Dr. King Day

          This holiday weekend is not like other holiday weekends.  The one-tenth of 1% who own this country never wanted a holiday to honor Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.  They were forced to accept it by a movement that had - and still has - the potential to bring real economic democracy to our land.  The thought of real economic democracy scares the daylights out of the 1%.

            So let us celebrate this holiday as Dr. King would have wanted us to:  by rededicating ourselves to the struggle against the three great evils identified by Dr. King:  Racism, War, and Poverty.  Big business continues - 4 decades after murdering Dr. King  -  to use racism to divide working people against each other.  They conduct wars all over the globe to shore up their power and to enrich themselves.  And they continue to be successful in keeping one in six Americans in poverty.  Since the current economic downturn began, African American households have lost half of their net worth. 

            Dr. King understood the difficulty of the struggle we are called to take forward.  But he also saw in the labor movement the possibility of carrying the struggle to victory.  Dr. King noted that the victories won by the civil rights movement came at no cost to the 1%.  It didn’t cost big business anything to require equal accommodations on Greyhound buses or at lunch counters or hotels.  But to redistribute the wealth of the nation and actually end poverty and injustice would come only at a tremendous cost to the wealthy. 

            Dr. King called us to join forces with the 99% whose common interest lies in winning a decent standard of living for everyone.  That is the goal of the labor movement, and that is why Dr. King urged the civil rights movement to join forces with labor as we carry forward the fight for economic justice. 

          Have a safe and healthy and militant holiday.