Matt Towery

The past five years have seen no improvement in race relations in America. Quite frankly, they are worse today than when Barack Obama took the presidential oath of office in 2009. That is in part due to the very bad economy Obama inherited and a series of "stimulus' efforts that really provided little in the way of long-term jobs for those who needed them the most. Endless comments concerning racially charged issues such as the Zimmerman case have not helped improve things.

But the plight of those in the African-American community who still struggle cannot be laid at only the president's feet.

Neither Republicans nor Democrats, conservatives nor liberals, have done much to solve the underlying problems facing a large segment of African-Americans in America. Obviously, throwing government dollars at their problems without thought or accountability has done little to help. And using the plight of millions of African-American men as a political football or as a means to gain personal fortune for a relative few has not worked, either.

Worst of all, when the true family of Dr. King speaks of love and freedom for all, the words of those who broadly paint individuals who seek liberty as bigots are not only disappointing, but serve to set back Dr. King's cause. This is particularly so when those words are aimed at people who embrace the "tea party" philosophy, one rooted in freedom and liberty, the cornerstones of Dr. King's message.

Dr. King's family members say much more needs to be done for minorities in America, but they also thank the American people for the great progress that has been made in the past 50 years. They spoke without casting sad or misdirected stereotypes. In their words can be found the true message of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Matt Towery

Matt Towery is a pollster, attorney, businessman and former elected official. He served as campaign strategist for Congressional, Senate, and gubernatorial campaigns. His latest book is Newsvesting: Use News and Opinion to Grow Your Personal Wealth. Follow him on Twitter @MattTowery