Today, as we honor the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., let us remember that his work is not yet done. Please read the stirring words of his “I Have a Dream” speech, and notice how much still resonates today. Racial and economic injustice still exist. Segregation may not be legal, but many people of color still live in neighborhoods by a long history of racial injustice, and modern policies which still perpetuate those injustices.
Many working people of all races work long hours for low wages nothing like a living wage. Many of those people live in areas of concentrated poverty, due to a lack of affordable housing as well as policies that allow housing discrimination by source of income. If you struggle to afford rent and food, how can you save money or get an education?
The Fifteenth Amendment prohibits denying a citizen the right to vote based on race, and yet today we see a concentrated attack on voting rights, particularly in communities of color throughout our nation. The criminal justice system still unfairly targets black and brown men and women, and people of color are more likely to be killed by police.
We cannot honor Dr. King’s legacy without continuing it. If we hope to ever achieve his dream, we must all fight together for a living wage for everyone, for criminal justice and police reform, for affordable housing and fair housing policies, and for investment in historically neglected communities. We can achieve the goals of Dr. King’s final project, the Poor People’s Campaign. Only by doing this difficult work can we hope to achieve a fair and just society, and a better world for us all.
The Poor People’s Campaign: A National Call for Moral Revival: