Dr. King laid down a challenge, one which we have yet to meet all the way. Today, there are those in the Republican party who would like nothing more than to drag our country back to the good old days of the 1960’s. We need to take up Dr. King’s challenge once again, and fight for equality, fight for justice, fight for jobs, and fight for the right of all Americans to vote, without the need for a government issued id.
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Today in 1968, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was fatally shot while standing on a balcony in Memphis. Forty-five years later, Reverend King’s last speech still resonates in American historical memory. Reverend King was a strong advocate for worker rights and was in Memphis to support the Sanitation Worker’s strike.
In his eloquent â€œLetter From a Birmingham Jailâ€ written in response to white ministers who criticized nonviolent activist tactics, Martin Luther King, Jr., wrote powerfully, â€œInjustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.â€ It greatly bothered King that white Christians could stand by idly while oppression of fellow human beings continued unabated, â€œShallow understanding from people of good will is more frustrating than absolute misunderstanding from people of ill will.â€
Academics and intellectualsÂ â€“ and college professors in particular â€“ are often thought of as living in an Ivory Tower â€“ dispassionate, disconnected, and aloof from the everyday world. And, for the most part, this reputation is deserved, especially in America, where we have often demanded a quiescenceÂ that poses as objectivity from our academics…