Updated: Sep 17, 2018
STOP using Dr. Martin Luther King and his work to justify or support your racist, classist, individualist arguments.
"It would be fatal for the nation to overlook the urgency of the moment. This sweltering summer of the Negro's legitimate discontent will not pass until there is an invigorating autumn of freedom and equality. Nineteen sixty-three is not an end, but a beginning. And those who hope that the Negro needed to blow off steam and will now be content will have a rude awakening if the nation returns to business as usual. And there will be neither rest nor tranquility in America until the Negro is granted his citizenship rights. The whirlwinds of revolt will continue to shake the foundations of our nation until the bright day of justice emerges." - MLK, I Have A Dream, August 28th, 1963.
The nation DID return to business as usual and WE, the many activists who are giving and have given our lives to the pursuit of Black liberation since he gave this speech in 1963, are the rude awakening Dr. King spoke of.
Dr. King's greatest concern was the liberation of oppressed people.While how he envisioned that liberation may be up for debate, the fact that he envisioned it at all is not. MLK was NOT a patriot before he was a Black man. It wasn't even possible for him to be so during that time. Patriotism is national pride. Patriotism is attachment to a nation that you consider your homeland. Do you think Dr. King was proud of the oppression that Black and impoverished people faced at the behest and with the consent of the United States, its government officials, and its white citizens? Do you think he somehow grew attached to the racism, violence, disenfranchisement and loss he was subjected to?
Your claims that Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. would be disappointed and, in some cases, disgusted or appalled to see #BlackLivesMatter activists and the work that they do or that he would shake his head at those of us who engage in direct action and noncompliance are unfounded and illogical. MLK utilized CIVIL DISOBEDIENCE and RESISTANCE in his fight to end segregation. MLK was arrested for meeting oppression and racism with direct action and noncompliance. So, not only did he endorse and support noncompliance, direct action, nonviolent demonstrations, etc.... He participated in and utilized those methods and did so successfully.
We will not allow you to make OUR Dr. King the token Black leader for your#AllLivesMatter movement. We will not allow you to dishonor him and tarnish his legacy by aligning him with principles that he did not publicly nor, to our knowledge, privately subscribe to. It is completely inappropriate but also entirely typical, for you to take a piece of our history and culture and exploit it to further your argument or your agenda in a way that is dishonest and inaccurate.
Furthermore, we will study and learn from Dr. King, his work, and his movement with the understanding that the struggle for freedom will and should grow, as a child does; with changes in perspective and evolution of values as time progresses.