On April 4, 1968, Martin Luther King, Jr., was in Memphis to help workers achieve a measure of human dignity. The garbage workers had walked off of the job, in protest of being treated less than human.
King's journey to Memphis had started at least two years before, when he decided to see if his tactics of non-violence would work in the North. King found in his time there, that the covert white racism of the North was in fact as hateful and as violent as "Jim Crowism" of the South.
Recently, two of the top contenders for the Democratic nomination for president went to Selma, Alabama, to remember that famous march for voting rights in 1965. I would like to see those who hunger for the Oval Office, to remember another march that took place less than a year after the Selma march, on Aug. 5, 1966 in Gage Park, Ill., where King and his fellow marchers were met with acts of tremendous hate and violence from the town's white residents and were protected by the Police from the 'good people of Gage Park.'
It was after this that King changed his focus from civil rights to one of economic rights, saying that the Civil Rights and the Voting Rights acts had not cost the country one thin dime, but the country then focused on faraway war, had not alleviated the misery of poverty of our own poor. It was on the day after he made that famous "Mountain Top" speech, where he talked of his death, that he was struck down by a single bullet .
It is good to remember the birthday of this great person, it is equally important to remember how Martin King died, still talking, still struggling and still fighting for all of the folks who have no voice at the table of power.