Would Martin Luther King Jr. Support Black Lives Matter?

Written By Katie Kaminski

Would Martin Luther King Jr. Support Black Lives Matter? Today, as we do each year, we celebrate the legacy of Martin Luther King Jr. with a day dedicated to remembering and honoring his memory. This year, with how much the phrase “black lives matter” has been used to talk about the alleged injustices our country faces surrounding racism and police brutality, I wonder if Martin Luther King Jr.’s beliefs would line up with those held by the organization, Black Lives Matter.

One of the goals that lived on the Black Lives Matter website was that of destroying the western nuclear family. This was something that many people took issue with when reading it, and something that many supporters of the Black Lives Matter organization were not aware of. This is a goal that Martin Luther King Jr. would have opposed, as he is quoted saying that “the group consisting of the mother, father, and child is the main educational agency of mankind”. Martin Luther King Jr. desired to see the nuclear family strengthened, not destroyed. The destruction of the nuclear family is not the only thing about the Black Lives Matter organization that Martin Luther King Jr. would have opposed, though.

One of Martin Luther King Jr.’s most well known quotes is “I look to a day when people will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character”. This is something that supporters of Black Lives Matter disagrees with, based on their support of policies like affirmative action, which advantages some people and disadvantages others based on... you guessed it, the color of their skin. Policies like affirmative action that seeks to equal the playing field is in reality continuing the tradition of giving people special treatment based on the color of their skin. The only difference is the color that now gets special treatment. Martin Luther King Jr. longed to see a day where his kids could be admitted to colleges on the basis of their grades, their SAT scores, and their extracurricular activities, not the color of their skin. Unfortunately, with affirmative action policies, that is not the case today.

We remember Martin Luther King Jr. every year and we teach about his dreams to young children, while at the same time going against many of his values and teachings. If we truly wanted to honor his legacy, we would think about his words and implement policies that parallel his dream of judging each other based on their character, rather than their skin color.