This from a website, “Campaign for America’s Future”, written by Terrence Heath –
Dr. King’s words, invoked during President Obama’s inauguration, suggest what he would call us to remember and how he would challenge us today.
“As long as there is poverty in the world I can never be rich, even if I have a billion dollars. As long as diseases are rampant and millions of people in this world cannot expect to live more than twenty-eight or thirty years, I can never be totally healthy even if I just got a good checkup at the Mayo Clinic. I can never be what I ought to be until you are what you ought to be. This is the way our world is made. No individual or nation can stand our boasting of being independent. We are interdependent.
“The ultimate measure of a man or woman is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy. The true neighbor will risk his position, his prestige, and even his life for the welfare of others. In dangerous valleys and hazardous pathways, he will lift some bruised and beaten brother or sister to a higher and more noble life.”
But he would not stop there.
- Dr. King would be concerned that an already slow economic recovery is leaving black Americans behind.
- King concerned about the epidemic of black unemployment — that black unemployment is at 16.2%, compared to 9.2% for the general population, 17.5% for black men, and 41% for black youth.
- King would be outraged that one in three black children lives in poverty.
- King would be troubled that black households now have 20 times less wealth than white households.
- King be concerned about the backward mobility happening in the African American communities, as middle class families quickly lose ground in this recession — losing hard won gains, in a fraction of the time it too achieve them.
- King would denounce the attacks on public workers that are hitting blacks and women the hardest.
- King would stand with public workers in Wisconsin, who now have to choose between health insurance and feeding their children.
- Dr. King would be outraged that the “welfare reform” of the 1990s is leaving more people in poverty today.
- Dr. King would scorn a recovery where CEO pay soars 27 percent, while virtually no jobs are created.
- King would denounce the GOP’s exploitation of racial and economic anxiety, and denounce Democrats just as loudly for failing to offer much of value to working-class whites.
- King would stand today where he stood then: with working families who are struggling in this recession, losing ground while our government seems content to let it happen.
- Dr. King would deliver the full-throated challenge to the status quo that many Americans are longing to hear.
It was popular in Right Wing circles for a while to try and steal from MLK’s words to justify their perverted logic. Fortunately that level of insanity has largely ceased, if for no other reason than the explosive nature of the “conversations” that typically followed.
Funny thing is, I don’t think King would be fighting just for the poor, and lower middle class in America right now… I think he would be fighting to change a system which has become so perverted there is no reasonable expectation of living as well as our parents did – or being able to hold a job even after pushing all the right buttons along the educational highway while CEOs and Wall Street Barons make billions in bonuses and salary.
Yeah…Something is wrong here.
Filed under: American Genocide, The New Jim Crow, The Post-Racial Life Tagged: | alive, economic justice, Economy, Justice, Martin Luther King, memorial, MLK, race, Racism, social justice, Today's Problems