Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.‘s Poor People’s Campaign would have created mega-wealthy communities.
When Dr. King was a child, he almost died in an accident. King went to college at the tender age of fifteen. It might be safe to say that he was a child prodigy. Even genius children need a loving family and a robust, extended family and friends support system to fully realize their gifts. One of those people in King’s system was his grandmother. Young Martin was told by his grandmother not to go to a parade that was to take place. The preteen went anyway. When he got back home, his grandmother had passed away. The story goes he was crying so hard that he fell from the ledge of his room window on the second floor of the house. Imagine if he had died.
The Resource Scholars Show (at www.resourcescholarsshow.com), co-host James Posey said he and his brother were soldiers in the Vietnam war. His brother was shot in the back. The injury affected his brother until he died; very recently. James said Dr. King’s speech on the Vietnam war was very personal to him. The conversation he and Reggae Bob had on the show around that speech was remarkable. Dr. King made the Vietnam speech April 4, 1967. It is considered by many to be a radical speech.
Dr. King’s March on Washington speech was about jobs and freedom. King has another speech where he talks about the financial benefits that whites receive from the U.S. government. Those same beneficiaries, he said, turn around and tell us to pull ourselves up by our boot straps. Dr. King created the Poor People’s campaign because he believed that we were owed a big check. That is radical.
Today, King would be astonished at the number of 100 million dollar deals that Blacks in the United States control. However, Dr. King knew that 100 million dollar deals are nothing compared the numerous deals where billions are on the table. Those are the deals that create billionaires. The token few that are always around are not a part of those deals. The heads of diversity inclusion for major companies are the hired help misused for the benefit of the corporation. These billion dollar companies hire “a minority” to show that they are focused on diversity and headed towards compliance. That person’s job becomes keeping the corporation doing what it has always done. The company then continues to keep its capital gain investment dollars going to their small circle. Their wealth is often created at the expense of, or due to, Black people.
If King was still here, he would be fighting to ensure capital was placed into organizations and businesses that were deeply entrenched in their communities. Some of those locals are considered radical or outside of the mainstream. King was often criticized because he was willing to work with those that were outside of the mainstream. Those are the people with the big ideas and unhindered by political strings or conservative congregations. Bold companies, local CDCs and community organizations ran by Black people are fighting to make big projects happen in many cities. That is where Dr. King would have been pushing for - to create unity among Blacks and allies among other races. There are companies that want to place major investments into these types of organizations. The biggest issue may be a lack of unity. The token-few approach does not work.
The biggest connection to crime in communities is poverty. Community minded businesses and organizations with big ideas will ensure more local people are realizing wealth through their work on major developments. There are too many businesses and jobs to mention that are used and created when big projects receive proper financial investments.
The amount of capital that goes over and around Blacks in the United States is staggering. King was not above getting Black people in a room and telling them straight up what their problems were. He thought it was fear and disunity. He knew that Blacks could do major developments just as good as any other group when tricks were not being played and everything was fair. The company that gets hundreds of millions to billions in capital is going to be ahead of the company that cannot. Dr. King’s Poor People’s Campaign was headed in this direction. He had the ability to organize Black people to reach out and catch much of that capital that is swarming all around. Trillion in investment dollars could have been pouring into communities with the help of King’s genius organizing skills. Capital used properly and leveraged fairly would have resulted in mega-wealthy communities.
The August 28, 1963 “March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom” was about ending violence, poverty, and racism against Black people. The organizers who named the march places the word “jobs” before the word “freedom.” It makes sense to ask the question, “How much freedom do you have if you do not have a job or not creating a job?” It was the wealthy uppity Blacks that were often lynched. So, by talking about economics and pulling Blacks out of poverty was a racially radical thing. But, as usual, King was ahead of his time. So, he must have sounded radical to some and boring to others.
Dr. King’s speech was partly an effort to layout where we needed to go economically. However, that part of the speech was not filled with hair-raising cadences. It may have even sounded far out during that time.
Mahalia Jackson heard Dr. King give the Dream Speech months before. Being a person who can read a crowd, Jackson can be heard saying to Dr. King, “Tell them about the dream. Tell them about the dream.” King masterfully transitioned to talking about his dream. That speech is studied in colleges as one of the best ever delivered.
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s contribution to this world is immense. We are so much further ahead because he was here. He helped people who were afraid to stand up. He showered pride on people who were in the worst conditions. King told them that it was not all of their fault. He gave and kept giving. If he were still here, we would all be richer in so many ways. He was taken from us too soon - but it could have been much sooner.