The Magical Martin Luther King
John Metta
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I’m inclined to think that it’s a bit more insidious. It’s no coincidence that powerful white people like to drop MLK quotes whenever black people riot over police shootings. We are told this complete myth that great social change is accomplished by peaceful protest and “civilized” behavior. Frankly, that’s not how history works. The American Revolution started with a riot over police violence and some serious property destruction.

And yet every time people demand change, other people in power maintain that the only way to get it is by asking nicely, then pull out the Magical Martin Luther King as a perfect example of what they’re talking about. The reality of MLK’s anger and dangerousness gets retconned to suggest that if you all stop throwing rocks and sounding so angry, you’ll get what you want. That’s totally worked before, we promise.

It’s just so funny how powerful institutions tell history in a way that ensures their continued existence.

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