The marches from Selma, Alabama, to Montgomery came after the Civil Rights Act of 1964 but before the Voting Rights Act of 1965. They were historically significant, no doubt, but were they really as historically significant as Yorktown, “the most important battle of the Revolutionary War”?
Cooke also argues that Martin Luther King Jr. is every bit as much an American hero as George Washington:
If we are to regard the founding generation as being worthy of contemporary political lionization — and we most assuredly should — then we must consider those who marched at Selma to be so, too. If we are to put George Washington upon our plinths, and to eulogize him on our currency, we must agree to elevate Martin Luther King Jr. to the same dizzy heights. They are less famous, perhaps, but by virtue of their brave march across the Edmund Pettus Bridge, John Lewis and Hosea Williams immortalized themselves into quintessential American heroes in the mold of Sam Adams and George Mason. To miss an opportunity to solemnize their daring is to blunder, disgracefully.
If you think Cooke’s national origin colors his perspective (he’s from Britain), you’re not alone.
Note: Our editors have reviewed this post and believe the last line is unfair. As we have a policy of transparency, we have not removed the relevant line. We apologize to Mr. Cooke and regret the statement.”