To: The Estate of Martin Luther King, Jr.; Chrysler Corporation
Stop Commercializing Dr. King's Legacy
Stop commercializing the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
Stop associating Dr. King's image and words with commercial products that have nothing to do with his legacy.
Stop using Dr. King's words in ways that go against his message of justice over materialism.
Why is this important?
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. did more than fight for an end to racial segregation. In his own words, Dr. King fought against the triple evils of "racism, materialism and militarism." He lamented to pursuit of material wealth and argued a shift of values "from a 'thing-oriented' society to a 'person-oriented' society."
While Dr. King's estate has steadfastly defended his words, images and artifacts against usage in historical productions, documentaries, movies and even the Museum of African American History and Culture without the payment of what many consider 'exorbitant' fees, they continue to commercialize his images and words for profit.
Dr. King has appeared in advertising for products by Apple, Rolex, Alcatel, Mercedes and, now, Chrysler. At the same time, news agencies have been sued for printing or airing Dr. King speeches and street vendors have been threatened with suits for selling t-shirts with King's image.
The Estate- run by his children and their lawyers- is tarnishing Dr. King's image by preventing historians and social justice advocates from using his words, while selling those same words to corporations with histories of racial discrimination for the same type of commercial use that Dr. King himself opposed.