In honour of this year’s Martin Luther King Jr. Day, his son delivered a video op-ed via the New York Times. In it, Martin Luther King III spoke about reminding us all about another part of his father’s legacy. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. is rightfully known for his incredible work as a civil rights advocate, but he fought equally hard to combat poverty and income inequality – even while faced with tremendous pushback, both from the public and the government.
In the video message, Martin Luther King III points out that unfortunately this fight is more necessary now than ever. While in the late 1960s the US had over 25 million people in poverty, that number today is more than 40 million (with many more millions right on the poverty line). With the real economic fallout of the pandemic still on the horizon, things could easily become worse. So, the time for action is now.
“If my father saw the issues of poverty and income inequality today, he would be greatly disappointed,” King said. “If you really want to celebrate Martin Luther King Jr. Day, and the principles my father stood for, our whole government needs to step up. From creating a cabinet position focused on fighting poverty, to passing a universal basic income.”
As the oldest son of the late Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and Mrs. Coretta Scott King, Martin Luther King III serves as an ambassador of his parent’s legacy of nonviolent social change. Motivating audiences with his message of hope and responsibility for decades, his dedication to ridding the world of social, political, and economic injustice has propelled him to the forefront as one of the world’s most ardent advocates for the poor, the oppressed, and the disillusioned.