As conservative politicians like Gov. Pat McCrory dutifully troop to public platforms all over America today to laud Martin Luther King, Jr. and his accomplishments from the safe distance of 46 years, the good folks at Think Progress have posted a couple of articles this morning that remind us of some facts that are unlikely to make their way into many of these speeches and proclamations.
In “Why Martin Luther King’s dream is still unfulfilled,” Annie-Rose Strasser highlights “four of the things King demanded but never saw completed”: a living wage, desegregation, fair voting and unfettered unionization.
Meanwhile, in “4 ways Martin Luther King was more radical than you thought,” Igor Volsky points out that King pushed for a government-guaranteed right to a job, was a critic of capitalism and materialism, denounced the Vietnam War and was a champion of Planned Parenthood and reproductive rights.
In many ways, some of today’s events are reminiscent of the speeches and statements that accompanied the recent passing of Nelson Mandela (an icon who was actually, amazingly enough, older than King). It’s great that conservatives are lining up to laud MLK; it just would be nice of they’d also line up to laud all of the things for which he fought.