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Remembering King’s vision, and acting to make it a reality

Today is the 50th anniversary of Dr. King’s assassination. He was only 39 years old when he was killed. 

My guess is that many people are thinking the same thing that’s on the minds of many of us at the SPLC: How would our country have been different had Dr. King lived a long life? What would he think about the state of our country today?

The answer to the first question may be a matter of speculation, but the answer to the second is painfully obvious, given the eruption of hate we’ve seen in recent years, given the persistence of poverty and discrimination, given the Trump administration’s attacks on core civil rights protections. 

What can we do? 

First, we should remember King’s vision of a “Beloved Community” – a society where love triumphs over hate, where poverty and hunger are not tolerated, where peace and reconciliation prevail over violence and conflict.

Second, and more importantly, we must act. 

King was fond of saying that the "arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice."

But it won’t bend without the efforts of each and every one of us.

Today, as we remember King and everything he stood for, we should recommit ourselves to doing everything we can to help make his vision a reality – not just today but for a lifetime. No act in the pursuit of justice in your community is too small or too large. Now is not the time to sit back and wait.

The march continues.