How We're Failing MLK

We've let him down on poverty and war
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 3, 2010 10:46 AM CDT
How We're Failing MLK
In this May 25, 1962, file photo, the Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr., is shown in Philadelphia.   (AP Photo/WGI, file)

Forty-two years after the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr., the nation has let him down on two important fronts:

  • Poverty: "All these decades later, little has changed when it comes to economic equality," write Bill Moyers and Michael Winship in Salon. "If anything, the recent economic meltdown and recession have made the injustice of poverty even more profound." The nation's "individualist, greed-driven free-market ideology" is killing working families and poor communities. They "need and deserve help."

  • War: King famously spoke out against the Vietnam War and the US support of "corrupt" and "inept" governments. And yet here we are propping up Hamid Karzai, writes Bob Herbert in the New York Times. "Dr. King would be assassinated exactly one year (almost to the hour) after his great speech at Riverside Church. It’s the same terrible fate that awaits some of the American forces, most of them very young, that we continue to send into the quagmire in Afghanistan."
(Read more Martin Luther King Jr. stories.)

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