Martin Luther King Day: US economy is unfair to Black people
Martin Luther King Day is a federal holiday in the US that is observed on the third Monday of January, which falls on January 17 this year.
King was an influential African American civil rights leader — best known for his work on racial equality and ending racial segregation in the United States.
Many national leaders who spoke on Monday acknowledged the racial inequality still exists in the US, despite decades of struggle to remove discrimination against minorities.
The US economy “has never worked fairly for Black Americans — or, really, for any American of color,” US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said in a speech in Washington.
Monday would have been the 93rd birthday of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., who was just 39 when he was assassinated in 1968 while helping sanitation workers strike for better pay and workplace safety in Memphis, Tennessee.
King’s eldest son, Martin Luther King III, criticized President Joe Biden and Congress for failing to pass voting rights legislation, after 19 states made it harder to vote in response to former President Donald Trump’s false claims about election-rigging.
The voting rights bill would expand access to mail-in voting, strengthen federal oversight of elections in states with a history of racial discrimination and tighten campaign finance rules.
In June, the UN human rights chief called for countries around the world, in particular the United states, to dismantle discrimination and prosecute law enforcement officials for unlawful killings of blacks, saying racism against people of African descent remains systemic in many parts of the globe.
In a landmark report launched after the murder of African-American George Floyd by a white police officer in Minneapolis in May 2020, Michelle Bachelet said that police use of racial profiling and excessive force is entrenched in much of North America, Europe and Latin America.