Today’s Quote from Dr. King:
During the last year of his life, Dr. King focused increasingly on the question of economic inequality and how that was the new battleground in the fight against injustice. Below are a few of his well known quotes on the subject.
“They tell me that one tenth of one percent of the population controls more than 40% of the wealth. Oh America, how often have you taken necessities from the masses to give luxuries to the classes. . . . God never intended for one group of people to live in superfluous inordinate wealth, while others live in abject deadening poverty.”
“There are forty million poor people here and one day we must ask the question, ‘why are there forty million poor people in America?’ And when you begin to ask that question, you are raising a question about the economic system, about a broader distribution of wealth. When you ask that question, you begin to question the capitalistic economy. . . . Now I’m not talking about communism. . . .What I’m talking about is far beyond communism. . . .What I’m saying to you this morning is communism forgets that life is individual. Capitalism sometime forgets that life is social. And the kingdom of brotherhood is found neither in the thesis of communism nor the antithesis of capitalism, but in a higher synthesis that combines the truths of both.”
“This is America’s opportunity to help bridge the gulf between the haves and the have-nots. The question is whether America will do it. 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.”
In February, 1967, Harry Belafonte was a guest host of the “The Today Show” and he interviewed Dr. King about the problem of poverty in America. Here is a two and a half minute excerpt from the interview.
For Reflection and Prayer:
- Reflect on your own life and think about specific actions you could take to show greater solidarity and support for the poor in our community.
- Say a prayer of thanks for your own material blessings and ask God’s help in your efforts for economic justice.