5 Lessons From Martin Luther King Jr’s Kids Screwing Things Up

As a patriarch, the one thing you do not ever want is your kids arguing over what you left behind for them. Also, you do not want their issues to go public. Many people don’t realize that “home issues” need to remain “inside the home”. The outside world doesn’t need, nor deserve, the chance to exacerbate things they should not even be privy to. Thus, familial disagreements need to be mitigated as much as possible.

Too bad Dr. Martin Luther King’s kids didn’t get that life memo over the past few days-weeks-months-years (or whatever). Bernice King has been outspoken this week in her opposition to what she said is a plan by her brothers,Dexter King and Martin Luther King III, to sell their father’s Nobel Peace Prize medal and personal traveling Bible [1]. The madness within this disagreement deals more with fundamentals than total legality. In 1995, King’s heirs agreed in 1995 to sign over rights for many inherited items to the Estate of Martin Luther King Jr. Inc [2]. Thus, there is a conflict between interests of ethics and legality.

It has gotten so bad that Bernice King had to separate herself from her brothers in the eye of the public.

Let me repeat this to you: daughter separates herself from her blood brothers over a simple dispute that probably should not exist in the first place. All of this is happening because two brothers, for the most part, want to part ways with items that should be put somewhere on public display for the inspiration of generations and nations. While their concerns are legal within the system of the law, the idea is also illegal in the court of integrity. It becomes shameful when siblings argue and bicker over things that should be resolved and out of their hands. However, there are those things that will be thicker than blood (I suppose).

Now you know daddy's dream speech said something about a check, right?

All of this has to do with one main thing: the power of a dollar. And I am not referring to 50 Cent’s shelved album, either. However, this is probably what the two brothers have been listening to if they think this issue is comprised of any worthwhile deference and discretion.

We have to remember that these siblings have been banking off of Martin Luther King Jr’s legacy for a while. Don’t quickly forget about that $32 million that the siblings actually share due to the auctioning of items previous to this [3]. What is even worse is the fact that they never seem to get along due the money lust:

While their mother was alive, the King children had periods of not speaking to each other, but they mostly kept disagreements to themselves. After their mother died in January 2006, it was the oldest daughter, Yolanda, who held the siblings together. But when Yolanda died in May 2007, that glue was gone.

Just over a year after Yolanda’s death, the long-simmering dispute between the three remaining children boiled over, with three lawsuits filed between the siblings in as many months. The disputes between the three have mostly involved aspects of control of their parents’ legacy, and most often in the past, the fights pitted Bernice and Martin against Dexter. [4]

It is a damn shame what has happened to this family because of money.

What can we learn from all of this? Well, I am going to make this short and sweet.

1.)    Money isn’t everything: if you have to risk your self-respect and family legacy, is it worth it? If you have to argue in public and have conferences in your own church to separate yourself from your family, you have to look into how far you have fallen.

2.)    Some things are not for sale: some things should be put somewhere so that “making money” off of them comes behind “preserving the legacy for the inspiration of others”. I think MLK’s kids didn’t get that memo. Then again, those memos aren’t written on dollar bills either.

3.)    Sometimes, greed is thicker than blood: some of us will sell out our own kin for the use of paper decorated with dead presidents, housing visuals, and so called Illuminati symbols. Maybe they should put the devil on all the bills, too. That would be fitting seeing how some people act when it comes to money.

4.)    Someone needs to slap these grown people in reality: if they haven’t figured out how foolish this looks, then they are in for a rude awakening later down the line.

5.)    Family comes first: money comes and goes. However, family is forever. At the end of the day, who do they have if they didn’t have this “legacy to preserve”? They would have each other. Again, the memo wasn’t written on a dollar bill, so….

I just hope that future generations of people with legacies to preserve can learn something from this. Then again, I have my doubts. Still, we need to watch how we do things and why we do them. Money should only motivate us so much. At some point, the preservation of dignity has to come before the appropriation of dollar amounts.

‘Nuff Said and ‘Nuff Respect!!!


[Originally posted at chocolatecoveredlies.com]