Bernice King makes an important point on Martin Luther King Jr. Day
Image: Paras Griffin / Getty Image By Morgan Sung2020-01-20 20:30:44 UTC On the holiday honoring her father's legacy, Bernice King reminded Twitter users that the fight for equality doesn't just happen once a year. "Honoring you today...
On the holiday honoring her father's legacy, Bernice King reminded Twitter users that the fight for equality doesn't just happen once a year.
"Honoring you today and every day," she captioned a photo of her family, more than 50 years after the civil rights leader's death. Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated four years after segregation was banned under the Civil Rights Act of 1964.
His daughter is carrying on the legacy.
On Jan. 16, she also implored people to stop quoting her father while still supporting the systemic oppression he spent his life fighting. The reverend may be known for his historic "I Have A Dream" speech, but he still protested, broke laws, and was persecuted for his radical activism. Those aspects of his life have been whitewashed and diluted in favor of feel-good quotes about equality.
Twitter users expressed similar thoughts — honoring MLK's life extends beyond reposting his gentler quotes, and requires remembering his radical action, too. And not just on the holiday named after him.
If MLK were alive today saying the exact same words he'd be portrayed a radical hatemonger who plays the race card and engages in divisive identity politics. We have sanitized his image but his message is more resonant today than ever and makes the right people uncomfortable.
— Wajahat "Abu Khadija" Ali (@WajahatAli) January 20, 2020
The idea of MLK as a banal "unity" and "non-violent" figure is such insidious revisionism. You only need to spend an hour or so reading what he actually said to understand how radical he was and why the same type of people who have co-opted him after death, hated him during life. https://t.co/btkijS6xWb
— Zito (@_Zeets) January 20, 2020
Martin Luther King was
- opposed to the war in Vietnam
- hated by director of the FBI
- kicked out the National Black Baptist Convention
He was an agitator and a radical for justice, not just a pacifist.
Remember all of MLK, not just the textbook version
— Ayo Lewis (@AyoLewis3) January 20, 2020
Listening to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s “Beyond Vietnam” & “Mountaintop” speeches, remembering how at once radically anti-racist, anti-imperialist & anticapitalist MLK was. We need those truths, that energy now so badly. Let us teach & learn & live those radical truths... ✊