Martin Luther King's Universal Influence

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Martin Luther King’s Universal Influence As Martin Luther King once said, “an individual has not started living until he can rise above the narrow confines of his individualistic concerns to the broader concerns of all humanity” (King, Coretta 17). All his life, King has been trying to make this world a better place. He is known mostly for his work in the Civil Rights, but he has been of influence on a far wider scope. He opposed “racism, imperialism, poverty, and political disfranchisement in increasingly radical terms” (Jackson 1). He fought for international human rights and wanted economic rights to income, housing and security for everyone. However, he always believed these things had to be fixed on a political level. While we cannot legislate…show more content…
Time and time again, he repeated freedom, justice and equality won’t be here as long as some people are still denied to one or more of those. However, for Dr. King, civil rights went further than that. He stated that all things are equal and important. As John Muir said, “When we try to pick out anything by itself, we find it hitched to everything else in the Universe” (110). Everyone has the right to clean water, soil and air. The right to live in a healthy environment. Without a fair treatment of a person’s environment, you cannot say that person is treated fairly. If a certain section of the environment is not treated right, everyone suffers. “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.” (A Letter to Birmingham Jail 1899) To live in a polluted environment is not to be given freedom, equality and justice. According to some, Dr. King’s speeches were a great help for the changes in environmental regulations. Within years of his famous “I Have a Dream” speech, the government passed several important environmental legislations. Examples are the the Clean Air Act and the Clean Water Act. Just like many other minorities around the world, the environmentalists remember the words of King and the influence they have had and still have on their…show more content…
An important civil rights bill died in the Senate in 1966, largely because “the White House, distracted by the Vietnam War, never bothered to lobby the leaders of the political opposition in the upper house” (McKnight 13). In a 1967 speech called “Why I am Opposed to the War in Vietnam”, King gives us the main reason for how the Vietnam War was the problem. He said that we “may not know it, my friends, but it is estimated that we spend $500,000 to kill each enemy soldier, while we spend only fifty-three dollars for each person classified as poor, and much of that fifty-three dollars goes for salaries to people that are not poor. So I was increasingly compelled to see the war as an enemy of the poor, and attack it as such” (2). Before the year ended, the Congress had to cut the budget of the Office of Economic Opportunity. This was a major setback in the War on Poverty, as their funds were, because of this, reduced by half a billion dollars. Another way in which King tried to solve the problem was by recommending a system that is being discussed in many Western countries, a guaranteed income. According to King, the government needed to make sure every American, whites included, had a reasonable income. In that same 1967 speech at the Southern Christian Leadership Conference presidential address, King states that we “must create full employment or we must create incomes”

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