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Martin Luther King – 2017

This a portion of what I wrote for the Urban News:

Sometimes I think that we forget what was going on in 1968 when Martin Luther King was killed. For some Americans, the knowledge of the civils rights movement begins with Rosa Parks refusing to give up her seat to a White man and ends with Martin Luther King's, I have a Dream speech. The movement was more than that. By 1968, King had pivoted from civil rights to focus on poverty. He met in May1967 with several key civil rights leaders and the leadership of the Southern Christian Leadership Council. Out of this summit came a concrete plan to combat poverty. See if this sounds familiar – good paying jobs, guaranteed income for the poorest of Americans and affordable housing. They were going to March on Washington in the Summer of '68. The sanitation workers of Memphis were striking for better working conditions and better pay. This was the kickoff of the Poor People's campaign. Martin Luther King was shot and killed while fighting for a better standard of living for sanitation workers.

The average American worker (Black, White, Latino, whatever) does not need to work harder. The average American worker needs help. We need good neighborhood schools. We need affordable college tuition. We don’t need more college loans because loans puts the average American in a deep, dark financial hole. Housing…safe housing must be more affordable. We need to make things here in the good, old USA. We need good paying jobs. All of us can't work for Google or Tesla. These are the reforms that will calm racial tensions. The Great Barack Obama laid down some of the groundwork to point America in the right direction. A petty, short-sighted, obstructionist Congress has made progress difficult or next to impossible. Yet, this is the correct path. This is the progressive path. We need to organize and push for policies that help the American worker. Policies which increase the economic strength of the middle class will push us forward. Turn off those who say it can't be done. This is a democracy. If we can put together a strong majority, we will rule and we will triumph. Let's Occupy America. I think that Martin would like that. 

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