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MLK: Will His Legacy Be Honored? January 18, 2010

Posted by Dwight Furrow in Current Events, Dwight Furrow's Posts, politics.
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The occasions on which we honor our fallen heroes are an opportunity to assess our own willingness to sacrifice for a larger purpose.

Today we should be wondering whether we deserve Dr. King’s legacy.

Juan Cole writes:

We honor a man from a different age, when Americans seemed to care about social injustice enough to come out into the streets and risk police dogs, tear gas, and imprisonment. When depression came from being unable to ensure that no American child went to bed hungry, not from being unable to stay in Avatar-world. Those in King’s tradition stand on the verge of being routed, on health care, the environment, bank regulation, abolition of the ‘PATRIOT’ acts assaults on the constitution, and the rendering of warfare a permanent institution in American life, like interstate highways and social security. If we are routed, will we effectively protest? Will there be consequences for the insurance companies, the arms dealers, the warmongering ‘think tanks,’ the advertisers, the lobbyists who mobilized to preserve the unjust old order? Or in today’s world is it enough to put up a facebook page and text a dollar to our favorite causes? Is that the kind of thing that would have satisfied Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.?

As is evident in comment sections throughout the blogosphere, too many liberals are ready to abandon the fight because reactionaries won’t play nice.

Reactionaries never play nice. That is why they are in power.

This is a lesson Obama needs to learn. But his critics on the left also need to be reminded that fighting injustice is a perpetual task that requires great sacrifice and endurance.

Human beings have not yet discovered a way to prevent the accumulation of power; and that means we are always outgunned and always will be.

It is fashionable to sneer at Obama’s appeal to  “hope” during his campaign. But that is all liberals have because it supports the will to persist. Conservatives have the power and money. All we have is hope that through extraordinary effort some injustice can be removed.

That is Dr. King’s legacy.

book-section-book-cover2 Dwight Furrow is author of

Reviving the Left: The Need to Restore Liberal Values in America

For political commentary by Dwight Furrow visit: www.revivingliberalism.com

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