While many Americans have been eagerly awaiting the memorial which formally sets in stone King's success in expanding civil rights, let's not be to quick to celebrate. The opening of Washington D.C.'s new MLK memorial has been postponed due to the hopefully exaggerated arrival of Hurricane Irene. This gives us more time to think about the nature of this memorial.
Some of the major contributors to the national memorial include Disney, AT&T, and Verizon. If King were active today he would likely have urged people to support the strike against Verizon to protect worker's rights. Verizon made $20 billion in profit in recent years, avoids paying corporate taxes, and is proving itself anti-union and anti-worker's benefits.
Hopefully the memorial will serve to reopen and expand public interest in civil rights and the peaceful strategies of civil disobedience.