March 2013: What About the Future?

The old guard spent too much time looking back rather than inspiring young idealists.

President Obama addressing the audience at the March on Washington 50th anniversary (Getty Images)

It is, of course, absurd to believe that a choreographed celebration dominated by politicians, entertainers and organizational insiders could give birth to a new movement that must, by definition, be led by the sort of heroic outsider King personified back in 1963. But it was not too much to hope that yesterday’s event could provide some tangible support for young idealists who are attempting to honor his legacy by living it instead of encasing it in stone. We had an opportunity to do that yesterday. We blew it.

Jack White, a former columnist for Time magazine, is a freelance writer in Richmond, Va., and a contributing editor at The Root.