Remembering W.E.B. Du Bois

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Peter Dreier: Overshadowed by the recent celebration of the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom and Martin Luther King’s “I Have a Dream” speech was another half-century milestone — the death of W.E.B. Du Bois.

The Iraq Invasion and U.S. Clergy

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John Marciano: As I walked past a Santa Monica church on Easter Sunday, I wondered if the clergy inside had addressed the war’s anniversary. Had they at any time in the past ten years condemned it in clear and prophetic language? Where have they been during the long nightmare of war in Iraq – and Afghanistan?

King: I Have a Dream. Obama: I Have a Drone.

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Norman Solomon: After his Inaugural speech in January 2009, Obama has pursued policies that epitomize King’s grim warning in 1967: “When scientific power outruns moral power, we end up with guided missiles and misguided men.”

Has Gun Debate Overheated?

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Karen Finney: Not surprisingly, the clearer it becomes that an increasing number of Americans support common-sense measures, the higher the NRA and its allies crank up the fear-mongering and hysteria

Dr. King’s Stance Against the Death Penalty

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David A. Love: Executions in the U.S. are part of a racially-coded system of retribution. Poor people and members of racial minorities are more likely to receive a death sentence, as are those who are charged with murdering a white victim.

Violence Goes to College

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Vijay Prashad: The priorities of the campus are clear. An Assistant Professor earns an annual salary in the low $60,000 range; a Lieutenant in the campus safety department (the man who fired the pepper gas, for instance) brings home $110,000.

MLK Would Oppose Today’s Wars

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William Loren Katz: Would Dr. King have called for withdrawal from Vietnam and, had he lived, not called for a withdrawal from Iraq and Afghanistan? Would he have failed to see parallels that are as obvious as they are frightening?

We Twisted King’s Dream, So We Live With His Nightmare

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Tim Wise: If double-digit unemployment had been viewed as the emergency it is, when only people of color were experiencing it (as they typically have been, in good times or bad, year after year throughout this century), perhaps lawmakers might have seen fit to address the problem.

Martin Luther King Day: They Never Heard Him Give a Speech

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Kafi D. Blumenfield: “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.” This generation of leaders has taken Dr. King’s injunction to heart and they are taking action. They and their peers find common ground by connecting not only through race, gender, sexual orientation or citizenship status, but also, on higher ground, through shared aspirations and hope for the future.

The Pentagon and the King Legacy

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William Lorenz Katz: Was not Martin Luther King, Jr. reaching beyond Vietnam when he warned of “approaching spiritual death” and called for “a significant and profound change in American life and policy” and insisted “we as a nation must undergo a radical revolution of values.” Was he only speaking of Vietnam when he said, “War is not the answer?”

“My Daddy Is a Presbyterian Preacher”

Berry Craig: My town — and many more like it across the South and in border states like Kentucky — was deeply divided by the color bar. I didn’t see it because it didn’t affect me. Before meeting Cecil Horton, black people were invisible to me, as in the title of Ralph Ellison’s famous novel.

The Shameful Attack on Public Employees

Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., with Memphis sanitation workers.

Robert Reich: Public servants are convenient scapegoats. Republicans would rather deflect attention from corporate executive pay that continues to rise as corporate profits soar, even as corporations refuse to hire more workers.

Be the Peace You Want to See on Earth

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David Swanson: I’ve never found any opponent of war who didn’t believe there was evil in the world. After all, we oppose war because it is evil. Did Martin Luther King, Jr., stand idle in the face of threats? Are you serious?

Health Care as a Human Right — in South LA and Nationwide

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Diane Lefer: In South LA, the pressures of gentrification and loss of income now have two and three families sharing apartments that would be a tight squeeze for one. Even so-called “affordable housing,” is beyond the reach of most when you consider that Los Angeles considers a living wage to be $12/hour.

The Tragedy of Under-Reaching

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Norman Solomon: We need to build a grassroots progressive movement — wide, deep and strong enough to fight the right and challenge the corporate center of the Democratic Party.

Restoring Honor, One Lie at a Time

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Tom Hall: “Restoring honor” for today’s Tea Party Republicans means trying to return to the days when a man could sit and watch Father Knows Best, while his wife did the laundry, kept the kids under control and fed and satisfied him, without the worry that Chet and David would warn him about uppity coloreds demonstrating in someplace he couldn’t identify.

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