If you don’t believe that economic inequality is real or think that Dr. Martin Luther King’s vision has been realized, get this: The wealth of the richest 400 Americans exceeds the entire net worth of the entire African American community put together. Yes, that’s 400 people compared to 41 million.
In an article written by Tax Attorney Bob Lord, you can understand why economic inequality in America is both severe and the result of hundreds of years of misguided policies that have led to white Americans being able to control nearly all of the wealth in America. This is a differential that can only be corrected via a strong campaign for reparations. It’s not as if anyone can argue that we don’t deserve them.
Lord’s article (below) talks about this differential, why it matters, and why we should confront it. One of the things that Dr. King spoke about during his life is the extreme poverty of the African American community, which exists in contrast to the prosperity that America has experienced over the last 400 years. Without dealing with the struggle of economic justice, then it is impossible to aim for social justice. You can’t talk about Dr. King without talking about black economics.
You can read the article below:
As we commemorate Martin Luther King Jr.’s 85th birthday, we’ve all come to know his dream. Above all else, he dreamed that one day this nation would rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal.”
Yet here’s the grim reality facing black America today:
The net worth of just 400 billionaires, a group that could fit into a high school gym, is on par with the collective wealth of our more than 14 million African- American households. Both groups possess some $2 trillion, about three percent of our national net worth of $77 trillion.
We chose to honor Dr. King by making his birthday a national holiday because of his tireless work for justice. And MLK stood not only for social justice, but for economic justice as well.
Back in 1951, he told his future life partner, Coretta Scott, that a small elite should not “control all the wealth.” “A society based on making all the money you can and ignoring people’s needs, is wrong,” Dr. King explained.