Among the many things to fault about then-presidential candidate Barack Obama’s 2008 then-celebrated* speech on race was his failure to cite the most important speech on race in American history, Dr. Martin Luther King’s “I Have a Dream” speech.
That great American dreamt that his “four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.” With that line, King defined the ideal we should all strive for–to judge an individual not by his skin color, but but his character.
That notion seems to be lost to many Democrats attacking Republicans for raising questions about Ambassador Susan Rice’s public statements on Benghazi. As Victor Davis Hanson put it two days ago:
Susan Rice misleads the country and suddenly her critics are racists and sexists — does not mean that it does not work in deterring critics. A white liberal can all but destroy Condoleezza Rice or Alberto Gonzalez and feel very liberal, but a peep about Barack Obama or Susan Rice from a white male is akin to a KKK slur.
We will have truly realized Dr. King’s dream when defenders of an African-American figure subject to criticism don’t assume that his (or her) critics were motivated by her race. They may well have been calling her character into question — or her actions.
And they will defend her character — or her actions — rather than make assumptions about her critics’ motives.