Martin Luther King Jr.’s niece says her uncle’s vision in his iconic “I Have a Dream” speech is being brought to fruition today.
“Are we living in a perfect society today? No, but the dream is being realized 55 years later,” pro-life activist Alveda King told The Daily Signal in an interview Monday ahead of the 55th anniversary Tuesday of King’s famous speech.
King, who directs the Civil Rights for the Unborn program for the organization Priests for Life, said of her uncle’s oratory:
He said ‘Let freedom ring’ and he named all of the different places, including the hamlets, the townships, and he says ‘from the hilltops’ [and] I think of Stone Mountain … in Georgia.
This year, 55 years later, I was at Stone Mountain for a OneRace rally that was led by millennials, and so prophetically, many of the things that Martin Luther King Jr. dreamed 55 years ago are being revisited today.
MLK delivered the speech during the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom on Aug. 28, 1963, about five years before his assassination in Memphis, Tennessee, on April 4, 1968. It was prophetic, Alveda King said, because her uncle’s vision for a more unified and equal America has been coming true.
“President Trump himself has said we all believe the same,” King, 67, said, adding:
I voted for President Trump … for many reasons, but one of the reasons was that when he was asked about race … his answer—and this was as a candidate, but he has echoed it and said it over and over and repeated it—he says, ‘We all believe the same, [it] doesn’t matter what color our skin is … everybody … wants somewhere safe to live, food to eat, opportunity to work and produce, opportunity to enjoy their families.’
King noted that her uncle’s speech, which he made on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial, asserted that “America has given the Negro people a bad check, a check which has come back marked ‘insufficient funds.’”
She said she is encouraged by how today’s economic environment—with black and Hispanic unemployment at historic lows—is correcting that insufficiency.
“The unemployment rates are lower, the employment rates are higher in the job market,” she said. “We have 6.5 million jobs at least, here in America. The technical, the skilled positions where there are not enough people who are … trained with those skills to step into those jobs.”
The country still has room to improve, King told The Daily Signal, and one opportunity is through the Trump administration’s work to advance prison reform:
We are looking at … prison reform and we are beginning to see that we need jubilee to let those prisoners out and to put them back into society and perhaps into some of those jobs with the proper skills, those who did not commit violent crimes.
The time is ripe, she said, for America to embrace the values that her uncle fought and prayed for.
“So the opportunity [is increasing] to let people come into a place of dignity and equality in America, not based on skin color, not based on sexuality, but the fact that, as human beings, we were created and desired with a genuine purpose. And that’s by God, and so our mantra, our motto [is] one nation under God, in God we trust,” King said.
This article has been republished with permission from The Daily Signal.
Rachel del Guidice is a reporter for The Daily Signal. She is a graduate of Franciscan University of Steubenville, Forge Leadership Network, and The Heritage Foundation’s Young Leaders Program.