By D. L. White
A man of peace, a man that preached the promise of a better tomorrow, a man that knew and experienced the immense pressure of a divided society as well as explicit racism at its most fervent level, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr, more than anything was a man of great faith.
It was that faith that sustained Dr. King through the tumultuous Civil Rights battles of the 50s including the Montgomery Bus Boycott; Encounters with racist Jim Crow State Troopers and Sheriff Bull Conner as well as then separatist Alabama Governor George Wallace.
Thus the twenty-seven cents question, were Dr. King still alive today, “Could he have made a positive impact” on the likes of one Donald J. Trump, the 45th president of the United States of America?
Could Dr. King have gotten Trump to make that long hoped for and anticipated “pivot” to become the President the country needs and hoped for (some) back in 2016?
Born in Atlanta, Georgia, on January 15, 1929, Dr. King would be preparing to celebrate his 91st in 2020, however, as he so eloquently (yet solemnly) prophesied on April 3, 1968, the night before he was killed, “I just want to do God’s will, He has allowed me to go up to the mountain, and I’ve looked over, and I’ve seen the Promised Land. I might not get there with you, but I want you to know tonight, that we, as a people will get to the Promised Land.”
America is again facing difficult times, the majority of which have been self-inflicted by the President himself.
Could a 91 year-old old Dr. King who had traveled extensively during his prime and no doubt continued to travel domestically as well as internationally to address issues of unrest, conflict and war to assist those being oppressed, marginalized and dehumanized still possess enough energy, and will to deal with Trump?
The immediate response is of course Dr. King could and would have attempted to work with one Donald J. Trump!
Dr. King would have attempted to meet and confer, discuss the rationale for bipartisan relations in Congress and the importance of the President demonstrating the leadership and character to set a tone that history would reward and nations would respect.
A well-read individual and knowledgeable Dr. King would perceive Trump as in the Machiavellian inference of the Prince who raised the question, “Is it more important to be “feared or loved?”
Realizing Trump is often compromised by those who are complimentary; Dr. King would not play or enter into that game. He would rather speak to Trump about the opposing factors of “fear and love” temporary emotions that often fade for a more sustainable legacy of policies to grow the economy, strengthen his (Trump’s image at home and aboard) and create a legacy for years to come.
Dr. King might have shared with Trump the following, “Courage faces fear and thereby masters it. Cowardice represses fear and is thereby mastered by it. Courageous men never lose the zest for living even though their life situation is zestless (Impeachment).
“We must constantly build dykes of courage to hold back the flood of fear. The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.”
Trump believing himself to be the most knowledgeable and most informed person (ever)? Will not want to be associated with fear, as evident by his constant tough talk in spite of having avoiding military service on different occasions with alleged foot issues (bone spurs)?
Dr. King would encourage Trump to actually look beyond himself (as difficult as that might be for Trump) for inner resolve and the empowering power of prayer. He (Dr. King would share an experience – he had many)….
Facing threatening phone calls and actual threats on his life. Dr. King recalled entering into intercession and asking for help to protect his family…..“I can’t face this alone; I can’t put my family through this.” Bowing his head in silent prayer. Dr. King reported a feeling a burden had been lifted from him and perceiving the glow of a bright light and a new level of resilience.
Dr. King would share this with Donald J. Trump and encourage him to learn to not live a life of outward adulation nor of inner self-wiliness but rather through rational informed decision, carefully weighing (maturely and intelligently) the implications of his actions and his words.
A challenge no doubt. However Dr. King even at 91 would welcome the challenge.