Skip to main content

This blog is cross-posted at

New York Times columnist, Princeton economics professor and Nobel Prize winner Paul Krugman was on the Sunday tv pundit circuit and he was great. He accused Radical Rightwing Republicans of holding the United States and the world’s economy hostage to get their way in the coming debt ceiling showdown between Congressional Republicans whose popularity is less than used car salesmen and President Obama. Krugman, who has also railed against American inequality, said the President is absolutely right to refuse to negotiate with Radical Rightwing Republicans because “you don’t negotiate with terrorists.” Krugman has a great book called End This Depression Now!

The day we celebrate Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr’s life and mourn his death is next Monday, January 21st, 2013. We had to fight Ronald Reagan and the Republicans so hard to get MLK a national holiday.

Dr. King is certainly one of our greatest American heroes and maybe our greatest American. He was under constant threat and despite his fame, greatness, and the Nobel Prize he never made any more money than an African-American Baptist preacher. There is no doubt that the Almighty and All-Loving God worked through Dr. King to lead a nonviolent revolution in America. Maybe you couldn’t see how fundamental that revolution was unless you grew up in the rural, still raw South and had your own life turned upside down by that revolution.

One of my best friends and mentors Rev. James Orange was in Dr. King’s inner circle. The reason Dr. King and Rev’s Abernathy and Jackson came out of their second floor rooms at the Lorraine Motel on that awful April 4 day in 1968 in downtown Memphis was because Rev. Orange was play wrestling in the parking lot with James Bevel. Rev. Orange, native of Birmingham, was the one who organized the young men and women to leave the schools and face down the dogs and fire hoses in Birmingham to galvanize America to support the revolution.

Dr. King was a trade unionist who not only believed in and struggled for racial justice but also economic justice. His soul is restless today because of our inequality.

May we honor Dr. King with a real struggle, even movement against inequality and for economic justice.

And may we all re-commit ourselves and our lives to stand against bigotry and intolerance and prejudice as reflected in the beautiful poem Billy With The Bad Eyes about a boy whose soul was too big for bigotry by Ingrid Anders.


Follow @StewartAcuff on Twitter!

Connect with Stewart Acuff on Facebook!

Stewart Acuff is the former organizing Director of the AFL-CIO. Acuff has also written two books: Playing Bigger Than You Are: A Life in Organizing, and Getting America Back to Work.
Get the e-book edition of Playing Bigger Than You Are by clicking here!

Originally posted to StewartAcuff on Tue Jan 15, 2013 at 07:51 AM PST.

Also republished by In Support of Labor and Unions.

Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags


More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site