Despite the huge opposition that Martin Luther King encountered when standing up for civil rights, that battle has been largely won. Most people accept that all races have a right to equality. I am not saying that we have achieved that. There is still much to be achieved. But it is largely accepted. Few people now support the racist segregationists and white supremacy nutcases. The KKK and Nazi groups are small minorities who are generally regarded as morally abhorrent by most white people.
Yet Dr Martin Luther King did not stop there. He was moving further. He spoke controversially about the role poverty plays in preventing people of all colour reaching their potential. That poverty is the application of choice. We choose to organise our societies to create extreme wealth and mass poverty. It does not have to be that way.
He also opposed the war in Vietnam and accused America as being a purveyor of mass violence around the world.
He related both poverty and the waging of war to that of equal rights.
A society gone mad on war cannot invest in alleviating poverty.
He pointed out that the USA (back in the 60s) spends $500,000 to kill each enemy soldier but only $53 on each person classified as poor! War is the enemy of the poor.
Perhaps instead of just listening to his wonderful speeches on civil rights we should also listen to his astute words on the our terrible enemies – poverty and war!