We as a people have made progress. African Americans are mostly better off now, than they were in 1968. Many of the hard fought rights achieved by Dr. King and others in the struggle for equality are still in place. Some have even been expanded. Younger generations are not fully taking advantage of those rights (like voting, for instance), but the rights are still there for them to take advantage of should they choose to do so.
America is a far different nation now than it was in 1968. I believe that is in no small part, due to the upheavals of 1968 and the actions of the civil rights movement in the 15 years that preceded it. Legally, people can live pretty much anywhere they desire AND can AFFORD. The divides in housing are economic, not racial. There are now social welfare programs in place even though they have been curtailed somewhat. There are actually more white people taking advantage of social welfare programs than people of color but then, there are more white people in America than people of color. If you look at the statistics after taking into account that people of color represent a lower percentage of people in America you can see that they are of a higher percentage proportionally than whites when it comes to being enrolled in social welfare programs.
What do I believe Dr. King would be involved in now? I believe he would be involved in the Black Lives Matter movement. I think he would also be working on the school to jail pipeline. I believe that he would be fighting to maintain the civil rights he helped win because he would have realized that there are forces trying very hard to erode them.
I further think Dr. King would be involved in civil rights beyond the United States. I believe Dr. King, in his soul of souls, was actually a globalist. He was a well-read man who was inspired by Grande, read Thoreau and quoted Nietzsche. I think Dr. King would be a voice on behalf of oppressed people everywhere. I think he would have been appointed as the U.N. Ambassador by President Obama. I believe he would be involved in interfaith organizations and I believe he would be working towards a lasting peace between Israel and the Palestinians. The 90ish Dr. King would be a little slower in his step, still somewhat conflicted but he would be just as irrepressible as he was in 1968.
I would have like to see Dr. King alive now. If I could, I would erase the terrible chapter of his assassination from the history books and the reality of the human race. Such things, however, are beyond my power. What I can do however, what any of us can do, is to use this occasion to admire and be inspired by Dr. King’s Legacy and continue working through my abilities and actions, to preserve, defend and expand it.
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