Over the past few days I have seen people using the Martin Luther King quotes , you know the four or five quotes people using when talking about Dr King and the unrest across this country.All people remember is I have dream but forget the other things he talks about. King and his methods were far more complex than that.The same man felt our with joy with I have Dream but same gave a fiery and heartfelt view on America in the Letters from Birmingham .These quotes make seem like Dr King was this just peace loving colorblind preacher which he was and wasn't. He was radical, a extremist even to many people back then, who loved his blackness and was killed because of his views.
In no way did King see race or the recognition of blackness and whiteness as a problem in society; his issue was with the ways in which race had been exploited to create social and economic oppression.
In Kings final book Where Do We Go From Here, he continued to name white supremacy as the cause of oppression, not the existence of race itself, and recognized that the plight of black people needed to be addressed:
White Americans must recognize that justice for black people cannot be achieved without radical changes in the structure of our society. The comfortable, entrenched, the privileged cannot continue to tremble at the prospect of change of the status quo.
And while Dr. King was against violence but he understood the cause for it
"...I think America must see that riots do not develop out of thin air. Certain conditions continue to exist in our society which must be condemned as vigorously as we condemn riots. But in the final analysis, a riot is the language of the unheard. And what is it that America has failed to hear? It has failed to hear that the plight of the Negro poor has worsened over the last few years. It has failed to hear that the promises of freedom and justice have not been met. And it has failed to hear that large segments of white society are more concerned about tranquility and the status quo than about justice, equality, and humanity. And so in a real sense, our nation's summers of riots are caused by our nation's winters of delay. And as long as America postpones justice, we stand in the position of having these recurrences of violence and riots over and over again. Social justice and progress are the absolute guarantors of riot prevention."
King believed in nonviolence and championed it But he knew that non-violent civil rights movement was overlooked there would be violence
If they continue to use our nonviolence as a cushion for complacency, the wrath of those suffering a long train of abuses will rise.
At the end of the day, Dr king was just one man in the never ending civil movement , a movement drenched in violence and injustice, with people Stokely Carmichael, Ida B. Wells, and Malcolm X and the man and women who are not remember by time. Please remember the man, not the version you learn in school.
And please stop Whitewashing MLK and the Civil rights movement.