Tina Dupuy: Saying rights are just given to us because an omnipotent force wills it, robs all the notables who’ve laid down their lives to ensure the rest of us can enjoy personal freedoms.
Rev. Irene Monroe: McClurkin, a three-time Grammy winner and revered judge on BET’s “Sunday Best,” a reality TV-gospel singing competition show, doesn’t get it that he’s a polarizing figure.
David Love: Obama squandered a unique opportunity to demonstrate some leadership on civil rights, to articulate King’s message and honestly assess how far we have fallen short, and to identify those who stand in the way of justice and equality.
Tom Hall: Ain’t it grand that we have a looming new war with Syria to take our minds off of the coup in Egypt and the 50th anniversary of the 1963 March for Jobs and Freedom!
Melina Abudllah: While commemoration has its place, amidst the pomp and circumstance of the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington we seem to have lost the point of it all.
Anthony Samad: The thing about history is, if you don’t tell your story—somebody will tell it for you (and they rarely get it right). Fifty years later, the March On Washington story is still being largely misappropriated.
Bruce Reilly: Fifty years after the March on Washington, reports indicate we are more segregated than ever, with a greater class disparity than any country except India.
Peter Dreier: King began his activism as a crusader against racial segregation, but he soon recognized that his battle was part of a much broader fight for a more humane society. Today, at age 84, King would no doubt still be on the front lines, lending his voice and his energy to major battles for justice.
Mark Vorhpahl: It could have been left as a relatively small event that would make little impact, but plans for the 50th anniversary of 1963’s March on Washington appear to have taken another course.
Scot Nakagawa: We did not just pull ourselves up by our bootstraps. Instead, we owe a great debt to the Civil Rights Movement. I say the upcoming anniversary of the March is as good a time as any to start talking about it.
We welcome the planned commemoration in Washington, D.C. this year but we also feel that the 50th Anniversary of the March on Washington needs to serve as a vehicle for advancing struggles for justice on the ground-floor in every community
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.”
Brent Budowsky: An American jobs march could be the largest such event in American political history because it would speak for a gigantic swath of America that hungers and yearns for American jobs, and does not believe its voice is heard in Washington.