Today marks the 54th anniversary of the 1963 March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom and the iconic day that Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. delivered his “I Have a Dream” speech.
In honor of both historic events, Rev. Al Sharpton gathered 1,000 ministers to rally together for a march on Washington in protest of racism in America. Sharpton confirmed that it would be one of the largest interfaith, anti-racism gatherings in the country.
Dubbed “Ministers March for Justice,” the march included Christians, Muslims, Jews and other faith-based communities and was led by Sharpton’s non-profit organization, National Action Network. The hashtag "#MM4Justice" is being used to document the march via Twitter.
“In Dr. King’s ‘I Have a Dream’ speech, he talked about voting rights, health care, criminal justice and economic injustice,” Sharpton noted via HuffPost. “All four of these areas are at risk.” In terms of “risk,” Sharpton is referencing President Donald Trump’s handling of racism and the racist acts of the Charlottesville rally, accusing his administration of regressing any progress made during the civil rights movement.
Further, this rally is Sharpton’s call to all faith-based communities to take an active stand against racism and the Trump administration, as he believed there hasn’t been enough of that. “The purpose of the march is to really put front and center leaders in the faith community that have not really made a real dramatic statement about the moral outrage that we’re looking at now in terms of the embrace of white supremacy and anti-Semitism,” Sharpton said.
— Rabbi Jonah Pesner (@JonahPesner) August 28, 2017
— Maggie Conley (@magconley95) August 28, 2017
Sharpton went on to stress the importance of marching for those who question its significance, using Dr. King as a prime example. “Many people criticize marching yet do not understand what marching is for. The job of marching is to dramatize an issue,” he said. “MLK dramatized issues and made the office holders have to come up with anti-segregation and voting laws. If you don’t raise or dramatize an issue, then no one will be forced into legislature on local or national levels to deal with it.”
Sharpton doesn’t necessarily believe that Trump himself will react effectively to this march, but he did say, “We expect everyone in the Congress and Cabinet to say, ‘This we can’t scoff at.’”