"And I say to you today, that if our nation can spend thirty-five billion dollars a year to fight an unjust, evil war in Vietnam, and twenty billion dollars to put a man on the moon, it can spend billions of dollars to put God's children on their own two feet right here on earth." ("Where Do We Go from Here?"--August 16, 1967, Atlanta, GA)
Today there will undoubtedly be a bunch of crap in the media about Dr. King. They will probably replay ad nauseum the "content of our character" line. I think that is probably the only words most people know the man ever spoke.
Fact is, Dr. King was killed while he was organizing a Poor People's March on Washington. He developed a class perspective over time, and believed that the political rights gained by the civil rights movement meant nothing without economic rights.
He was shunned by the mainstream media, who hated his ideas about poverty and inequality, as well as his strong opposition to the war in Vietnam.
Dr. King was not only a supporter of affirmative action, but believed that massive redistributions of wealth and power were necessary to save democracy in America. He believed the poor, especially poor blacks, would never be free as long as inequality reigned in America.
Remind your conservative friends of that the next time they ignorantly try to evoke the name of Dr. King in a diatribe against welfare or affirmative action.