"Has America fulfilled King's Dream?" is a question that has been asked a year after a year as Americans celebrate the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday. They reflect on the vision that was set by MLK in his famed 1963 speech "I Have a Dream" at the Lincoln Memorial. A large number of Americans believe that the dream is already met, but lost in the assessments is the extensive goals MLK set out for racial justice and economic justice. Many believe that MLK's vision has been achieved because of Barrack Obama's ascendancy to the highest political office in the United States of America. Its true, barrack Obama could not become president in 1963, or in 1983.
While racism has by no means been put an end to, there is a change in racial attitudes amongst a large part of the residents that an African-American can become president. With the passage of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the coming into force of federal laws banning racial prejudice in the workplace, many barriers to success have been removed for African-Americans. However, King's dream was broader than just taking on the legal hindrances to parity. His dream extended into the harsh economic realities that are as a result of the system of economics of the United States.
His emphasis on economic justice has been indisputably lost today. Inequality in income has soared significantly since 1980, and it is at a higher level now than when King was assassinated in 1968. Since MLK's death, the richest 5 % of Americans have had their incomes grow up to over 78%, while the most poor 25% of residents have had their wages go up by 28% over the same time frame. Such an economic disparity has created a geographical separation of the races. As a result of this, there is more segregation in American schools than when MLK died. Because of these facts, it therefore becomes hard to make an argument that MLK's dream has been fulfilled.