Congressional Black Caucus Chair Marcia L. Fudge’s Statement in Honor of Martin Luther King Jr. Day

In 1968, Dr. King spent his last birthday working on the Poor People’s Campaign to bring attention to the need for economic justice in America.  If he were alive today, I wonder how he would feel about the state of our country and of our world.

“I believe Dr. King would applaud the progress we have made toward racial and social equity, but he would strongly caution us about the shrinking equality of opportunity currently plaguing our world. He would question our nation’s persistently high unemployment rate, particularly for African Americans. He would ask why Congress couldn’t agree on extending unemployment insurance to the long-term unemployed – the people who need it the most. Dr. King would ask why millions of Americans continue to live in poverty and seek work while corporations post billions in record profits. He would call for individuals to be paid wages that would prevent them from falling below the poverty line.

“Today, our nation honors the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., an individual whose work was guided by his dream for an unprejudiced and equitable society. If he were alive today, Dr. King would certainly be proud of who we are, but he would say that we must commit to move forward together as one nation, we must not rest on our progress, there is still much work to be done.”