Sen. Bernie Sanders implored the nation to advocate for Martin Luther King Jr.’s dream, not simply praise it. (PHOTO / JASON GETZ)

Bernie Sanders to leaders: Don’t just praise King, make his dream real

Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders brought a standing-room only crowd to its feet at Ebenezer Baptist Church, calling on the nation’s leaders to advocate Martin Luther King Jr.’s dream instead of simply celebrating it.

“If you honestly believe in what Dr. King stood for then stop the voter suppression,” Sanders said in a rousing speech that touched on themes familiar to those who have followed his career and his recent presidential race.

Sanders said before he was assassinated in 1968, King was not revered as he is today. He was still fighting for the poor and would today be shocked that so many of those same people are behind bars.

“He would join us in saying maybe we should be investing in jobs and education, not jails and incarceration,” Sanders said of King.

He also said it was not acceptable that America, the world’s wealthiest nation, have the highest level of childhood poverty, and that 20 million could lose health insurance if the Affordable Care Act is repealed.

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