Besides this support for the reconciliation of Americans, King also spoke up for poor people, especially those who had escaped slavery. Many of them did not have houses to live in, and opted to work as casual laborers in fields owned by whites for a payment. He believed that it was the responsibility of the state to compensate the blacks and enable them live a better life. On 17th June, 1964, King and other black leaders met in the white house with President Johnson to hear of the administration’s plans for the war on poverty.
King was pleased to hear of the plans, which were in concert with his own belief, publicized a year earlier as Why We Can’t Wait. The blacks were in desperate need of a state sponsored compensatory package that would finally lift them out of poverty created by years of slavery and discrimination. For King, the issue of state compensation was theological at root. The state had committed a sin by sanctioning slavery, segregation and discrimination, and so needed to reconcile for its sins.
He came across the idea of atonement with state compensation most directly on his trip to India, where he experienced state compensation for the untouchables of Indian society. He wrote that the Indian government spent millions of rupees annually developing housing and job opportunities in villages heavily inhabited by the untouchables. King also noted that India practiced affirmative action in its college admission practices, giving greater weight to the application of untouchables than those of high caste. He also reported the prime minister as saying, constitute “our way of atoning” for state sanctioned sins against the untouchables.
King also had a lot of sympathy for the poor nations. He went to the extent of suggesting that the U. S helps those countries whose progress of development it had interfered with. Becoming more global in outlook, an evolution affected in part because of trips abroad, King began to claim that the state must attend to the issue of global poverty. He said, “We must assume responsibility for an international program of aid to those nations whose progress was forcibly inhibited. ” He also stated that, “Everybody must join the war against poverty so that all of God’s children will be able to have the classic necessities of life.
” King’s behavior was mostly based on biblical teachings. His global perspective in general and his comments on the world poverty in particular was nothing less than his deeply-held theology. From his perspective, a world where divine law establishes that the actions of ones state affects the actions of all the other states, there is a natural and theological imperative for wealthy states to work to eliminate poverty in poor states. He also said that each state is bound together in a social fabric sewn together by God, and so any isolationist tendencies of a state rip at the fabric and thereby began to destroy the holistic creation of God.
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