Would King Be Proud of the United States?

If King were here today would he be okay with recent changes to religion and values of the United States?

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Published By: News Desk
at 12:30 p.m. February 27, 2021


As civil disagreements continue to grow in the United States between liberal and conservatives, moral wedges are also beginning to form between members of both Democratic and Republican parties. Due to the significant changes in America's moral values on hot topic issues such as same-sex marriages and social justice reforms, we ask what would the late Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. think about the issues of today?

Black Lives Matter and Police Brutality

After the killing of George Floyd in the summer of 2020, the United States came face to face with unprecedented riots and protest due to Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin calmly restraining Floyd with his knee pressed against Floyd’s neck until his untimely death. Countless civil rights activist led by the Black Lives Matter organization called for the immediate arrest of Chauvin, and in light of his own encounters with police brutality, if Dr. King were alive, there is no reason to think that he wouldn’t do the same. “We can never be satisfied…as long as the Negro is the victim of the unspeakable horrors of police brutality,” Dr. King said as part of his “I have a Dream Speech” in Washington.

U.S. support of same-sex marriage

According to a Public Religion Research Institute poll in 2017, 69% percent of African Americans aged 18 to 29 backed same-sex marriage, but just 40% percent of African Americans aged 65 and older did. Based on this data if King were still alive he would be a part of the group where support for same-sex marriages stands at a very low 40% which means he (especially as a religious pastor) would be less likely to have changed his moral stance on the issue. In a 2019 poll by Pew research center on religion and public life, 62% of whites supported same-sex marriage, 58% of Hispanics, and a very low 51% of African Americans which reinforces the idea that in African American culture same-sex marriages will continue to be a tough sale mostly due to the historic African American religious teachings which as a pastor Dr. King was very much a part of.

Women's empowerment

“Give Us the Ballot” is a 1957 speech by Martin Luther King Jr. which advocated voting rights for African Americans in the United States. Most notably King delivered his “I have a Dream” speech from the steps of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington D.C. where in front of more than 250,000 spectators he called for an end to racism in the United States as well as civil and economic rights for all. It would be an unimaginable and highly unlikely stretch to assume that King only intended for such rights to only be extended for men. Therefore, considering King’s long history in advocating for civil rights and equality for all, it is more than likely that King would have been firmly on board with the current Women’s empowerment movement that has recently swept the United States, and yes that includes support for the #MeToo movement.

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