WAVE 3 Editorial - Sept. 1, 2011: MLK Dedication/Labor Day

By Ken Selvaggi
WAVE 3 Vice President & General Manager

Martin Luther King, Jr. said, "labor that uplifts humanity has dignity and importance and should be undertaken with painstaking excellence."

This Labor Day weekend we honor the contributions workers have made to the strength, prosperity and well-being of our country. It comes a week after the postponed dedication of the MLK Memorial in our capital next to the memorials of former presidents Lincoln, Jefferson and FDR. It will certainly be a bittersweet weekend.

Both Kentucky and Indiana had unemployment rates under 6% on Labor Day five years ago and this year Kentucky's is 9.5% and Indiana's 8.5%. Unemployment among African-Americans nationally is double the national average and nearing Great Depression levels.

Martin Luther King helped lead us to be better people and a better nation. Yet divisions and disconnects remain. Louisville's 9th Street personifies an ongoing racial divide to the city.

Only 5% of the businesses in Louisville are owned by African Americans, yet 20% of the population of Louisville is African-American.

Mr. King said you only need a heart full of grace and a soul generated by love. How true. But thousands of us also need a job and are looking to today's leaders to create some soon before we lose heart.

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