After his Wednesday tour of the National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington, President Trump said: "Today and every day of my presidency, I pledge to do everything I can to continue that promise of freedom for African-Americans, and every American. Nothing is more important. This tour was a meaningful reminder of why we have to fight bigotry, intolerance and hatred in all of its very ugly forms."
Alveda King stood by the president's side as he spoke these historic words. Earlier, Trump spoke directly to her when he said, "I want to profoundly thank Alveda King. She is a tremendous fighter for justice."
We were both moved and encouraged by the president's words. With a pro-life president in the White House, we are convinced we can begin securing justice for the unborn. It is well past time to fight bigotry, intolerance and hatred in all of its very ugly forms.
Three years ago, our nation celebrated the 50th anniversary of the Civil Rights Act, which guaranteed Americans of every color and ethnicity the rights to attend the same schools, eat at the same restaurants, stay in the same hotels — to participate in the American Dream in every way available to whites.
But in the decades since, close to 60 million people have been denied their most fundamental civil right: the right to life. Another historic moment in our history, the Roe v. Wade decision, legalized child-killing in the United States. The right to vote and to attend school are rendered all but meaningless once the right to life is denied.
The Civil Rights Act did not eliminate racism but it did prompt many Americans to examine their consciences. What many found is that racism not only oppressed African-Americans, it seared the consciences of the oppressors. People found that the fabrications of racists made their own lives more comfortable, more convenient, and they became invested in those falsehoods. They depended on those falsehoods. Thus, they believed what they knew in their hearts to be untrue.
So it is with the lies surrounding abortion today. People who believe in "choice" must continue to give lip service to the notion that the unborn are somehow less than human, even though science and reason tell us otherwise. Today's unborn are yesterday's blacks — best kept out of sight and out of mind lest they remind us of the injustices we commit.
Trump has already begun to make good on the promises he made during his campaign to undo these injustices. He nominated Judge Neil Gorsuch for the Supreme Court and has reinstated and strengthened the "Mexico City" policy. We have no doubt that the unborn will see greater protections under this administration than they have in decades. But together with laws and executive orders, we must re-inspire the soul of America with the vision of justice.
To do that, to begin to help our fellow Americans see the unborn for who they really are, we can recall the words of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. during a Christmas sermon in 1967: "The next thing we must be concerned about if we are to have peace on earth and good will toward men is the nonviolent affirmation of the sacredness of all human life. … Man is a child of God, made in His image, and therefore must be respected as such... And when we truly believe in the sacredness of human personality, we won't exploit people, we won't trample over people with the iron feet of oppression, we won't kill anybody."
During his tour of the National Museum of African American History and Culture, Trump was visibly moved when he saw an auction block where slaves stood as buyers inspected their potential purchases, and a set of shackles used to restrain children, many of them after being torn from their mother's arms. These reminders of how African-Americans were treated as something lesser than the rest of us are important for everyone to see.
There's one addition we would make to the museum: A tribute to the millions of black babies who have been sacrificed on the altar of abortion, in keeping with the racist and eugenics beliefs of Planned Parenthood founder Margaret Sanger.
Our shared hope is that someday there will be another museum dedicated to more victims of legal oppression: the 60 million victims of abortion, and their mothers and families. Instead of auction blocks, there will be the instruments used to dismember and decapitate innocent unborn children; instead of shackles, there will be bags marked "medical waste" where babies are thrown after being terminated.
Those artifacts of legal abortion should be consigned to history — a history to mourn and repent of; a history never to be repeated.
Alveda King (@AlvedaCKing) is the director of Civil Rights for the Unborn at Priests for Life and the niece of Martin Luther King, Jr. Father Frank Pavone (@frfrankpavone) is the national director of Priests for Life.
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