Booker T. Washington was born a slave in 1856 in Alabama and died as the President of Tuskegee University in 1915. Between birth and death he helped many people to live better and fuller lives. Can anyone think of a greater epitaph? He began by helping former slaves like himself transition from slavery into freedom by first obtaining basic academic skills. Then he helped them progress by encouraging and helping them to obtain marketable skills, saying that “The individual who can do something that the world wants done will, in the end, make his way regardless of race.” To many people, Booker T. Washington was a Modern Moses.

            What would Mr. Washington say about today’s confusing and troubling times? I believe he would use the same quote from Henry Ford that has often been seen in this 2 Paragraphs series: “Anyone who feels they can thrive by relying on the government should talk to the American Indian.” Railing against history and tearing down statues might make (some) people feel better, but will not help and could very easily hurt the situation – for everybody. And along the way the limitations some people are attempting to put upon our bedrock Freedoms of Speech are appalling. For example, a woman who is a partial owner of a WNBA team who expressed her opinion that the games should not be politicized by having political statements written on warm-up gear or on the basketball floor itself should be banned from professional basketball? So a buyer for an art gallery who said he would continue to purchase paintings created by Caucasian artists should lose his job? So a UCLA professor who did not agree that his Black students should be excused from taking their final exams with all of his other students during periods of protests should be reprimanded and fired? No! Dr. Washington would say that we need positive things like School Choice programs, which will improve the education for all students. That we need more African American families to have their fathers married or at least living with their mothers so that they can be male role models while raising their children. We need more criminal justice reforms so we are not unnecessarily putting so many people of color in prison . Yes, we have much to do. But let’s follow the example of Booker T. Washington and make tangible and practical progress, without yelling at and disparaging each other! So where are the Booker T. Washingtons of this world now when we need them so desperately?!

Quote for the week: “A nation’s greatness is measured by how it treats its weakest members.”  – Mahatma Gandhi

Judge Jim Gray (Ret.) Superior Court of Orange County, California 2012 Libertarian Candidate for Vice President

As stated above, feel free to listen to our radio show entitled All Rise! The Libertarian Way with Judge Jim Gray as we discuss timely issues and show how they will be addressed more beneficially by employing Libertarian values and approaches. The series has concluded, but you can still hear any edition On Demand by going to https://www.voiceamerica.com/show/3883. And, by the way, these 2 Paragraphs columns are now on my website at www.JudgeJImGray.com, Facebook and LinkedIn at judgejimgray, Twitter at judgejamesgray, and wordpress at judgejimgray.wordpress.com. Please visit these sites for past editions, and do your part to spread the word about the importance of Liberty. In addition, my new book with the same title as my radio show is now available at Amazon.com. Please read and discuss it with your friends, and send in a review.