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Jackson says war, poverty dampening King’s legacy


King
 (The Spokesman-Review)
King (The Spokesman-Review)
Associated Press

JONESBORO, Ga. – War, poverty, violence and social injustice are dampening the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.’s legacy as the nation prepares to celebrate the slain civil rights leader’s birthday, the Rev. Jesse Jackson told a church gathering Sunday.

In a speech at Dixon Grove Baptist Church in Jonesboro, south of King’s native Atlanta, Jackson assailed the war in Iraq and insisted the gap between rich and poor in America is widening despite King’s message of peace and equality.

“It’s easy to admire Dr. King,” Jackson said. “It’s a challenge to follow him.”

Jackson, who was standing beneath the motel balcony where King was fatally shot in Memphis, Tenn., on April 4, 1968, suggested a good birthday present to King would be for Americans to strive more for financial and social equality.

“You can be out of slavery and out of segregation and have the right to vote and starve to death without access to capital and industry,” Jackson said.

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