There’s not a black man in the world that white folk love more than Martin Luther King Jr., at least that’s how it seems whenever an issue of protest over rights in the modern-day arises.

With the rise in Black Lives Matter protest and advocacy, you’ll see anti-BLM folks again and again refer to nice, sweet MLK, the black man who apparently gently and kindly brought about change. He didn’t break windows, he didn’t riot in the streets. He never would have looted a store – and what do those people think they’re achieving by making me uncomfortable anyway?

Except that’s all trash. The white-washed vision of King doesn’t do him justice in the slightest. MLK was a criminal; he was arrested dozens of times for violating laws instituted by Jim Crow and spent countless hours in jail cells for his refusal to back down from a system he knew was wrong.

The Civil Rights movement wasn’t a calm and peaceful demonstration where the nice white people said “aw shucks” and handed black people their rights. If you have forgotten the struggles and feel like similar protests happening today against racial violence by police are somehow less deserving of respect, you need to reevaluate.

For a quick reality check, watch this video about MLK’s time as a revolutionary activists for the liberation of himself, his family, and all people of color.

 

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Sydney Robinson is a political writer for the Ring of Fire Network. She has also appeared in political news videos for Ring of Fire. Sydney has a degree in English Literature from the University of West Florida, and has an active interest in politics, social justice, and environmental issues. She would love to hear from you on Twitter @SydneyMkay or via email at srobinson@ringoffireradio.com