Monday, the 21st of January was Martin Luther King Day, an American national holiday where Americans celebrated his towering contribution to his country, and the rest of the world paused to reflect on his legacy.
Commemorative events for the Martin Luther King Junior Day slid seamlessly into celebrations of the swearing-in Monday of the nation's first black president, Barack Obama, for his second term, with many Americans moved by the reminder of how far the country has come since the 1960s. At the ceremonial inauguration, Obama took the oath on a Bible once owned by King. He called it "a great privilege."
It is worth remembering that Martin Luther King Junior grasped with great clarity that one of the key driving causes of global poverty and misery is overpopulation.
In 1966 he said, “There is no human circumstance more tragic than the persisting existence of a harmful condition for which a remedy is readily available. Family planning, to relate population to world resources, is possible, practical and necessary. Unlike plagues of the dark ages or contemporary diseases we do not yet understand, the modern plague of overpopulation is solvable by means we have discovered and with resources we possess. What is lacking is not sufficient knowledge of the solution but universal consciousness of the gravity of the problem and education of billions who are its victims.”
We need to heed Martin Luther King’s prescient view from 1966 and heading down a road by which more people will starve, not less, more people will die from water-borne diseases, and more people will die in wars caused by conflict over access to scarce resources.