You seem to be trying to get away with a “two wrongs make a right” argument as regards the use of armed violence/political violence.
So when Cliven Bundy embraces armed insurrection against government, it’s clearly wrong, because as a white man he enjoys privilege in society. But somehow, if a person of color advocates the same, he/she is somehow right, because they face discrimination in society.
That’s moral relativism and it’s not going to fly.
Dr. King did not challenge those who wished to use firearms in self-defense situations in the home, sure, but he did encourage his supporters to put their guns away after the bombing of his house stating, “Don’t get your weapons. He who lives by the sword will perish by the sword. Remember that is what God said. We are not advocating violence. We want to love our enemies. I want you to love our enemies. Be good to them. Love them and let them know you love them.”
I don’t know how he possibly could have been clearer.
And King certainly never embraced arming urban communities so people could “feel safe.” To suggest so is sickening.
King was also dead-set against using firearms as a means of political expression. He predicted, correctly, that this type of militancy would be the death of the real gains the civil rights movement had made in the mid-1960s. King believed in “nonviolence or nonexistence.” For example, he said the following about the planning of the Mississippi march after James Meredith was shot:
“I began with a plea for nonviolence. This immediately aroused some of our friends from the Deacons for Defense, who contended that self-defense was essential and that therefore nonviolence should not be a prerequisite for participation in the march. They were joined in this view by some of the activists from CORE and SNCC. I tried to make it clear that besides opposing violence on principle, I could imagine nothing more impractical and disastrous than for any of us, through misguided judgment, to precipitate a violent confrontation in Mississippi. We had neither the resources nor the techniques to win. Furthermore, I asserted, many Mississippi whites, from the government on down, would enjoy nothing more than for us to turn to violence in order to use this as an excuse to wipe out scores of Negroes in and out of the march. Finally, I contended that the debate over the question of self-defense was unnecessary since few people suggested that Negroes should not defend themselves as individuals when attacked. The question was not whether one should use his gun when his home was attacked, but whether it was tactically wise to use a gun while participating in an organized demonstration. If they lowered the banner of nonviolence, I said, Mississippi injustice would not be exposed and the moral issues would be obscured.”
King’s words highlight another point you are missing entirely. You seem to be blaming King for bringing violence on himself (and other blacks) by advocating for NONVIOLENCE. That’s nonsense. Anyone with a knowledge of American history understands that people of color engaging in acts of VIOLENCE against whites (NOT nonviolence) have always been met with mass retribution in response. King again:
“The plain, inexorable fact was that any attempt of the American Negro to overthrow his oppressor with violence would not work. We didn’t need President Johnson to tell us this by reminding Negro rioters that they were outnumbered ten to one. The courageous efforts of our own insurrectionist brothers, such as Denmark Vesey and Nat Turner, should be eternal reminders to us that violent rebellion is doomed from the start. Anyone leading a violent rebellion must be willing to make an honest assessment regarding the possible casualties to a minority population confronting a well-armed wealthy majority with a fanatical right wing that would delight in exterminating thousands of black men, women, and children.”
And let me be clear… The American public should fear ANY individual who believes that armed political violence is legitimate under our Constitution, whether they are white, black or any other race.
That said, over the course of my career, I’ve spent far more time talking about the threat of insurrectionism from armed, far right wing whites:
You don’t beat evil by emulating it. I will continue to hold Dr. King’s line on nonviolence moving forward.