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Market Street Issue

March 01, 1987

Reading "M.L. King: Far More Than a Street's Name," (Feb. 22) I was reminded of a similar young black man I saw collecting signatures on a petition to save the name of Market Street. Unlike Bill Furlow, I did ask him why he was doing it. His answer: "I get paid."

He needed a job, and this was perhaps the best he could get. I doubt he saw either the symbolism or the irony. For a man of his age, the King era was dim and ancient history. I doubt if he watches KPBS. The only issue here was economic. Symbolism was a luxury he could not afford.

Perhaps the message for us is that it was not Martin Luther King's dream to have streets named after him. He was for a just society with opportunity for all people. Naming streets or even national buildings is easy; real social progress is hard. But without jobs and education and opportunity for these young men, Martin Luther King Way is an empty gesture.

How would Martin Luther King have us honor him? I don't know, but I did sign this young man's petition--not because I agreed with him, but because it was a small way to help him earn a day's wages.

STEVEN C. SCHABER

San Diego

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