Economic policy, is the part of Dr. Martin L. King’s message that I disagree with. And where he was lacking, because he sort of took this social democratic view that came out of the New Deal, or Great Society. That judged what we were doing to help the middle class and low-income people based on how much we spent on them. “That if we spend a lot of money to reduce poverty, that poverty will go away, because we’ll have all of these government programs to take care of people.”
I mean, if you listen to this video, you’ll see clip from one of his speeches where he says, “we now have the resources that we need to wipeout poverty”. You could spend a trillion dollars a year in America, or anywhere else to reduce poverty and right now the United States is not that far from that. And you’ll still have poverty in this country if that money is not being spent to empower people to get themselves out of poverty. Because government no mater what it spends, or any private organization for that matter can’t get people out of poverty by themselves. The people in poverty have to do that for themselves. What government and the private sector can do is empower people to get themselves out of poverty.
I love both men, you know platonically, but where I give Malcolm X an advantage over Dr. King is when it came to economics. Minister X’s message was about education and self-reliance when it came to economic policy. Economically, Minister X was closer to Barry Goldwater than Lyndon Johnson, or Franklin Roosevelt. He wanted to empower the African-American community to get themselves the tools that they needed to be economically independent, self-reliant in life, making it on their own.
Which is why he believed in education so much and personally knew what life could be like as a young man. Who didn’t have one and educated himself as an adult partially in prison. Which is how Malcolm X was educated. Dr. King’s message, was about wealth redistribution. Taking from the wealthy in America through high taxes to take care of the low-income people. A very different message from that of Minister X which was about empowering people to be able to create their own wealth.
I give Reverend King the edge when it came to the civil rights movement. Because without the message of non-violence, the civil rights movement would’ve never have gotten as far as it did, not even come close. Because this movement would’ve been seen as a bunch of thugs, criminals, terrorists by the so-called mainstream media. But taking it a next step forward post-civil rights laws of the 1960s. I give the edge to Malcolm X as far as what African-Americans should now do with the freedom they finally have under law.
Union Solidarity: Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King on Labor, Wealth and Justice