April 3rd, 2008
07:04 PM ET

As America remembers my father...

Martin Luther King III, son of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., shares his thoughts with the 360blog on the 40th anniversary of his father's assassination, and where we go from here.

As America remembers my father this week, I find myself reflecting on his great dream and the amazing strides we have made as a nation towards accomplishing the dream.  We have had two African-Americans serve as Secretary of State and in this exciting election either a woman or an African-American will be the Democratic candidate for President of the United States of America.  I am proud of the instrumental role my father had in bringing about systemic change and I draw strength from knowing so many people are working to continue this change and accomplish his dream.

My reflection on my father also leads me to his immense passion to overcome economic injustice.  A passion that is evident in his final sermon, given at the National Cathedral on March 31st, 1968, in which he declared, “There is nothing new about poverty. What is new is that we now have the techniques and the resources to get rid of poverty. The real question is whether we have the will.”  Sadly, forty years have passed and absolutely no strides have been made to combat poverty.

Therefore, as I look back on my father’s great work and incredible life, I am also looking forward to continuing that work and honoring his life.  I am looking forward to Americans rolling up their sleeves, joining together and working to bring about a systemic change that will forever rid the world of economic injustice, as my father asked us all to do forty years later. 

For this reason, I recently urged our Presidential candidates to publicly vow to appoint a cabinet level poverty officer, an officer with the sole goal of ending the economic injustice that oppresses so many Americans.  With over 36 million people living in poverty, 12 million of them children, something needs to be done and it needs to be done now.  The President has a nation to run and a world to work with, but a cabinet officer can have the sole dedication to ending poverty. 

It is a privilege to share with all of you today.  Please keep the discussion going, roll up your sleeves and help us to realize my father’s dream.

– Martin Luther King III

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soundoff (96 Responses)
  1. EJ - Ohio

    The special with Soledad made me wonder more about who was involved in the assassination.

    I understand the King family does not believe it was Ray.

    What did the police say was Ray's motive? He seemed to not have a motive and he also didn't appear to be someone who could plot the assassination of such a high level person over the course of a year. Even if he took the shot, I do not believe he was on his own.

    There are too many strange circumstances surrounding that day.

    Some of the theories that were shot down on the CNN special were not really shot down. For instance that roof of the fire or police station. They showed a picture of no one being on the roof minutes after the shot. However, when I watched it again, there could have been a person lying flat with a rifle (or even one that had already took off before the picture was taken).

    And remember that black police officer that said he got a call that said "We're gonna kill you" - All that stuff is too weird.

    We have a national holiday for MLK Jr. when our own government is the one who really took him down.

    I also don't believe the prosecutor on the show that said government secrets can't be kept that long. That is pure bull. There are many things the government has kept secret that we will never find out about. Its only when there are whistleblowers or undercover investigations that we find out of wrongdoing in the government. They can hide things and keep secrets very well.

    April 6, 2008 at 5:14 pm |
  2. Dawn T.-Pittsburgh, PA

    Today as I ponder the sacrifices of your father, family, and all of those ancestors whose blood cries out to us, my heart is heavy. Although I'm encouraged by some of the strides of this past generation, it is clear that more work is necessary to fulfill all aspects of Dr. King’s dream.

    While there are many external factors contributing to the current plight of people of color, we must recognize our role in perpetuating the violence that plagues our communities across this country. Last week one of my friends/co-workers was murdered. Unfortunately, I have experienced the loss of many loved ones; however, it is the first time someone I knew well was murdered. The violence has hit too close to home. I'm devastated. My friend is now a statistic; part of the murder rate among people of color (he was Hispanic). Now his children will grow up without a father and his wife is a widow at the age of 40. Violence is corporeal and its effect is eternal. It is up to us to end this internal conflict that threatens our progress.

    I'm looking forward to watching CNN's upcoming series “Black in America”. As a proud alumna of an HBU {Florida A&M-Go Rattlers :-)}, I hope the series is fair and properly reflects the diversity of the African-American experience.

    April 4, 2008 at 9:53 pm |
  3. Kevin Facey

    First to address Brandon. From what I have read from the post, I am not sure that you really know what you are saying.

    As for Kevin Lynch, I think that you totally missed the point as far as Obama's former pastor. Maybe, you think that King did not say something very controversial. You must not remember the speech in NYC's Riverside Church, where he spoke out against the Vietnam War. There were people, who hated him then. Plus, did you hear the whole sermon that Rev. Wright said, or are you one of those people, that a soundbite is enough for them. Start thinking for yourself, and not let others think for you.

    Finally, Martin III, I want to say that your father was a great man, and we need someone like him today, in a world that has gone man. Then, maybe we, my generation, and the generation to come, need to maybe take the baton and run the race, to make America, and the world around us better.

    April 4, 2008 at 4:38 pm |
  4. Mike in NYC

    It's been enlightening seeing folks in this thread fawn boilerplate-fashion over MLK III's generic screed.

    It doesn't take much to impress you folks, does it? Anyone who plays to your fantasies gets the Oscar.

    MLK III wrote:

    "I am looking forward to Americans rolling up their sleeves ... "

    A variation on "Michelle's Theme," here. Time to get to work., [white] folks. Stop sitting on your lazy [white] behinds, get out of your [white] comfort zones, and get to creating that perfect world. You're suffering from too much privilege, in case you hadn't noticed - you were probably too busy struggling to make ends meet, in between dealing with the guilt you've earned from being responsible for everyone else's problems.

    Folks, your perfect world will never exist. The "promised land" doesn't exist. We're not getting to the "top of the mountain."

    People are who they are. Differences exist. Not "vive les différences" type differences, but differences that have to be acknowledged and lived with.

    April 4, 2008 at 4:12 pm |
  5. AZ


    No opportunity exists without obstacles. The opportunity for education does exists for children. Children getting beat up on their way to school is not an issue that the opportunity doesn't exist, but the reality that an obstacle is there. Those are obstacles that can be overcomed.

    It is just like saying I can 't go to work because of traffic. Well, traffic is the obstacle that I must face in order to get to work.

    My thing with education are the children who show up at school, but leave school to go sit at some man's house with his daughter. That is not seizing opportunity. The reason why I know is because I see it firsthand.

    I imagine JP you are probably middle-aged. Well, I am a teenager who knows what is going on.

    Remember, the government keeps changing what poverty means. It use to mean absence of baisc needs; now it is the absence of what everybody else has.

    Remember when $100,00 (6 figures) was the income to make. Now those who make $100k and say, "What money?" Constant changes causes us to amend what things mean.

    Poverty (as most define it) will always exist as long as an imperfect people exist. People are not trying to combat poverty, they are trying to get people on the same level. Well, everybody can't be on Bill Gates level. Everybody can't be on Jamie Dimon and Derek Jeter level. But yes they can. But when they do, the so-called standard becomes greater.

    You have rich athletes, then you have moguls. Rich athletes can be worth $20 million. Moguls can be worth $1 billion. People actually look down on the rich athletes from the mogul standpoint because the difference in what can be acquired is so different.

    That is how poverty works. Those with Honda Accord look down on FOrd Focus, as they look down on those who ride the bus. Poverty is about acquisition or lack thereof. Poverty in America is about push a consumptive practice that equates to what the rich, then the wealthy, then the O My God wealthy.

    April 4, 2008 at 2:22 pm |
  6. Poiesis

    The filthy rich and the poor, the final injustice, agreed
    But please don’t be sucked into socialism’s disease

    I know it’s hard to believe in capitalism
    Seeing the haughty prance around and carelessly play
    While the workers are stuck in the gutter fighting for a decent wage

    But reminder what King said “I have seen the promise land”
    It is the vision that saves, money makes slaves

    Time to unify
    Organized Will
    Valiant Action Wings
    The power has always stayed with the people
    Making us brave and sustaining us for one more day

    So hold tight to the truth
    Don’t let the elitist kill your dream
    Light the scared heart
    Forge the Soul Sword and Shield
    Love, the corner stone, lets rebuild

    The soil beneath your feet is fertile
    And the fruit on the trees are ripe
    Basic Goodness encompasses all
    Time to manifest the warrior’s way!

    April 4, 2008 at 1:51 pm |
  7. Paul

    I don't believe the american public yet has been able comprehend the greatness of your father. We are still learning to this day, God Bless you

    April 4, 2008 at 12:43 pm |
  8. S. Lang

    BRAVO!! Great idea having a poverty officer. I think you would be a perfect candidate. I would vote for you.
    Also, I just wanted to pass along-last night I watched a story about your Dad on CNN news and James Earl Ray-the assasination.
    I have to be honest here, I am white and never really paid attention to the whole MLK thing/dream...but after watching this story last night-It brought me to my knees in tears- I am sorry I did not realize how great a man your father was and his passion-my gosh- breathtaking.I wish I could have known him-and now I DO realize his dream and back him up all the way. You are blessed to be the blood of this great man.

    April 4, 2008 at 12:10 pm |
  9. bob bedford

    Praise The Lord says it all.

    April 4, 2008 at 12:04 pm |
  10. Mike in NYC

    Natalie wrote:

    "White history is studied all year long, yet if black history is paid attention to outside of its designated 28/29 days, it’s viewed negatively."

    You and I must be living on two different planets. White history is never studied explicitly as "white" history, as opposed to "black history."

    And since when is black history viewed negatively? Black history as a noble, long-suffering resistance to white oppression has become a constantly repeated theme.

    Constantly apparently isn't enough, I guess.

    April 4, 2008 at 11:51 am |

    Dr King stood for justice and in justice he found something worth dying for.His death has never been in vain. In fact his death accentuated the justice cause.Like Christ he was a world changer and a shaker.Happy anniversary.

    April 4, 2008 at 11:49 am |
  12. JP


    I agree with the problem of poverty, it is huge problem and we need a huge person to take it on. There are some people that left comments that I agree with and some I do not, such as AZ. If all children have the equal opportunity to get an education, then why are so many children getting beat up, or worse on their way to school. Or they will not leave their house without their older sibling to protect them, that is not equal opportunity.

    MLK had a dream, but he also had a vision, to see people working together to make the United States a better and equal society. That vision had yet to happen, we have not had anyone strong enough to speak out on the issue of poverty since MLK besides John Edwards. Edwards ran for President talking about poverty and other issues, Americans did not give him a second look, what a shame, he really could have helped and changed the direction of our nation.

    Will we ever get someone to stand up and say, "That is enough, we have to change?"


    April 4, 2008 at 11:40 am |
  13. Mike in NYC

    In response to my pointing out that over a trillion dollars have been spent to combat poverty, with pitiful results, Mollie responded:

    "That is a perfect example of just how far we have NOT come."

    I'm not sure what you mean, except to imply that more money will solve the problem. Or that it's whites that haven't "come far."

    Whites are the least racist people around, in case you haven't noticed. Every other group is allowed, indeed encouraged, to think as a group.

    (Also - I've opposed the Iraq war from the beginning. A tremendous waste of lives, both Iraqi and American, and resources. A tragedy of biblical proportions.)

    April 4, 2008 at 11:28 am |
  14. BETH,TX

    Thank you Martin, for again sharing with us your father's Legacy. I have much respect and lover for you and your entire family.

    I was born in 1968. A lot of what my parents and grandparents went through was a tragedy. Thank goodness that I never experienced it first hand. But I will always hold much respect for the King family.

    You have all taught us how to judge the essence of a man, rather the color of a man. And really that's what it all boils down to. Every opportunity that I have to watch something that involves the history of this country, I do. I do it because I have children that may one day lead this country. So I want them to be prepared and have the right kind of tools to do their job right.

    1 of those tools it that you have to understand where we were in history, to appreciate the advancements that have been made. Yes, we still have a lot of work a head of us. But I do believe that we can handle this. Americans have shown great courage in the past, and some of them still fight the same fight that Martin Luther King Jr. fought so many yrs ago. And let me just say this, it is very important that we still talk about it. We shouldn't just be doing it during black history month, or on MLK day. This should be in our conversations more frequently, because I feel that, that is the only way that we can surpass all the racial hatred that still exists. We should also be looking for ways to improve the current systems that are in place, so I do agree with you fully and totally about the President of the United States appointing someone to directly focus on those issues that still exists.

    If there are people that disagree with you, or disagree with what CNN is covering, about what it actually means to be black, then, this is just more evidence that there are people who in some form or fashion have hatred toward black people. This is Huge!! I am a white female who grew up in a military family, so, there was never any room for racism in our family. Never!! God will be the judge for all of us, no need for us to judge each other. It only wastes time and energy. I'd rather focus on positive things in my life, and set positive goals so my children will do that when they grow up, and they will be productive and maybe have a positive impact on someone else one day.

    Thank you CNN for covering this story. And realizing that the fight is still on within all of us. And for realizing that Martin Luther Jr. is more than just a holiday that we celebrate. He is more than just a street named after him. He is more than being a part of Black History Month. He is more than just a memory.

    He is still ..... the Future!!

    Beth, TX

    He is still the Future to a lot of Americans .... Every day !! :0)

    April 4, 2008 at 11:17 am |
  15. Pat M Canada

    Martin Luther King III:
    Thank you for your comments. I hope the present Candidates will take them to heart and unite to end poverty. There is no reason for people of our World to be in need.

    Martin Luther King will be with us forever. His Greatness will live on not only in the minds of Americans but in minds of all people throughout our Universe.

    I listened to the Video of Martin Luther King's Sister. I wish her the Best on her new Book. I know it will be a Best Seller. The King family is a family of Champions and deserve enormous gratitude.

    April 4, 2008 at 11:13 am |
  16. Toni

    Thank you Martin for sharing with us! Your father was taken way too early from us. It makes me sad, that at times I feel we are more segregated now then in the past years with all the violence, racism and hatred, your father was the Prince of Peace and was against all the violence.

    Your father is my daughters hero and has been for years, she feels she's some how connected with Dr. King as she was born 04-04-1986 and he was killed in 04-04 1968.

    She tries to see the good in everyone but has learned over the years that we live in a jaded world. But it hasn’t stopped her from talking about MLK when the opportunity arises. She feels in order to keep the dream alive, we need to talk about it and live it everyday!

    April 4, 2008 at 11:12 am |
  17. rp

    Terry @ 4:49am,

    You are so right! But this will not make news as we are afraid to look at ourselves as Americans. The truth is it's not the little guys/gals in America on the left or the right . It is our corupt government officials on the left and the right, who are anti-American toward the future of America. Officialswho are getting rich illegally at home and globally as they use the American Flag and it's citizens as a weapon around the world.

    If we, "the people" and the media networks could influence Washington to begin Internal Affair Investigations into the illegal affairs of our government officials, we, "the people" could begin real change for a Great Nation, "America the Beautiful".

    But this will be cited as, "conspiracy theory" and brushed aside. There should be an expectation of, "Transparency in Government".

    Martin Luther King and John F. Kennedy understood this and paid the ultimate sacrifice for freedom.

    April 4, 2008 at 11:11 am |
  18. Natalie

    I find it very sad that some people use Dr. King's son's blog on his deceased, legendary father as a way to attack Barack Obama for his preacher's words, and to complain that African-American history is getting too much coverage since it's not the right month! Wow! White history is studied all year long, yet if black history is paid attention to outside of its designated 28/29 days, it's viewed negatively, as if Black history (especially the legacy of Dr. King) were so minute that the shortest month of the year was sufficient to cover it.

    Anyways, I applaud your efforts to combat poverty Martin. You're a true leader & inspiration to us all! I hope the candidates take your advice effectively & maybe appoint you as the cabinet officer!

    April 4, 2008 at 11:04 am |
  19. Paul

    Thank you for your comments. However, you've got to be kidding about a government "poverty officer".
    First, compared to the rest of the world, there is little true "poverty" in the US. Poor Americans have places to live, food to eat, medical care, and own cars, TVs, and refrigerators. I've seen poverty firsthand in the third world – people living in cardboard boxes on garbage dumps with literally no world possessions. There is little or none of that here.
    More importantly, though, until people realize that THEY are responsible – not the government – poverty will never end. The government has poured trillions of dollars into anti-poverty programs over the last 40 years – and (thanks to the government's changing standards on what constitutes poverty) we have more people in "poverty" than ever. If we had simply given that cash to poor people, we'd have created millions of millionaires. My suspicion, however, is that they'd still be in "poverty" because they didn't earn it. Government programs that give money to unwed mothers, for instance, have destroyed the black family. The majority of black children today are born into single parent families without fathers – which is the leading cause of poverty.
    If Black leaders were really serious about ending poverty, they would encourage marriage and personal responsibility. Poverty will only be overcome if poor people learn to care for themselves and their families – without expecting someone else, like the government – to come and fix the problem for them.
    Simply put, poverty CANNOT and WILL NOT be solved by the government. Pouring more money down the hole of the "Great Society" will only continue to make the problem worse.

    April 4, 2008 at 11:03 am |
  20. AZ


    I respect the dream that your father had. I respect what became of his work, for I live it today. I want to encourage others to dream a dream, and push the dream to reality. It is so easy to quote someone else's dream, while yet neglecting the truth that others have dreams. We must echo the dreams of those not noted by historians and celebrated by the masses.

    Poverty in our country is not the absence of basic neccessities anymore, it has now become what one doesn't have that others do have. People fighting against poverty don't realize that the root of poverty is not just greed and rich white people, but it is more so the mentality of the people. At one point, the absence of what you needed was poverty, now if you don't have a single-family home and a Lexus you might get the poverty vote.

    Everybody is pushing towards economic equality. It will never happen. Why? Because an imperfect people produces an imperfect society. Even more so, economic equality is slap in the face of those who earn a living honestly; many times most than others. It isn't our job to see that everybody has the same thing. It is our job to see that everybody has the same opportunity.

    When our young people don't go to school, they have the opportunity; yet they don't go. We don't need more educational funding, we need more people to take advantage of what has already been provided.

    When you think of any major innovation in our world, you think of what someone had and what could be done with it. Opportunity can never be equal, because someone will always be left out whether it be by choice or neglect. Opportunity is what is before you, not what is before everybody else.

    April 4, 2008 at 11:00 am |
  21. Kent, Illinois

    Well said Terry...............by the way, I watched Michael Moore's movie "Sicko" for the first time last night. Everyone should see this show.

    So many countries actually take care of their people. Free National Healthcare. Wow, what a concept. If I get sick ,I'm heading to Canada.

    April 4, 2008 at 10:56 am |
  22. Robert Benson

    I was sixteen and living in Pontiac, Michigan, the day your Father was murdered. I now take advantage of the moment to extend my belated condolences to you and your entire family, and also thank you for keeping the issues of social injustice on the table this election year. I admire the legacy of your Mom and Dad, Mr. King, and I am sure they are proud of you. Keep up the fight and good luck

    April 4, 2008 at 10:54 am |
  23. Deece Welch

    Mr. King,

    God bless you for carrying on your father's work. Your idea for a cabinet member dedicated to the issue of poverty is spot-on. Individual Americans can do much, too. You may recall that a week ago, Wal-Mart was smugly justifying its legal but amoral taking of a former employee, Debbie Shank's, personal injury funds–funds needed to house her in a nursing home. Thousands of individual Americans wrote to end this social injustice, and their voices have made a huge difference. A week later, Wal-Mart has not only decided to leave Ms. Shank's moneys alone, but also to change the policy that had allowed Wal-Mart to go after the moneys to begin with. This is a real win by the American people against a huge entity, and shows that when we act individually in large numbers, we can accomplish vital social change.

    April 4, 2008 at 10:49 am |
  24. Christe

    Bravo for you!! I think appointing someone to concentrate on the poverty issue is wonderful! As one of the comments stated... isn't that the obvious? It really is a shame that in these United States we have this problem. Look at all the riches we have here... it's outrageous how many are living in poverty! We should be giving hope and encouragement to have a better land that we live in. Keep on keeping on..... for the peace and equality!

    April 4, 2008 at 10:46 am |
  25. juliet kamara


    Thank you very much for sharing your thoughts with us.

    Your father and his legacy have taught me to believe in myself and go after my dreams, it will take time, but it will one day come to pass.

    His dreams are coming to pass and they are already changing the United States of America.

    It is my prayer that some people who do not believe in themselves will learn from the legacy of your father and learn to challenge themselves.

    May God continue to protect all of us.

    April 4, 2008 at 10:46 am |
  26. Peggy

    I was 10 years old and I remember your father being shot like it was yesterday. I remembering my parents crying, I guess them thinking that their hope and just been died. I have since lost both my parents and I know the feeling of lost, they were also great people. Keep your head up ONE DAY AT AT TIME. Your father would be so proud of you as would mines be of me.

    God Bless

    April 4, 2008 at 10:46 am |
  27. Cindy

    What a wonderful message on your blog about your father. You were blessed to have a wonderful father, even if it was for just a short time. My heart goes out to you today in your loss. Your father's sacrifice of his life for his country is heart wrenching as is the loss of our soldiers in Iraq and other wars. Because your father was a soldier, only he was on native soil. He supported change in America just as our soldiers support America in wars. He would have probably been proud of the changes that have occurred, but also would have kept working for a better America. Who knows, he might have eventually been America's first black president if he had lived.
    He would have also been proud of you, his namesake. Your ideas about a "poverty" cabinet member are wonderful. Each day in the news, we hear about America sending funds to help those individuals in other countries, but where is the help at home. I realize that we have welfare and foodstamps for those individuals who do not have jobs, but there are others who are trying to make a difference in their lives that could use a helping hand. Poverty does not just strike those who are unemployed, but very many people who are employed. Many people are stuck in dead end jobs that don't pay the rent and are forced to work two full times jobs just to keep a roof over their head. This in return causes sickness, which causes more debt and depression. Defeating poverty will take education and a willing america to make poverty in america a thing of the past. I hope that the candidates will listen to your words and words of others and create a position to help the poor in America, whether they are unemployed or employed.

    April 4, 2008 at 10:43 am |
  28. Sarah

    Brandon and Rick How very ignorant of you. This is a day to commemorate Dr Martin Luther King Jr, his Life and his Legacy...why do you have to throw ignorant remarks in here?? Obama? Clinton? Rev Wright? That is not what we are here to talk about! Dr King was a GREAT man who sacrificed alot not just for the black community but for the American community as a whole!! That is why we pay reverence not because of his color!!...whenever i read such ignorant comment from people like you....it makes me realize that the "Dream" hasnt quite materialized yet.

    April 4, 2008 at 10:40 am |
  29. Michael Bower

    Yes, Martin,

    Your father's legacy needs to be continued. Poverty is one of the last frontiers of socail justice, and at the same time, the oldest problem in society. I think Obama needs to create an Econimic Justice Cabinet position, and it should be headed by John Edwards. That's who I would appoint in a heart beat!

    Long live the memory and the legacy of MLK, and may he never have given his life in vain. We need to end the racial problems of this nation, and end the suffering of the poor everywhere.


    April 4, 2008 at 10:39 am |
  30. Reggie

    First of all, the King family made no sacrifices above any other family. The fact that they have sold or leased all of the legacy shows that the spirit of Dr. King did not roll over to the kids. While I truly respect the work that he committed himself to, the greatest message was not of non violence or justice but faith in the message of Jesus Christ. In one of his last speecehes, he stated that his legacy would not be one of the " finer things in life" but of a committed life. Guess the kids and Misses missed that one. All we seem to see is the need for celebrity.

    April 4, 2008 at 10:39 am |
  31. Efi

    As litle boy growing up in Africa, i had a book about MLK. His speaches and life story. He lived a selfless life and inspired millions not only here in the US but around the would that you can stand up against injustice and prevail even when the odds are overwhelmingly against you. He and Mandela are eceptional humanbeings. I wish America will listen and truly change. As an African, I always thought America was a near ideal society where there was plenty for for all and where people were no longer treated by the color of their skin but by the content of their character. After living here for a year, the shock I have is beyong words. That there are homeless, hungry people right in Washington, not far from the White House will be unbelievable to my African friends. To hear the media use race and twist comments by others during your presidential elections reminded me of " Radio Mille Colins" that poured fuel that led to the Rwandan genocide. Thank God Americans have studied and won't stoop that low. But honestly if what has been going on in some media had happened in an African country with many tribes, then all the ingredience would have been put in place for the unexpected. I do think the media can help enormously to educate the people and not incite hatred and racism. It hides in us and just needs the list excuse to explode. Anderson I appreciate you program last night about MLK. I learnt alot.

    April 4, 2008 at 10:39 am |
  32. Mollie

    Mike In NYC, your blind statement : "No, the one trillion plus dollars that have been spent since the sixties to combat poverty obviously don’t count."

    That is a perfect example of just how far we have NOT come.

    You mock money spent to combat poverty in FORTY years, but I imagine you support the trillions to be spent on an unjust war in Iraq. I suppose to you brown people are brown people no matter where they dwell.

    And as for Kevin Lynch, why do I imagine that lynch is a choice for you, not a true last name? Frightening, yet stereotypical down to the America: love it or leave it attitude.

    To quote your father, Mr. King-and while he was speaking of the war in Vietnam, this is precise to the horror of what we are doing today:
    "God didn't call America to engage in a senseless, unjust war, and we are criminals in that war. We've committed more war crimes almost than any nation in the world, and I'm going to continue to say it."

    When will it be time to stop pretending we have the right to demand the rest of the world follow us? Why in the world would they want to with the USA in such a massive downspiral? I pray that the dreams of Dr. King will see reality, but while we continue to bleed money into hate and murder disguised as patriotism, our own country is quietly combusting.

    April 4, 2008 at 10:38 am |
  33. Jenni

    thank you for reminding us what your father did
    i will always remember what he did and how he helped america

    April 4, 2008 at 10:34 am |
  34. Brandon J. Ford

    I recently worked at a campaign event for Barack Obama, and I talked for a long while with an older gentleman who had been in the civil rights movement and marched on Washington. That was a decade and a half before I was born when Dr. King spoke so eloquently about his dream, but in 2008 I sat their privileged by the presence of someone who couldn't share in this country's freedom not too long ago, and, together, we sat working for a historical candidate. When I departed this event, this man, who had been through so much, thanked me–I couldn't believe it. I told him I hadn't done half of what he had done, but I'd try. He gave me a few words of encouragement and shook my hand: "Be strong BROTHER." I automatically thought of Dr. King's dream–hand and hand at the table of brotherhood. I hoped he could see what had happened, for I was much lighter than that brother that shook my hand in skin tone, but we had come together. For myself, I don't think of myself as any color (I'm of many ethnicities). I think of myself as Brandon–and without Dr. King I don't think much of this progress would have happened. I'm sorry for the loss of your father, but I assure his dream is being realized, at more and more tables across this country as every day passes because he had lived.

    April 4, 2008 at 10:30 am |
  35. JD-NC


    You should be the one running for President. Your mother, Coretta Scott King, and your father, obviously did put great values in you and your family, and you should be most proud of your parents. Your statements talk to all walks of life, without drawing lines of race. I commend you from the bottom of my heart. Your words have given me encouragement that the cursing, slandering, and mudslinging is not necessary, and you are correct...there are poverty levels that exist in this country, and old, young, black, white, hispanic, ect. worry about putting roofs over heads, and food on the table. This is my field, and I live it everyday. You are a uniter, and you have made me feel hope with your statement. Martin...see-read-there are good in both our races-read the comments above. Obviously-we need to draw away from those who want to keep this issue alive-and unify the country and our races. Bless you-and remember your Mother, also, she did a wonderful job, and I praise her, also.

    April 4, 2008 at 10:29 am |
  36. Seun

    Dr King

    Your work transcends the shore of America and brought me out of perennial poverty in Africa . My family , myself and all those who have benefited from your work through me will for ever be greatful to you and your family . May the lord grant you eternal rest and your family the fortitude to bear your loss


    April 4, 2008 at 10:29 am |
  37. Trish

    The grace and dignity with which your family has endured through these forty years is truly remarkable. Though I was not yet born on the day your father died, I was raised by parents who opened the doors of our country's history to me at a very young age. Your father's role in the betterment of our great country is evident and lasting. I am moved by his words no matter how many times I have heard them. He was so gifted and he used his gifts not for prestige or popularity, but to effectuate change. I have taken the anniversary of his sacrifice as an opportunity to teach my own son of Dr. King's dreams, strength in the face of adversity, committment to equality and dedication to make America stronger by ending injustice in all its various forms.

    April 4, 2008 at 10:27 am |
  38. Mama Attiglah

    Martin Luther King's dreams still live in us. The dream that all men are created equal, the dream that right and justice shouldn't not be luxury but necessity, the dream that poverty needs to be eradicated in the black community must now be extended to all race in this moden world. Blacks and Whites must engage in a sincere dialogue to get rid of their common ennemy in the Washington Lobbying circle and bring power back to people.
    May the Lord bless Obama with Dr King's wisdom to bring us all together once again and teach our children that peace and love must be their only nuclear arms against each other.
    I hope to live long enough to see those dreams become a history.

    April 4, 2008 at 10:26 am |
  39. Kevin

    I say we raise taxes and give it to the poor so we are all equal!

    April 4, 2008 at 10:25 am |
  40. Bruce

    I have a lot of thoughts today. One thought that disturbs me more than anything is, indeed, the disproportional amount of material and economic wealth controlled by the few, at the expense of many here in this country. I truly believe in the Covey (1998) philosophy, that there is enough ("to eat") for everyone–if only those who control the supply (e.g., resources, health care, etc.) could wake-up and realize that their long-term success (and further prosperity) could be enriched by sustaining or improving the lives of others. As it stands now, how can we possibly call ourselves the "richest country on earth" when so many of our citizens are so destitute?

    Indeed, there are so many "things" wrong with our nation right now it's almost impossible to contemplate where to begin. Nevertheless, I agree with MLK III when he suggests that his father's central themes, today, would be poverty, racism, and militarism...

    April 4, 2008 at 10:24 am |
  41. Rosemarie Battaglia_McGuire

    Martin, Well said, thank you and bless you. Couldn't help but notice you were all inclusive in your desire to abolish poverty. My husband was raised in dire Appalachian poverty that rivaled even the most deprived I'd ever seen growing up in a Northern inner city.
    The stats show White's make up huge number among those in poverty as well. Especially in rural Southern states where one factory closing can put a 1/3 or more of town out of work.
    I honor MLK among the best of the best as a brotherhood people advocate and a Christian man who loved all God's people admidst the harsh grief being endured by his own race and people.
    I must declare that White America and Especially White Pastor's failed to uphold not just equality and justice but also true Christianity in America's past. Rev. Martin Luther King attempted to summon White Pastor's to unite in Christian peaceful solidarity. They ignored and rejected that Christian fellowship which is why churches remain segregated today. It's also why and how militancy and Islam has stepped into gap and highjacked Christian's and Christianity because Islam sought the lost, bound wounds of afflicted and cleaned up communities as Christian duty was supposed to do.

    April 4, 2008 at 10:19 am |
  42. Rahni, Connecticut

    Martin Luther King was a great man. If you look closely, nothing has change. People still can't except a man of color is running for president and some whites are not going vote for him. I guess they (whites) going to use the Rev Wright excuse for not voting for Obama.

    Racism is still alive and well in this country. This is just sad!

    Rahni, Connecticut

    April 4, 2008 at 10:18 am |
  43. Julie

    I was only 1 when Martin was killed. But my mom and grandmom let us all know all about who he was and everything that he did. My grandmothers mother was sprayed with those water hoses as well. My mother told us all about our family history. As I became older I read a lot about MLK. he was a very powerful and well poised man. I sat down with my 9 year old daughter last night and we watched the special on Martin on CNN and she was really amazed and she asked a lot of questions about him, and that is what I wanted her to do so she could know all about her history and of this great man. I see that it still continues on in all of his children as well. This is a very special day and he will truly be missed.

    April 4, 2008 at 10:15 am |
  44. Keith

    On a day of great sorrow all I can say is my condolences. I am glad you can speak of ideas to continue the dream of your father and if it has not been mention Sen. Edwards vow of ending poverty would be a great choice to head that position. Just a thought from a young man living your father's dream.

    April 4, 2008 at 10:12 am |
  45. Darrell Barker

    Thank you Sir.

    Question, respectfully, with all the cheap labor by the millions having already come in and more coming in by the minute from Mexico, what's left, really, what would the 36 million in poverty DO?

    Specifically, how are we to "help" them DO something to help themselves and hence, ameliorate society too?

    April 4, 2008 at 10:10 am |
  46. Donna

    I was 11 years old the day that Martin Luther King, Jr., I remember that day all so clearly and it is a day that I will never forget as long as I live.

    I agree with Martin Luther King, III we do need to have a poverty officer appointed under this next administration it has been to long and things need to change, so hope both Hillary and Obama have heard the words of Martin Luther King, III and make that a part of the campign pledge to America.

    Thank you for blogging here today and keeping up the work of both your parents.

    April 4, 2008 at 10:09 am |
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