I found it particularly interesting this year, as the holiday just so happened to coincide with discussion around raising the federal minimum wage to (a measly) $15 per hour. The same people who were incensed at the idea of giving workers a closer-to living wage were uplifting Martin Luther King hours later. While we're often spoon fed this kumbaya, can't we all just get along version of the man, the truth is that near the end of his life, Martin Luther King's politics had become increasingly more radical. He was a huge proponent of a universal basic income and without a doubt an anti-capitalist.
Over the summer, George Floyd's murder spawned the interest of many into anti-racism subject matter. And while police brutality is a valid entry point, we would be remiss to stop there because there is no ridding ourselves of racism without also challenging capitalism. At the most simplistic level, the idea of capitalism is that it's a free market system that exists without bias. But the truth is that any system constructed within a white supremacist society such as the United States, cannot help but to uphold white supremacist values. As with every other US structure or institution, capitalism is inextricably linked with racism, anti-Black racism in particular.
So as we are having these conversations around wages and student debt and eradicating poverty, we cannot forget to include the nuance that is race. Because as MLK said, "The evils of capitalism are as real as the evils of militarism and racism. The problems of racial injustice and economic injustice cannot be solved without a radical redistribution of political and economic power.”