While federal laws outlawing discrimination are on the books and individuals can sue employers and other entities for violating these laws, systemic racism still exists because of the unwillingness of the federal government to aggressively enforce them. Because of this, large areas of the United States are segregated, deep poverty persists for far too many people, higher education has been priced out of reach for the poor while the federal government continues to spend insane amounts of money on its war machine and modern prison slavery.
While a few have been able to advance in this racist society, Dr. King was about the uplift of the entire society including the most disadvantaged among us. If America wants to recognize and honor Dr. King, it must not simply pay him lip service but each every one of his professed admires must continue to push for the realization of his dream of an equitable society. Based on the current conditions on the ground, there is much work yet to be done.