There are two principles that represent America more succinctly than anything else that can be said of our great land:
The first is that our country affords life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness to everyone regardless of race, creed, or color of skin. This belief was exemplified by the great Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
The second is that, as Americans, we believe it is our fundamental right to make a buck off of everything we can. This belief is currently exemplified by the children
of the great Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
King's four children have a long history of exploiting their father's good deeds for cash. Lowlights include...
* Attempting to auction off their father's private papers (which they had previously witheld from the public unless the public wished to pay a fee). These papers, including an early draft of the "I Have a Dream" speech were spared from auction when a group of philanthropists banded together and paid off the King children to the tune of $32 million
* Demanding millions in "licensing fees
" for campaign paraphernalia (mostly homemade) linking their father to then-candidate Barack Obama.
* Hurling lawsuits at one another
over their parents' estate after Coretta Scott King died in 2006.
The latest disgrace hit newsstands today, when it was revealed that the King children are charging the National Memorial Project Foundation for the privilege to create a memorial to their father. That's right, the foundation and the National Park Foundation are immortalizing King with a monument on the National Mall and yet they're the ones paying the King family
The family of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. has charged the foundation building a monument to the civil rights leader on the National Mall about $800,000 for the use of his words and image - an arrangement one leading scholar says King would have found offensive...
"I don't think the Jefferson family, the Lincoln family ... I don't think any other group of family ancestors has been paid a licensing fee for a memorial in Washington," said Cambridge University historian David Garrow, who won a Pulitzer Prize for his biography of King. "One would think any family would be so thrilled to have their forefather celebrated and memorialized in D.C. that it would never dawn on them to ask for a penny."
And don't think this is the end for this greedy trio. (Eldest daughter Yolanda King passed away in 2007.) They'll keep pushing the envelope until they're collecting royalties for observation of Martin Luther King Day
, all forms of social justice, and dreaming in general.
And then there's new media. We have a feeling that an MLK iPhone app. and Rock Band
: Martin Luther King are waiting just around the corner.