As I write this post, Deacon Royce Winters, head of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati’s Office of African American Affairs, is leading an official celebration of the fiftieth anniversary of the late Dr. Martin Luther King’s marvelous “I Have a Dream” speech and the March on Washington. Winters is a curious choice. The weekend after the election of Barack Obama to the presidency, Winters sternly rebuked a priest of the archdiocese for failing to devote his homily to Obama’s victory. One wonders what he would make of Obama’s point-scoring, race-baiting commemoration of Dr. King’s message of fraternity and conciliation earlier today:

The twin forces of technology and global competition have subtracted those jobs that once provided a foothold into the middle class, reduced the bargaining power of American workers.

And our politics has suffered. Entrenched interests — those who benefit from an unjust status quo resisted any government efforts to give working families a fair deal, marshaling an army of lobbyists and opinion makers to argue that minimum wage increases or stronger labor laws or taxes on the wealthy who could afford it just to fund crumbling schools — that all these things violated sound economic principles.

We’d be told that growing inequality was the price for a growing economy, a measure of the free market — that greed was good and compassion ineffective, and those without jobs or health care had only themselves to blame.

And then there were those elected officials who found it useful to practice the old politics of division, doing their best to convince middle-class Americans of a great untruth, that government was somehow itself to blame for their growing economic insecurity — that distant bureaucrats were taking their hard-earned dollars to benefit the welfare cheat or the illegal immigrant.

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