The dream outlined by Martin Luther King Jr. has still not been realized four decades later, Attorney General Eric Holder said Wednesday at the National Action Network conference in New York.
"Although I believe Dr. King would be proud to see America he helped create and the extraordinary progress that's been made in the last four decades," Holder said, "the unfortunate fact is that in 2011 our nation's long struggle long standing division ... to eradicate violence has not ended."
Holder, the first African American to hold the position of attorney general, said nine out of 10 black murder victims are killed by another black person, an occurrence that disproportionately affects young black men between the ages of 15 and 24.
"Take it personally," Holder repeated several times during the talk.
While the government needs to address causes and consequences of youth violence, he said, an effective results can only be achieved if it is done in conjunction with grass roots efforts.