Consistent Application of Cancel Culture: MLK Jr. and All Historical Figures

Cherry-Picked Historical Memory
Parades and events commemorating civil rights champion Martin Luther King Jr. were canceled due to the reach of winter weather, as per the National Park Service. Chilly temperatures and deepening snow didn’t deter major political and business leaders from offering the usual platitudes of awe towards the late orator. Around this time of year, a dream is shared by many–a dream where non-white historical figures are deified, and any criticisms or accurate evaluations of these men are deemed racist. It has become normal to apply today’s morality to white historical figures, rewriting history books with a focus on their flaws and tearing down monuments. However, some believe that this standard should be applied to all historical heroes. Matt Walsh of The Daily Wire raised this issue and applied this perspective to MLK Jr., highlighting his flaws. Biographer David Garrow’s revelations in 2019 exposed uncomfortable realities about the late civil rights leader, particularly his extramarital sexual relationships and alleged involvement in a rape incident. However, these revelations did not receive much attention from mainstream media, tapping into the hypocrisy of historical deification of non-white heroes. The argument Walsh presented also blamed the progressive left for the criticism of MLK Jr., pointing out the need for one standard in evaluating historical figures. This concept isn’t new, and the irony of discussing it in the context of someone who advocated for equal treatment is evident. Interestingly, other voices, including Princeton professor Cornel West and liberal commentator Mehdi Hasan, have urged a more comprehensive understanding of MLK Jr., focusing on his leftist, socialist, and anti-war activism. The call to remember him holistically is important, but it also highlights the challenge of reconciling his contributions with his flaws. Ultimately, Walsh acknowledges that historical figures should be seen as multi-dimensional humans rather than gods or demons to truly appreciate their greatness and acknowledge their struggles against sin.