A Better Mid-South: Let's live MLK's policies not just his rhetoric

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - Editorial by Pastor Earle Fisher, Memphis Grassroots Coalition:

This weekend people all over the country will march, pray, protest, and participate in community service projects in honor of the life, love, and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

As Kenneth Worles' infographic confirms, King's dream has yet to be realized almost 50 years after his assassination. So, while gestures of honor are important, what's more impressive is the void between the economic justice and liberation movement King fought for and the utopian dreamer we continue to make King's caricature.

King was killed because he realized racism, economic injustice, and violence are interconnected. King applied this analysis to the framework of his faith and the broader fight for freedom.

But, today, too many politicians evoke King's soundbites but refuse to produce the social policies King advocated for. Too many preachers cite King's rhetoric but wont embrace his radical religious philosophies.

How can we sincerely say we support King but continue to systematically suppress people who are doing now what King did then? Would King object to a bridge demonstration? Think about Selma. Where would King stand with the Fight for $15? Consider the sanitation workers.

Frankly, it's time out for status quo politics and symbolic social gestures. It's time for more participation in King's work and fewer pious pronouncements of King's words. Let's see who puts their policies, pocketbooks, and practices where their proclamations will be this weekend and in the years of necessary resistance that lie ahead.

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