2013 marks 150 years since President Abraham Lincoln freed most of the country's slaves. Noliwe Rooks, associate professor at Cornell University, says America would be well served to issue a second Emancipation Proclamation -- something Martin Luther King, Jr. wanted President John Kennedy to do 50 years ago.
King wanted Kennedy to eliminate all forms of segregation and make discrimination illegal. Rooks said those problems still exist:
President Kennedy considered it but ultimately declined to sign such an Executive Order. But King's sentiment is no less true for us today. This year, as we celebrate the 150th anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation, we should reconsider King's idea of a second proclamation. In it, we could offer incentives to those willing to find creative solutions for breaking a cycle of racial segregation in housing and especially education that has gone on for far too long. If we are successful, we would complete the work to which King dedicated his life.
Rooks will join The Daily Circuit Wednesday Feb. 27 to talk about what can be done to fix the nation's racial problems. For his second inauguration, President Barack Obama used two bibles - one from Lincoln and one from King. Should he complete those two men's visions for the country and issue a second Emancipation Proclamation?
Jack White, contributor for The Root, will also join the discussion.
LEARN MORE ABOUT SEGREGATION AND DISCRIMINATION:
1963 Emancipation Proclamation Party lacked a key guest (NPR)
Reflecting on the Emancipation Proclamation this Inauguration Day (Washington Post's The Root DC)
King's forgotten manifesto (New York Times)
The myth of desegregation (Time)