Martin Luther King's Dream Still Out of Reach

Eugene Robinson writes in his Washington Post column that the nation is heading in the opposite direction of fulfilling Martin Luther King Jr.'s dream.

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Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. National Memorial (Getty)

In his Washington Post column, Eugene Robinson writes that the nation is not advancing toward fulfilling Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s dream.

As the nation honors the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. with a stirring new memorial on the National Mall, let's not obscure one of his most important messages in a fog of sentiment. Justice, he told us, is not just a legal or moral question but a matter of economics as well.

In this sense, we're not advancing toward the fulfillment of King’s dream. We're heading in the opposite direction.

Aug. 28 is the anniversary of the 1963 march and rally at which King delivered the indelible "I Have a Dream" speech. That event -- one of the watershed moments of 20th-century America -- was officially called the "March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom." Meaningful employment was a front-and-center demand.

The idea and impetus for the march came from A. Philip Randolph, one of the most important labor leaders in the nation's history. Randolph founded the Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters, a union that demanded and won decent pay and better working conditions for thousands of railroad employees, most of them African American. By 1963, Randolph had become a vice president of the AFL-CIO labor federation. 

Read Eugene Robinson's entire column at the Washington Post.

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