Robert Stein 1924-2014

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Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Obama's Martin Luther King Moment

As he prepares to dedicate a Washington Memorial to the spiritual leader on the 48th anniversary of his “I have a dream” speech this weekend, Barack Obama should be drawing inspiration as much from Martin Luther King’s dedication to fighting poverty as racial inequality.

At this historic moment, the nation’s first African-American president is a profile in irony. The candidate who campaigned against “dumb wars” is achieving yet another victory over tyranny in the Middle East but remains helpless against intractable foes in Washington, D. C.

As he prepares to go into battle with Congress over unemployment, the President would do well to adopt Dr. King’s “soul force” against Tea Party obstruction to investing in America’s economic future, to advocate with passion for today’s victims who are "smothering in an airtight cage of poverty in the midst of an affluent society."

As Washington visitors start drawing inspiration from a 30-foot statue of Martin Luther King emerging from two huge mounds to illustrate his invocation, “With this faith we will be able to hew out of the mountain of despair a stone of hope,” the President he made possible should overcome his aversion to displaying public passion and rally the nation in his memory.

If Dr. King were still with us as an 83-year-old patriarch, nothing would have pleased him more.

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