A Comment on Martin Luther King Day

As we head into this weekend, with the Birthday of Martin Luther King Jr behind us, and the holiday in his name ahead of us, I just want to take a moment to remind everyone that the version of MLK that you learned about in school was most likely whitewashed bullshit.

Yes, he did speak of the brotherhood of men, and peace was his preferred path. Yes, the words you will see attributed to him on posters at your workspaces were his words.

They were only some of his words though. The cherry-picked quotes were not the only things that he said.

Martin Luther King Jr was a civil rights leader in a time when most peaceful measures had already failed. He was a pioneer in many of the methods and techniques used today by groups like BLM and Antifa. He preferred peace but also spoke out in anger when it was appropriate.

Every time I hear someone use him as a cudgel to shame those who are “acting out,” I remember a simple quote:

“A riot is the language of the unheard.”

He did not die because he was the peaceful Liberal lapdog that high school history classes would make him out to be. He died because he was a strong black leader, who felt that Humanity could do better and had the gall to say so. He understood at times that, though he favored peace, it was not always an option.

This is all I am going to say for now. If I see commentary from black folk or other people of color, I will try to signal boost it where I can. People that look like me have said enough over the years about MLK (and, quite frankly, a lot of what they said was bullshit, which is a major point in my post).

In a few days is the day we remember his life. If you get a chance, take a bit of time to actually learn about his life, his ideas, his methods, and put some of it into action.