Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day
Ted Folkert – January 18, 2021
We all know who Dr. MLK, Jr. was.
But we should all remember what he was, what he tried to do and who he became in his short life – his brave quest for nonviolent social change. John Lewis, another hero of the quest for equality of opportunity, who we lost recently, and many other brave anti-racism marchers walked proudly across the Pettis Bridge with MLK, Jr. in 1965 into their expected beating by white racists, a beating for expressing their desire to be “free at last” of slavery. This came to be called “Bloody Sunday.”
And then in 1968 Dr. King was murdered by an assassin, obviously hired by some of the rich who felt threatened by Dr. King’s message.
Dr. King and his followers made some progress during their lives but racism still persists today in this country. It will continue to exist in the form of inequality, uncompensated labor, and obstacles to financial success for the blacks in this country until we tax the 800 billionaires by half of their wealth, which amounts to 3 trillion dollars or more, and use these trillions of dollars to pay reparations to the millions of black descendants of the enslaved, those who were and still are denied equality of opportunity in this country.
No one becomes a billionaire on a level playing field. No, they all found a way to garner or extort wealth by “taking more than they give” like the line in the song “Alfie,” – “… should we take more than we give, Alfie?” All the billionaires must realize that they can never spend all their wealth. They must pay it back to those upon whose backs they amassed such fortunes. This isn’t a complicated mathematical equation. It is simple arithmetic, third grade arithmetic.
The wealthy have garnered massive wealth far beyond their contributions to society and they did it on the backs of the workers who were denied their share of the rewards of the free-enterprise system which we seem to cherish. However, it still isn’t free enterprise. It is enterprise owned, operated, and controlled by these billionaires who were clever enough to elect and convince those who control government to enact the laws which enable them to earn abusive profits on the necessities of life which we all must have for survival – an electoral system bought and paid for by a Supreme Court decision called Citizens United, which should be called Billionaires United.
This is what we remember that Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was about. This is the movement we should all connect with if we want to support equality of opportunity, that principle which is mandatory for survival of humanity here on Planet Earth.