I don’t know about all of you but I really feel that we have drifted very far away from the messages of hope promoted by Martin Luther King Jr..

And apparently I am not alone.

Courtesy of The Philadelphia Enquirer

With every year of celebrating MLK Day of Service, the national holiday honoring the civil rights leader, it seems our country drifts further away from the ideals that the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. lived and died for. Since the inception of MLK Day, there has been not only a callous monetization of King’s image, but also a watering down of his radical message.

As another MLK Day approaches, some of the major issues King tirelessly fought against persist with brutal familiarity. King called for pacifism, guaranteed incomes to eradicate poverty as a major goal of his Poor People’s Campaign, expansion of voter rights, fair housing, and reparations for African Americans. Yet year after year, people co-opt Martin Luther King Jr. Day to issue empty pronouncements about “equality” while fighting against those causes dear to King.

Yeah, that’s what I am talking about.

What’s more black Americans are feeling less optimistic than in years past.

Courtesy of WaPo:

The findings come from a Washington Post-Ipsos poll of African Americans nationwide, which reveals fears about whether their children will have a fair shot to succeed and a belief that white Americans don’t fully appreciate the discrimination that black people experience.

While personally optimistic about their own lives, black Americans today offer a bleaker view about their community as a whole. They also express determination to try to limit Trump to a single term in office.

More than 8 in 10 black Americans say they believe Trump is a racist and that he has made racism a bigger problem in the country. Nine in 10 disapprove of his job performance overall.

The pessimism goes well beyond assessments of the president. A 65 percent majority of African Americans say it is a “bad time” to be a black person in America. That view is widely shared by clear majorities of black adults across income, generational and political lines. By contrast, 77 percent of black Americans say it is a “good time” to be a white person, with a wide majority saying white people don’t understand the discrimination faced by black Americans.

I think that we can also say definitively that racism is on the rise and coming out of the shadows in ways that we have not seen since the days when the KKK rode proudly through the streets of the south. 

I think this year more than ever we need to fight to regain that progressive dream which Martin Luther King Jr. voiced so eloquently.

Just a reminder of why we celebrate this day, and the memory of this man.