NEW YORK – The focus of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.'s acceptance speech for the Nobel Peace Prize in 1964 wasn't what had been accomplished — but rather his view of what still needed to be done.
More than four decades later, King scholars say he would take the same approach at this historic moment — the inauguration of the first black president at a time when the nation is facing its greatest economic crisis since the Great Depression.
The crisis could widen the already large financial gaps between whites and blacks and make it more difficult to attain King's dream of economic equality in America.
"I believe that Dr. King would caution us not to rest on the election of a black president and say our work here is done," said Kendra King, associate professor of politics at Oglethorpe University in Atlanta.
Although King is best known for his civil rights work, he was a staunch advocate for economic justice. In the months before he was killed, he had been working on the Poor People's Campaign and calling for an economic bill of rights. When he was assassinated in 1968, he was in Memphis supporting a sanitation workers' strike.
"Economic empowerment and justice was always a part of Dr. King's purpose," professor King said. "Civil rights without economic parity is still imprisonment."
Be afraid, be very afraid when our gomeril friends on the left start talking about "economic justice". How does one legislate "economic justice" without a confiscatory taxation policy? Don't bother answering, it was a rhetorical question. I guess those who profess an admiration for Castro's Cuba are sincere in their appreciation and desire fervently to turn the once august U.S. economy into a moribund Ponzi scheme.