April 4, 1968
April 4, 2011 1 Comment
The Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was assassinated exactly 43 years ago today. In a world with a black president, that is still recovering from an economic recession instigated by the excess greed of some of the wealthiest people in the world, the right of workers to organize being challenged and/or taken away in Wisconsin and several other states, and with the US engaged in military conflicts on multiple continents, it’s important to remember that King wasn’t killed because of his stance on race relations. Rather, he was killed during a series of marches in Memphis, TN on behalf of garbage workers for safer working conditions. He was killed MARCHING FOR WORKER’S RIGHTS! And, when he was killed he was in the planning process for “The Poor People’s Campaign” which was intended to culminate with thousands of homeless persons and the poor camping out in Washington DC protesting for fundamental changes in the US economic structure, including a guaranteed living wage for all. Finally, we can never forget that he was killed exactly one year after delivering his famous “Beyond Vietnam,” also known as “A Time to Break Silence,” speech, during which he publicly denounced the Vietnam War, and all war, as inherently opposed to the aims of peace and justice. In a world in which everyone wants to claim Dr. King as a representative for their political and social stances it is important to remember what it was exactly that got him killed. And what was that? It was his stances on worker’s rights, the economic structures of the US, and war. He named three evils that plagued America’s soul: racism, materialism/poverty, and militarism/war. Most people remember the first and ignore the last two. On this anniversary of his death let’s not make the same mistake.