What Martin Luther King Might Think of Today’s Economic Justice

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In this Moyers Moment from Bill Moyers Journal, Bill asks civil rights attorneys Bryan Stevenson and Michelle Alexander to imagine how Martin Luther King, Jr. — who would have been 81 when this clip aired in 2010 — would react to the current state of economic justice in America.

Stevenson says King would be heartbroken. “It would be sad to him to see how wealth has caused many people — people of color and others — to abandon the poor, to give up on this dream of economic justice,” he tells Bill, later sharing a remark that continues to resonate strongly: “In this country, the opposite of poverty is not wealth… in America, the opposite of poverty is justice.”

Watch the full conversation with Stevenson and Alexander.

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  • FDR and MLK are needed NOW!

    Thank you so much for high-lighting economic (and racial) inequality and social injustice with this conversation and post. This crisis is directly tied to our plutocratic, corporate-controlled government no longer CARING what happens to the common people. In the Great Depression, FDR and Congress urgently created 20 million jobs with government spending. In the Current Depression, Obama and Congress have uncaringly allowed 20 million unemployed and under-employed citizens to suffer for 4 years and counting. And now, Obama and Congress signal repeatedly that soon they will cut Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid — and then give tax breaks to the corporations! Intolerable!

    When our supposed (fake) “representatives” consistently FAIL and REFUSE to truly represent the needs and demands of “we, the people,” the common people need to RISE UP (like MLK and the Civil Rights Movement did) and TRY to FORCE the corrupt, ruthless U.S. system to become more humane. This requires (as MLK said) fundamental changes in the structures of our government and society. Superficial changes in corporate-controlled officials and minor reforms won’t be enough to create an American society that is good and satisfactory FOR ALL (and not just for the super-rich 1%). And we are running out of time!

  • Nancy Cuddeback

    I doubt he would have been in favor of NAFTA and FREE TRADE with China. Which basically gutted our manufacturing base and replaced it with the Wall Street financial mirage that almost caused a meltdown for the rest of us.

  • MBrecker

    What about imaugural balls for sale to the highest bidder?