MLK Knew the Nation Was Not Ready to Celebrate

Rochelle Riley, in her Detroit Free Press column, says the nation was not ready to celebrate King's work this weekend. 

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

Detroit Free Press columnist Rochelle Riley reflects on troubling events leading up to the cancellation of the dedication ceremony for the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. National Memorial.

I cannot imagine what King must have felt watching us the past few years. I cannot imagine his reaction to what has happened to the movement to which he gave his life, to the America whose people he implored to love one another. He had to have been roiled with righteous anger and sadness.

In just the past year, he saw:

* Black teens running around, beating people in Philadelphia and Milwaukee flash mob violence. 

* The trial of the men who beat Vincent Kee, a gentle, mentally disabled man in Albuquerque, N.M., and then branded him with a swastika.

* Black teens dropping out of schools in Detroit, Los Angeles, St. Louis and Gary, Ind., in numbers too obscene to say aloud. 

* Three white men, on a mission to hurt a black person, driving to Jackson, Miss., and beating an innocent 49-year-old James Anderson, then driving their Ford F-250 pickup over him to kill him.

When he looked, King saw soft porn featured as videos on MTV, VH1 and BET's "106th & Park."

Read Rochelle Riley's entire column at the Detroit Free Press.

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