Is Dr. King’s vision being sanitized?Truth be told at the time of his assassination Dr. King’s popularly had waned tremendously.
We forget the King who at the time of his ministry (of social activism) was labeled an “extremist,” by explicitly calling out “moderates” for urging African-Americans to slow down their march to justice in 1967. Few speak of Dr. King’s admonition to the United States “that the Negro had tried to cash the check” of equality and opportunity with America but once again the “check had been returned for insufficient funds.”
That sentiment is a long way from today’s “Dream” description of the All-American day of service. No mention of Rev. King’s anti-war position and it’s psychoanalysis’s: that if he called on “angry youths in stifling ghettos to be patient, trust in the good of society and express their views in non-violent ways,” then moral correctness of his beliefs demanded that he condemn the war in Vietnam for the violence perpetuated on poor people (by the draft) and the misuse of millions of dollars in resources that could help the poor at home.
When Dr. King made that pronouncement, he lost friends, funders, status and media support. Dr. King was calling for a “Poor People’s Campaign” before his murder. Todaymore of the country’s wealth is concentrated in fewer hands than ever.
How many of the politicians who readily sing “We Shall Overcome” in tribute to Dr. King during many upcoming events have really thought about or done anything to alleviate “the poverty” Dr. King was addressing? By really try to serve those at the bottom of society.