What has become of Martin Luther King's dream?

Fifty years ago Martin Luther King was murdered in the Lorraine Motel in Memphis. The civil rights activist and his speech "I have a dream" have earned their place in history. Commentators examine Martin Luther King's life and legacy.

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De Morgen (BE) /

Not a weak-kneed prophet

King is often seen as the antithesis of the black leader Malcolm X. But he also called for active resistance, author Frank Albers points out in De Morgen:

“He was not the weak-kneed prophet that some still see him as having been. ... Some changes, as King said back then, are so necessary that you can't wait for an overwhelming national consensus. Sometimes you simply have to take action and intervene even if (temporarily) there is no broad social basis for it. This is an idea that is not associated so frequently with the pacifist Martin Luther King. But in these grey times of populism and authoritarianism I consider it to be particularly relevant.”

La Repubblica (IT) /

The unfulfilled dream

US correspondent Federico Rampini lists in La Repubblica questions that remain unanswered 50 years after Martin Luther King's death:

“Is America still trapped in its past? How heavily does the infamous stain of its genesis weigh on the nation: the slavery of its origins, the Civil War, the resentment of the whites in the South after their defeat, the racial segregation? Have the extraordinary victories achieved by the civil rights movement in abolishing discrimination been undermined by reality? And was Barack Obama's presidency just an illusory parenthesis, cancelled out by the renascent racism of the white electorate that voted for Trump?”