This Monday is Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. day in the United States. It is a day set aside to remember the work of Dr. King in advancing the Civil Rights movement through his non-violent principles.
What many forget is that Dr. King was also a strong advocate for working people, regardless of their race. He supported fair wages and good working conditions for employees. He was assassinated while helping striking Memphis sanitation workers. He believed the struggle of workers in locations like Memphis demonstrated the need for economic equality and social justice.
This holiday, I wonder what Dr. King would say about what is happening to workers today. The gap between the working class and the wealthy continues to grow. Real wages continue to drop. The Federal minimum wage has not increased since 2009. This certainly is directly opposed to the goals of Dr. King.
Although today’s racial climate also threatens the ideals and gains brought about by Dr. King and his successors, that is not within the scope of my entry today. I do hope you will spend time Monday thinking about the work of Dr. King and what he tried to do in improving the lives of workers.