Friday, April 24, 2009

MLK rolling in his grave?

If you were the children of a famous, widely beloved person, and a group wanted to raise $120 million to build a memorial in their honor, how would you react? I don't know about you, but I'd be greatly honored and would ask how I could help. But the children of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. had a different reaction. They wanted money, and lots of it, in order to allow the use of their father's words and image. The cost of a proposed King monument, which is to be constructed on the National Mall in Washington, D.C., is being financed almost entirely by donations that, so far, have added up to about $104 million. That includes $10 million in taxpayers' money. And the tribute payment to the King family: $800,000. I think that's disgusting, and so does Cambridge University historian David Garrow, winner of a Pulitzer Prize for his biography of King. "I don't think the Jefferson family, the Lincoln family ... I don't think any other group of family ancestors has been paid a licensing fee for a memorial in Washington," Garrow told the AP. "One would think any family would be so thrilled to have their forefather celebrated and memorialized in D.C. that it would never dawn on them to ask for a penny." Clearly, Garrow hasn't spent much time around the King children. They've become a running joke over the years, squabbling among themselves, hiring locksmiths to keep one another out of the King Center in Atlanta and suing one another over the money they've accumulated by feasting on their father's good name. A few years back, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution ran a series of articles about the King Center finances, reporting that even though the center was in need of repairs, cut back its civil rights programming and spent more money than it took in most years, MLK son Dexter King was paid a salary of $180,000, and his brother, Martin III, took in $150,000. That doesn't count millions the center gave to a for-profit company run by Dexter King, according to the paper. It's all an unseemly mess, made worse by the appearance that the King children are willing to do anything for the almighty dollar. I hesitate to suggest this, mainly out of fear that they'll act on it, but I wonder how much the King kids would charge to have a set of Golden Arches erected over their parent's graves? It's all about the Benjamins, right?

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

A while back, they sued USA Today and CBS over the use of the "I Have a Dream" speech, which I would have assumed is a public domain item. It's one thing to protect the image of a deceased celebrity - I can see them not wanting excerpts of the "I Have a Dream" speech to be featured in a mattress ad, for instance - but drawing a fee for that memorial is ridiculous.

--Brad Hundt

April 24, 2009 at 3:09 PM  
Blogger {cher} said...

this disgusts me so much it's not even worth words.

guess you gotta drain the money train at every chance you get.

April 24, 2009 at 3:54 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You, Brant, Are a racist.
Until you have walked a mile in their shoes who are you to criticize.

April 25, 2009 at 9:08 AM  
Blogger Brant said...

Let me make sure I understand this. White folks can only criticize other white folks? They can't comment on rapacious black folks? And you know what, I'm guessing that the shoes they've been walking in are pretty damned expensive. Yeah, they lost their dad. Lots of people have had that experience. The difference is that they've been getting really, really wealthy off his name and memory for many years. Plug this URL into your browser and see what you think about the King children's shepherding of their father's legacy:

April 25, 2009 at 9:30 AM  
Blogger {cher} said...

Brant a racists? Please. To project only similar popularity, not reasons for fame, but you don't see Priscilla and Lisa Marie asking dollar upon dollar every time something "Elvis" is erected, sold or asked of. Get a grip.

I'm sure Brant, like myself, would still think it's udder bull$h!t if a white, mexican, latino, chinese, german, whateeeeever was proposing the same thing.

They aren't greedy blacks, they are greedy HUMANS!!! Race has nothing to do with it. And I really believe that MLKJ is rolling in his grave, just like another other decent human being would be.

April 25, 2009 at 9:42 AM  
Anonymous Steelersfan43 said...

Money is the root of all evil no matter your race or background.

April 27, 2009 at 10:17 AM  
Blogger PRIguy said...

I'm with Brad on this...I thought that speech was public domain. The money train comment was dead on too, cher.

As for Brant being a racist, that's one of the dumbest things ever posted on this blog. Anon wants us to walk a mile in their shoes. I don't think the King family is hurting for money, so I wouldn't mind taking a stroll in them.

April 29, 2009 at 2:44 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dr. King would roll over in his grave, at his children's behavior, and that of the various & sundry politicians who have found another way to take a day off.

I'm reminded of a bumper sticker:
Did it ever occur to you that the soldiers were take a day off to honor don't take a day off?...

There's no way Dr. MLK would want the nation to take a day off on his behalf. I'm thinking he'd rather all of us put in a few extra hours doing something for someone else.

June 9, 2009 at 5:16 PM  

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