MLK memorial service is wake up call

The Rev. Jesse Jackson speaks at the unveiling of a historical marker at Memphis International Airport commemorating the final flight of slain civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr. on Monday
MLK memorial service is wake up call

06 April, 2017

"The world now demands a maturity of America that we may not be able to achieve, "King told a packed audience in Riverside's pews". Can you talk more about "The Real King" whose ideas were so unsafe that he was murdered for them? Where are we, when we're talking about expanding an already bloated military budget and spending money, some $54 billion, that if we use that same money in a modern-day war against poverty and a modern call for healthcare and education, we could do so much more?

As leaders in the black community, they were very vocal about the changes needed for us to attain equal rights as USA citizens. King was in Memphis with the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, which he founded, to support a sanitation workers' strike. It's a call that rings from the halls of history, inviting us to find our voices and the best expressions of who we are, and to move society forward. It's often thought of as his most controversial speech.

The assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. stunned, saddened and outraged the nation. "But I also understand that the way you begin to resolve them is, you do it by loving people and treating people with dignity and respect, and you don't do it by magnifying the problems-you do it by really magnifying the solutions", he said.

The Rev. Byron Williams, a writer and the host of the "The Public Morality" on WSNC 90.5, lives in Winston-Salem. "It hurt the ability of the movement to unite behind poverty and economic justice issues as well as strict civil rights issues".

"The whole country, the whole state, the whole city", he said. We will be marching for these and a dozen other names and attending rallies without end unless there is a significant and profound change in American life and policy. We must bring it alive today. Groups like #BlackLivesMatter have also been viewed as a "hate group" to some in the same way the SCLC and Black Panther Party was over 50 years ago.

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That being said, people were perplexed as to why the Federal Bureau of Investigation wanted to honour King now. In Boston, dozens of people marched through the Boston Common to call for less racism and a higher minimum wage.

Dr. King first came to Memphis in March 1968 for a non-violent protest. That's the question that we must deal with. He's speaking to us from the National Press Club in Washington, before he goes to Memphis, where he and others will be holding a news conference today at 9:00 a.m.

In the midst of life's challenges - racism, war, poverty, human trafficking, abortion, violence, and evil of every kind - in order to escape the abyss - we need help from God to fulfill the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s dream today.

This is Democracy Now! It was a deep and personal tragedy for Dr. King's wife and his four children and it was a tragedy made all the worse by the utter senselessness of the act. As a nation, we - especially our elected officials and political leaders - only remember the parts of King that align with what we choose to emphasize: his robust embrace of America's democratic traditions going back to the founders. "If we will but make the right choice, we will be able to speed up the day, all over America and all over the world, when justice will roll down like waters, and righteousness like a mighty stream".

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