Kudlow: It is dismaying that a growing number of woke progressives have attempted to subvert MLK's mission

Their vision will be soundly defeated while Martin Luther King's will triumph

Today we celebrate Martin Luther King Day and the man who delivered one of the most important and famous speeches in American History. 

"I have a dream that my 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." 

This is a thought that I would assume all Americans regardless of race, ethnicity, gender, political party could agree with. And indeed should agree with. 

But it is dismaying to me that a growing number of far-left, woke progressives in the name of so-called 'equity' have attempted to subvert MLK's brilliant statement, by moving us toward a society where solving the remnants of racism leads to ever more racism. 


I'm speaking particularly of critical race theory which seeks racial divisions and routinely denounces color blindness as 'White supremacy' or 'White privilege,' or for that matter, Black victimization. 

These ideas of reverse racism and Black victimization and attacks on people with White skin not only run completely against what Reverend King envisioned, it's something that provides the greatest harm to children in school where unfortunately critical race theory is being taught by too many left-wing teachers across the country. 

One of the brightest spots in this story was newly elected Virginia governor Glenn Youngkin, who Saturday banned CRT in Virginia schools, and all during his campaign insisted that parents run the schools, not boards of education or teacher's unions. Or for that matter, left-wing federal bureaucrats in the D.C. swamp. Good for him.

And if you step back a moment, as the NY Post editorialized today, the civil rights movement has had many, many successes since Reverend King's tragic assassination in the late sixties.  Two years ago, when I was in government, and rioting broke out across the country, and the woke CRT cry of systemic racism reached its zenith I would try to argue, "wait a minute, we just elected an African American president for two terms who garnered 80 million White votes just a few years ago." Critics never had an answer for that, but it's such a remarkable fact. 

And African Americans routinely serve in the cabinet, the Supreme Court, the Senate, the House, state governors, legislatures. Our election system undoubtedly could stand with some improvements, but in the last six or seven decades, minority progress has been enormous; that is, African American progress. 


Civil rights laws were passed in my lifetime that did enormous good, and more good can undoubtedly come to our imperfect institutions as long as we invoke some civility in the discussions and some common sense in the solutions. 

As a young man, I came to believe that civil rights and equality on the basis of merit and character was really a matter of common sense and fairness. American common sense and American fairness. It was the right thing to do. And our great American democracy has been doing it. And will do more of it. 

There are still rotten apples left, no question about it. There are still pockets of prejudice. But look where we've come since Reverend King's speech is remarkable. 

You might want to acknowledge, look where we've come since Abraham Lincoln. And you might want to also acknowledge, look where we've come since the Declaration of Independence. 

Some editorialists are saying that today's left would actually oppose Dr. King. Unfortunately, that may be true. But I think woke CRT, racial hatred by a relatively small minority will fade away. Parents are winning in schools, police are winning in public safety and security, and I think key points made by Sen. Tim Scott about Black economic and financial progress are very important. 

Following the Trump tax cuts, unemployment fell across the board for all Americans. Importantly, minority unemployment for Blacks, Hispanics, Asians and women fell to record lows or near record lows. Poverty, especially child poverty fell to record lows. 

Underserved minority areas are the biggest beneficiaries of this kind of economic progress. Opportunity zones were successfully set up to use tax incentives in low-income areas. According to the GAO, in 2019 alone $29 billion of new capital went into these underserved areas. Generational wealth creation is another key point from Sen. Scott. 


Of course the worst crime is in minority areas. And it is Blacks and other minorities who are now in full revolt against crazy ideas like defunding the police. 

The sad state of our urban public education systems can be repaired with more and more school choice. Whether public school choice, or private school choice, or religious school choice. 

These policy changes will fulfill the Martin Luther King vision of living in a nation where people will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character. As an American optimist, I always want to emphasize positive achievements, positive policies and positive attitudes. 

I think these crazy, woke, critical race theory leftists are the real racists in our society today. And I truly believe their vision will be soundly defeated while Martin Luther King's will triumph.

 This article is adapted from Larry Kudlow's opening commentary on the January 17, 2022, edition of "Kudlow."