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Clinton: MLK would be 'pleased' by racial progress

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"If you look all around the world, the people that are embracing diversity and the idea that every person should have an equal chance to develop his or her God-given abilities to live his or her best life story, wherever that happens, people are doing well,” Clinton said in a video provided to NBC News.

The former president is scheduled to speak Wednesday at an event on the National Mall commemorating the 50th anniversary of the speech. He predicted that King would be “pleased that America is more diverse and not just a bi-racial country and that we seem to be doing alright with it.”

“He’d be pleased that there is more equal opportunity politically and an African-American had been elected president,” Clinton said. “He’d be pleased that African-Americans are competitive in Senate races and other major elections around the country. He’d be pleased that America is more diverse and not just a bi-racial country and that we seem to be doing alright with it.”

The former president also penned an op-ed for USA Today offering a personal reflection of King's speech. He said that even from Arkansas, he "felt a deeper commitment to racial equality and justice" as he watched on television, admitting King's words "brought tears to my eyes."

Clinton complimented King's "vivid language" for forcing "white Americans to see the issue in both moral and deeply personal terms."