klan was back burning crosses in the middle of the night.

But why is it racist when white students do what black students have been doing for decades? At GSU, the racial breakdown is split nearly 50-50 between whites and blacks, so it’s not even as if there’s only a tiny handful of blacks who feel they have to cluster together, the way American tourist groups do in foreign countries.

Besides black student unions, we have black dorms, black lunch areas and even black graduations, not because whites are discriminating against blacks, but because blacks don’t object to segregation so long as they’re the ones doing it.

Imagine the outcry if Caucasian members of the House formed a Congressional White Caucus. But the Congressional Black Caucus has been around for a long time. And the members are so bigoted that when Stephen Cohen, who is white but represents Tennessee’s 9th congressional district, which is 59% black and only 36% white, applied for membership in the CBC, he was — how else can I say it? — blackballed.

In order to honor and promote their heritage and culture, many ethnic Americans form societies. There are those for Poles, Italians, Armenians, Chinese and, for all I know, even Canadians looking to preserve dullness. But racial groups are generally frowned upon in civilized circles. The mere thought of them conjures up the likes of Nazis, the Klan and the Aryan Nation. But once again, blacks think they should be the exception.

I just can’t help thinking that at a point when racism has nearly vanished from the hearts of white Americans, it has taken hold like a giant parasite in the soul of black America. That whirring sound you hear is Martin Luther King spinning in his grave.

Speaking of which, people who keep calling for Eric Holder’s dismissal are really beginning to bug me. It seems to me that if your steak arrives burnt and your baked potato arrives raw, you don’t blame the waiter; you blame the chef. That’s not to say that Holder isn’t a lousy waiter. But firing the waiter isn’t going to improve the disasters taking place in the kitchen.

As for the chef, he has said he’s very disappointed in Russia because they’ve given political asylum to Edward Snowden. I, for one, say he’s got his nerve. After all, he’s the punk who leaned over to President Medvedev and told him to tell his master, Vladimir Putin, that (wink, wink, nudge, nudge) he’d be a lot more flexible after he was re-elected.

So, why is anyone surprised that Putin decided to find out just how far a more flexible Obama was willing to bend over in order to accommodate Mother Russia?

The Gripes of Wrath

There is so much in America today that calls for ridicule and contempt, one hardly knows where to begin. But when in doubt, you can’t go wrong starting with liberals.

Whether they’re calling themselves liberals, progressives or Democrats this week, at the top of their mission statement is the feeding and housing of the needy. But what they never do is separate the needy who are deserving from those who aren’t. To them, the needy are all the same. They make no distinction between the elderly poor or severely handicapped and those who are young and able-bodied but feel themselves entitled to everything without having to work for any of it.

Furthermore, the last thing that left-wingers want to do is to turn the needy into the un-needy because to do so would eliminate the takers from their dependence on the Democrats. That is why they ignore the adage that points out if you give a man a fish, you feed him for a day, but if you teach him to fish, you feed him for a lifetime.

The truth is that if Americans were ever forced to learn how to fish, no liberal would ever again be elected president.

The latest evidence of what happens when people keep voting for Democrats is Detroit’s bankruptcy. It was only a matter of when, not if, Detroit would go belly-up. No city, state or nation, can constantly cave in to civil service unions that demand large salaries and even larger pensions in exchange for its votes and campaign contributions. Even FDR understood how insane it would be to allow civil servants to organize, but when Mayor Robert Wagner gave the green light to New York’s public service unions and then easily won re-election, it provided John Kennedy with the impetus to do the same at a national level. We tax-payers have been paying the piper ever since.

It’s Detroit today, it’s your hometown tomorrow.

In the wake of all the racist demonstrations that greeted the Zimmerman verdict, I will share some of my own police-related experiences. When I was 12, we moved to an apartment about a block outside the city limits of Beverly Hills. Quite often when I’d ride my bike home from the playground, especially in the winter when it got dark early, I would be stopped by Beverly Hills cops. Not very many kids, I discovered, rode their bikes after dark in that town.

When I started driving my dad’s car at 16, I looked about 12, and cops would often stop me and ask to see my license.

When I was attending UCLA, I rode a motorcycle. If I worked late at the Daily Bruin, I would have to pass through Beverly Hills, and I grew accustomed to being stopped by the cops on my way home.

My point is that I was white and I still got stopped more frequently between the ages of 12 and 21 than any black kid in L.A., and it never got me upset. Even at that age, I felt they were just doing their job. Heck, if I’d been a cop, I would have stopped me and asked a few questions. I never acted surly or gave them any lip or pretended they had stopped me because somehow they sensed I was Jewish.

I believe that’s a lesson to be learned, and I’m sure that most black teenagers never learn it.

I have attacked public education more times than I can count, but that’s because I never kept track, not because as a veteran of public schools I really don’t know how to count. Actually back when I went to school, they were still pretty good. Part of the reason they were good is that parents actually paid attention to what their kids were being taught.

These days, most conservatives do nothing to instill conservative values in their children. They blithely send their offspring off to high schools and colleges that are totally under the control of Marxists, and then are shocked when their kids turn out to be the kinds of people who become Occupy Wall Streeters and vote for Obama. Apparently, these simpletons think their kids will wind up being conservatives through osmosis.

In a piece titled “Prioritizing Our Concerns,” I wrote a defense of the NSA, pretty much upholding their right to collect phone numbers in the war on Islamic jihadists. I pointed out that national security was one of the few things that the Constitution actually demands of the federal government.

Probably nothing I’ve written has ever brought me such a negative response. A few readers agreed with me, but the great majority took me to task, assuming I was either naïve or insane. I could understand their attitude. After Benghazi, the monitoring of the AP and the IRS mistreatment of conservatives, a person would have to be nuts to trust this administration. But the National Security Agency has been around since Harry Truman created it in 1952, and even today nobody can point to an actual misuse of its powers.

If in order to better avoid another 911 or another bombing at a public event, the NSA wants to make sure that nobody in Yemen or Iran has me on speed-dial, they have my permission to keep tabs on my calls. To me, it’s as sensible as the cops keeping an eye on me all those years ago. I just wish the NSA had the power to do something about those damn telemarketers who keep ringing me up on an hourly basis.

As for those who are terrified that Obama is going to round them up and toss them into what the North Vietnamese used to call re-education camps, I suggest they use me the way coal miners use canaries to check for poison gas fumes. So long as I, who have devoted five years of articles and six months of weekly webcasts to insulting Obama, am still walking around loose, you probably have nothing to worry about.

Finally, we shouldn’t let Helen Thomas’s passing at 92 go unnoticed. For my part, when I heard the news, I suddenly found myself whistling “Ding-Dong, the Witch is Dead”!

Author Bio:

Burt Prelutsky, a very nice person once you get to know him, has been a humor columnist for the L.A. Times and a movie critic for Los Angeles magazine. As a freelancer, he has written for the New York Times, Washington Times, TV Guide, Modern Maturity, Emmy, Holiday, American Film, and Sports Illustrated. For television, he has written for Dragnet, McMillan & Wife, MASH, Mary Tyler Moore, Rhoda, Bob Newhart, Family Ties, Dr. Quinn and Diagnosis Murder. In addition, he has written a batch of terrific TV movies. View Burt’s IMDB profile. Talk about being well-rounded, he plays tennis and poker... and rarely cheats at either. He lives in the San Fernando Valley, where he takes his marching orders from a wife named Yvonne and a dog named Angel.
Author website:
  • Mike Stokes

    Thanks Burt for a great piece.

  • plsilverman

    Really? It’s racist to start a Black Student Union? Considering that desegregation happened in our lifetimes? Got news for you – African Americans are in a minority. Caucasians are in a huge majority. Your racially charged commentary is disgusting. If there is still too much of a “divide” between Blacks and Whites, blame the hard Right and their “divide and conquer” redistricting, cutback on inner city schoolfunds, and for the 01-20-09 GOP declared war on the middle class, which is economically the same for both ethnicities.
    Your article is astonishingly backwards. More proof that this site has devolved into a pure Hate Site.

  • GlenFS

    Burt, I’m conflicted on the NSA with the stark object lessons provided by the Obama administration. Why should we ever trust government with our privacy? How will they use these powers next? Those cops that used to stop you and check you out never abused their powers, so you trusted their intentions were public safety. I have come to believe the constitution should not be compromised. If it’s an existensial threat, perhaps, but so far as I can see Obama and his statist crew are the true insiduous threat.

  • nepakandy

    This soooo needed to be said. Thank you.

  • Skip in VA

    Burt: You’re my hero! This is a great article and I agree with every word. As for public education, it seems as though the current crop of parents want to send their kids to school for 12 years and have the school become their baby sitters. This is Parenting 101 for these folks who either want to be buddies with their kids or completely ignore their upbringing and then wring their hands when the kid doesn’t turn out so well.

  • Brian Fr Langley

    Canadians promoting dullness???? You bigoted $%$%$##@@#

    • Skip in VA

      Canada’s greatest import to the USA is Alex Trebec. I think he is a super host on “Jeopardy” and I can’t conceive of anyone who can take his place. The program won’t be the same.

      • Brian Fr Langley

        Your forgetting maple syrup, poutine, and the word “eh” How could anyone in their right mind call these things dull????

        • Wheels55

          Canadian Bacon too. I know, it’s just round ham. But an important food source.

  • RMN

    One day I had a dream Burt Prelutsky was a national syndicated columnist.

    As good of a writer you are it’s not going to happen until you soften your rhetoric on dear old Helen and the rest of her gang.

  • Royalsfan67

    Did a house fall on her? Ok, that wasn’t nice, but doggone, nothing make a mockery of a white house briefing like having to listen to one of her rants disguised as a question, while the press secretary had to pretend to take her seriously.