We honored Martin Luther King on Sunday with the opening of the King memorial on the national mall.  It was fitting that President Obama notes that Dr. King had paved the way for him to reach the white house.  It was part of the dream, the dream that Dr. King had offered to us all, that of a color-blind society where we could prosper and rise on our merits, our achievements the fruits of our dedication and perseverance.   I don’t however,  remember him mentioning that he had dreamt of cookies.

if you sink them to the bottom of a glass of milk, there's no more black and white.

Fast forward to the current state of racial divisiveness in America.  Race has become a never-ending battle, one of real stories and imagined slights, acrimony and suspicion with no noble goals of bridging the gap between those of differing skin tone.  The cry of racism is bandied about for whatever possible reason, some painfully true, far too many painfully spurious at best. One can no longer have a rational discussion of opposing views without some jackass pointing a hideously crooked finger while screeching “racism” with the zeal of a grand inquisitor.

But, for all of the charges of racism hurled at conservatives such as myself for our difference of opinion with the current occupant of the white house, the treatment of very decent, successful people of color by not only the liberal wing of the democratic party, but by other people of color, is astonishing and actually quite depressing.  Where Dr. King saw men being rewarded for their merits, men of color rising to lead not only other blacks but men of all colors, today the black man is relegated to being defined as black if and only if he tempers his spirit, confining his opinions and his views of the world  to a narrow script of acceptable thought and behavior.  If that isn’t racism, I don’t know what is.  The black man must conform to an acceptable ideology or he is therefore not black enough, a race traitor.

If you doubt this, just view the contempt given to successful men and women of color who happen to be conservative.  The treatment of Herman Cain is just the latest example.  The level of vitriol and contempt hurled at him from those champions of diversity on the left would have the average conservative in court, his business boycotted and the willing press rummaging through his garbage looking for remnants of burned crosses and pointy pillow cases with eye-holes.  The most recent display took place here between Mr. Cain and MSNBC’s Lawrence O’Donnell.  The stench of Mr. O’Donnell’s hate for Mr. Cain oozed from my monitor as I viewed the interview over and over in disbelief.  It was quite discomforting for a lily-white man such as myself to see another melanin-challenged member of our species viciously attack a black man for not being black as Mr. O’Donnell defines it.

It doesn’t stop there.  Mr. Cain engenders a whole bunch of emotions, all of them negative, from a host of other blacks like here at the Congressional Black Caucus where they affectionately referred to him as an Oreo.  But Mr. Cain is not alone.  Attacks on successful people of color from other blacks and the left in general are nothing new.  Harry Belafonte certainly reminded us of other blacks he has hated through the years on his recent appearance with Joy Behar.  The passage I find interesting is as follows:

“The Republican Party, the Tea Party, all those forces to the extreme right, have consistently tried to come up with representation for what they call black, for what they call the real Negroes and try to push these images as the kinds of voices that Americans should be listening to,” Belafonte said.

Interesting.  As a conservative, I don’t want to push any image on you Harry.  Why would you, Lawrence, and all the rest on the left decide not only for whites like myself, but also blacks like Herman Cain, Allen West or Colin Powell that they can’t be “black” because you said so.  Why did you get to define their blackness?   Because you’re the racist bastard.

I don’t get it.  All the years we went through school, learning about the struggles of black Americans, learning about and honoring Dr. King and it comes down to Lawrence O’Donnnell and Harry Belafonte deciding who is and isn’t black and what they should believe in.   It was supposed to be about the content of their character, not their party affiliation.

Maybe I don’t get it because as I stated before, I’m an incidental racist.

Or in the words of our most recent recent race uniter, maybe I’m just “a typical white person”.