Today is the 50th anniversary of Martin Luther King’s I Have a Dream speech. The 50 years since that famous speech stand today as a measuring stick to place blackness in America against. To paraphrase MLK himself, it’s 50 years later and the negro is still not free. Now I can hear you shouting “Black President !” from here, and I’ve seen Obama hanging around, so I know lots has changed. Even with all the change, the needle for black people–and poor people– that the civil rights activists fought so hard to move seems to point to the same old numbers.
By every metric of social well being , blacks lag behind their white counterparts. While civil rights gave legal rights to blacks that were long overdue, the last 50 years has witnessed the slow erosion of these gains. Stop and Frisk, Stand Your Ground, and the Supreme Court’s decision on the Voting Rights act all remind us that racism lives on in the heart of the American justice system, while discriminatory financial and educational policies bring the fight to our homes and schools.