Is Using a Civil Rights Leader to Sell Cars Okay?


The Super Bowl has been a huge deal in America for decades. It gives family and friends the opportunity to get together and enjoy the football game. This year was a little different, though, as more people paid attention to a commercial instead - a Ram car commercial to be exact.

Many people have been talking about the commercial, but like always, there’s two sides to every story. Some believe that the commercial took Martin Luther King Jr.’s words and used them out of context, while others are saying Ram was just trying to honor King since it is Black History Month.

A writer for the Los Angeles Times, Michael Hiltzik, wrote about what the original speech was called and what Martin Luther King Jr. discussed.

“The ad provoked immediate comment on social media—none of it, as far as we can tell, positive. It was seen as a landmark in crassness. That was true not least because in the speech excerpted for the ad, a 1968 sermon entitled “The Drum Major Instinct,” King spends some considerable time excoriating the advertiser-driven quest for material acquisitions, including cars,” wrote Hiltzik.

Here are the exact parts used from Martin Luther King Jr.’s sermon in the commercial:

“If you want to be important, wonderful. If you want to be recognized, wonderful. If you want to be great, wonderful. But recognize that he who is greatest among you shall be your servant. That’s a new definition of greatness. … By giving that definition of greatness, it means that everybody can be great. … You don’t have to know about Plato and Aristotle to serve. You don’t have to know the theory of relativity to serve. You don’t have to know the second theory of thermodynamics in physics to serve. You only need a heart full of grace, a soul generated by love.” said King.

When Martin Luther King Jr. gave that speech, his intentions were not for it to be used to sell cars.

#Feature #EveAaker

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