On April 4, 1968, an activist touchstone, a leader who set a tone of nonviolence that would come to define the work of progressive organizations for decades to come, stepped out onto the balcony of the Lorraine Motel in Memphis, Tenn. Seconds later, he was assassinated.
King was in Memphis for his second event to aid sanitation workers who were on strike. According to History.com,
In the months before his assassination, Martin Luther King, Jr. became increasingly concerned with the problem of economic inequality in America. He organized a Poor People’s Campaign to focus on the issue, including an interracial poor people’s march on Washington . . .
One could only wonder what King would have had to say to the CEOs of Wall Street who Public Citizen’s Bartlett Naylor recently wrote a report about in, HOURLY RATES: A Modest Essay on Extraordinary Paychecks, or the WeAreOne nationwide labor rallies today.
Unfortunately, Martin Luther King Jr. is not here to comment, but the words he said live on in the minds of all of us who believe in equality and justice.
“Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.”
“Everything that we see is a shadow cast by that which we do not see.”
“History will have to record that the greatest tragedy of this period of social transition was not the strident clamor of the bad people, but the appalling silence of the good people.
“I submit to you that if a man hasn’t discovered something that he will die for, he isn’t fit to live.”
“Almost always, the creative dedicated minority has made the world better.”