Congressman Keith Ellison

Representing the 5th District of Minnesota


Rep. Ellison Statement on 50th Anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s Death

Apr 4, 2018
Press Release

"Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr dedicated his life to fighting for a better world for all people, and fifty years ago today, he died in that struggle. Dr. King deeply understood, in a way that few did in his time or have since, that in order to have economic justice, we must have racial justice, and that the two struggles cannot be separated. 

"It is important we remember that Dr. King’s message was deemed to be too radical by many in his own time. Throughout his life, he endured hostility, arrest and smears, not just because he dared to challenge the injustices of that era, but because he challenged us to rethink what justice looks like. In many ways, the vision he called for—of a society without discrimination and hatred, where all workers are treated with dignity, where democracy is safeguarded from concentrated wealth, and where war is waged on poverty, not other nations—can still feel very far away today. 

"But I have never been more hopeful that we will soon realize Dr. King’s vision.  

"Every day, we see it in the Black Lives Matter movement, in the Dreamers fighting to have their humanity recognized, with the students marching for gun safety, and with the teachers striking for a fair wage and quality schools.  

"We march, chant, strike and struggle because we know, as Dr. King did, that we cannot have true freedom until no student goes to school hungry, until workers can thrive on the wages they earn, until every family has a home, and until no family of color fears their child will be killed in their own backyard by police.

"Dr. King called us to carry his vision forward when he said, ‘Now let us rededicate ourselves to the long and bitter, but beautiful, struggle for a new world.’ With each march, chant, and strike, we speed up that day when justice will roll down like waters, and righteousness like a mighty stream.”