Forty-four years after Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., was shot dead while supporting sanitation workers in Memphis, his legacy is indisputable. Because of the way he mobilized the poor and the powerful, state-sponsored racial discrimination, a prominent factor in American life for nearly 200 years, is no more. As a result, it’s now hard to imagine a position of prominence in this country, including the presidency, that an African American could not obtain.
But Dr. King’s work is not complete. Today, we face continued attempts at voter suppression, attacks on collective bargaining rights, income inequality, a racially inflected discussion of illegal immigration, and one of the last great bastions of state-sponsored discrimination: the denial of marriage and other rights on the basis of sexual orientation. If Dr. King were alive today, I believe he would speak out about these issues. I believe, too, that in this era of globalization, he would talk about climate change, the North/South divide, and our moral duty to preserve the natural resources that are fundamental to human wellbeing.
Dr. Ki... Read more