The King Family’s Shameful Grab for Cash

The family of Martin Luther King Jr. is determined to cash in on the legacy of the civil rights icon. In the past the family has sued news outlets that reprinted King’s “I Have a Dream Speech” without their permission and without compensation. The family later sold the rights to use the speech in television commercials for cellular telephone companies. Recently the King family threatened to sue a company that made T-shirts that displayed the side-by-side images of Barack Obama and Dr. King. Newton Farris, King’s nephew, stated it bluntly when he defended the family’s actions by saying, “We cannot allow our brand to be abused.”

Now it has been revealed that the nonprofit Martin Luther King Jr. National Memorial Project Foundation has paid the King family more than $800,000 for the rights to use King’s image and words on the national monument to King on The Mall in Washington, D.C. The U.S. government has contributed $10 million in taxpayer money to the memorial.

Americans should judge the King family by the “content of their character not by the color of their skin.” But the character of the family appears to be defined mostly by greed.