Monday, January 19, 2015

Martin Luther King On The Dignity of Work Versus "The Oinkers"

How can we most effectively fulfill the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King? I think the first step is to stop electing Republicans~ Thom Hartmann on the MLK day edition of his Progressive radio program (1/19/2009).

Martin Luther King Jr. believed that all work has dignity. Naturally he was a strong proponent of Labor and of a Minimum Wage (MW) that was also a living wage.

MLK: So often we overlook the work and the significance of those who are not in professional jobs, of those who are not in the so-called big jobs. But let me say to you tonight that whenever you are engaged in work that serves humanity and is for the building of humanity, it has dignity and it has worth. (AFSCME Memphis Sanitation Strike, April 3, 1968).

This is in stark contrast to Conservatives who view "menial" labor workers as the lowest of the low. These are jobs that should either be outsourced to low wage countries (if they can be); or the workers should be paid as low a wage as possible (by doing away with the MW).

An 8/28/2013 Slate article reminds us that "one of the demands at the March on Washington was for a $2 minimum wage, which would be $15.27 an hour adjusted for inflation today".

The March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom or "The Great March on Washington"... was one of the largest political rallies for human rights in United States history and called for civil and economic rights for African Americans. It took place in Washington DC. Thousands of Americans headed to Washington on Tuesday August 27, 1963. On Wednesday, August 28, 1963. Martin Luther King, Jr., standing in front of the Lincoln Memorial, delivered his historic "I Have a Dream" speech in which he called for an end to racism (Wikipedia: March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom).

Meanwhile, on the other side we have Conservative/Libertarian memes that say the minimum wage is "racist" (OST #23) and that people in "menial" labor jobs who are protesting for higher wages are "oinking" for them.

Libertarian Blog Commenter: It's like the McDonald's workers doing work worth about $8 an hour and oinking for a handout of $15 an hour without doing a single thing to earn this amount. Other than oink for more money. (1/6/2015 AT 3:58pm).

Gee, I wonder where this commenter got the idea that this type of labor is worth $8 an hour? Perhaps it has something to do with the fact that the MW is around that amount ($7.25, currently)? A MW that today would be in the $15 an hour neighborhood if that $2 an hour MW - the one that those who participated in MLK's "March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom" believed should be paid - actually was (although the MW "peaked at about $10 in 1968, measured in 2014 dollars).

So the "oinking" is only for a MW that is comparable to what was being paid in 1968. But I don't think these people believe in the dignity of work. Their only concern is that wages be forced down to as low a level as possible so as high a percentage of profits as possible can be diverted to the plutocrats. The people who are doing the REAL oinking, in my opinion.

I say that anyone who opposes a MW below what it was in 1968 is on the side of the oinkers. And they stand in opposition to those who believe in the dignity of work, as Martin Luther King did. But what would you expect from someone who referred to (what he views as) menial labor as a "chimpanzee jobs" - and believes that these kind of jobs should be outsourced to 3rd world countries where laborers are wage slaves forced to work under unsafe conditions and for wages so meager that they often commit suicide (SWTD #165)?

Obviously these people believe there is some work that does NOT have dignity (and should be done by "chimpanzees" in low wage countries). Huh... maybe OPPOSING a minimum wage is racist? Surely it is classist. Yes, it is absolutely not a bad thing to strive to improve your "human capital", but it is also not a bad thing to believe there is dignity in ALL work and that ALL workers deserve a wage they can live on.

As opposed to denigrating people who work at "lowly" jobs by referring to them as losers. And using derogatives such as "paper hat job" or "chimpanzee job" to refer to the work these people do. But drilling into the heads of people the meme that these "losers" don't deserve a living wage makes it that much easier to drive wages down... and transfer this wealth into the pockets of the plutocrats.

And it most certainly is the Republican Party (and Libertarians) that represents those who are desirous of believing they're better than these losers. Classists, racists and others whose self-perception is dependent on maintaining their egoism (the "rational self interest" Ayn Rand types that view many of their fellow humans as Looters, Moochers and Parasites/Lice). Which is why I agree that one of the first steps to fulfilling the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King is to stop electing Republicans (and Libertarians).

SWTD #276, wDel #72.


  1. Since when has this country been honoring. Communist by giving him a holiday?

  2. The American Dream according to black refuse to
    work an available job in favor of living off of federal or state funds.

    New Flash! Welfare Recipients Can Now Collect More Than Teachers Earn

    Confucius says: “The reason the black incarceration rate is still high while crime is low is because of the high rate of violent black criminals”

  3. Is this blog DEAD or Active but just slow or asleep!


Comment moderation is not currently in effect. Your comment will appear immediately. I do not, however, allow Anonymous comments. Anyone wishing to comment MUST have a Blogger account.