MLK Day and a Death in Iraq
I wonder what Dr. King would have thought about the America we are today. I think there are reasons to doubt he'd be entirely happy with it.
After all, more than a thousand people--many of them poor and black--died in the Gulf Coast fewer than five months ago. Many of the poorest survivors may well lose any hope of rebuilding their homes and neighborhoods. Some experts say no one should move back to New Orleans, which was for centuries one of our most vital and vibrant cities. Its officials aren't receiving the support they need to safely rebuild--possibly, in part, because we're caught up in a stunningly expensive war.
Between 1967 and his death a year later, Dr. King repeatedly criticized U.S. involvement in a war which he--and many others--thought was an act of imperialism in which poor people suffered disproportionately. And he was labeled a coward and a traitor for saying so.
1,058 days. Possible costs of up to $2 trillion. An estimated minimum of 28,065 dead civilians. 2,220 coalition troops killed and 16,420 wounded.
On Friday, a childhood friend of mine died in Iraq. Unlike me, he thought this war was a just one. I'm glad he at least died as part of something he believed in.
But I sure do hope we can find a way to end it soon. And I hope we can learn to better fulfill Dr. King's dream while we're at it.