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Say one thing about these feuding King kids: they have timing.

The opening scene of Selma the critically acclaimed civil rights film, is of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. accepting the Nobel Prize in 1964. Unfortunately, none of King’s actual speeches could be used in the film, as the battling King siblings couldn’t come together to approve their use.

Now, the lawsuit-crazed Kings are fighting over whether to sell the precious Nobel Prize like a used iPhone on eBay.

With Selma receiving national attention and King’s holiday celebration set for next week, a real-life drama played out in an Atlanta courtroom Tuesday where the three living children of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. are locked in an ugly dispute over control of two precious items that belonged to their father: His Bible and his Nobel Peace Prize.

Bernice King bitterly opposes her brother’s desire to sell the historic items. Dexter King and Martin Luther King III are trying to take possession of the artifacts – currently sitting in a bank vault — and Fulton County Superior Court Judge Robert McBurney has postponed his decision until a trial, set for February.

“There is no justification for selling either of these sacred items,” Bernice wrote in a statement. “They are priceless and should never be exchanged for money in the marketplace. While I love my brothers dearly, this latest decision by them … reveals a desperation beyond comprehension.”

Desperate people do desperate things. Are these law suits and counter suits really all about money?

This is a pathetic, trainwreck of a saga. And it’s sad. The King children should be ashamed of themselves. This is at least the fifth lawsuit between the siblings in the past 10 years, but this time they have plunged to a new low.

All family members have squabbles but the King mess is far beyond basic arguments; it has descended into total disrespect for each other, disregard for the memory of their father; and utter contempt for the civil rights movement.

COMMENTARY: The King Kids Battle Over Father’s Estate Is A Poor Way To Honor Their Father’s Legacy  was originally published on

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