Why Ferguson Shouldn’t Follow MLK
There has been a lot of discussion of following MLK’s example for the people of Ferguson. Apparently, many people are being given the sanitized version of MLK and how his nonviolent protest was viewed.
The majority of Americans, considered MLK to be an extreme radical. The FBI went to great lengths to perturb his efforts including sending him violent, threatening letters. Indeed FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover, the most powerful law enforcement official in the country famously called King “the most dangerous Negro” and “the most notorious liar in the country”
Following MLK’s example is essentially saying the gains acquired through his struggle have been lost or were not real. It says that we must be beaten, jailed, harassed and spied on in order to be given the “benefit of the doubt” of full citizenship. We don’t have to do those things not because our rights aren’t worth fighting for, but because apparently we didn’t really gain them using that method. The people of Ferguson will not regain and more importantly cement these rights by using these same tactics. It will repeat the cycle of victimization followed by appeasement only to be taken away as we achieve what we think is progress like Lucy does with the football to Charlie Brown.
While I disagree with calling for violence, I understand those who do like a friend of mine who said the following:
“No matter where you stood on the topic, America lost last night. The purpose of a grand jury is not to weigh guilt or innocence, but merely to determine if there is enough evidence to charge a defendant with a crime. A police officer shot and killed an unarmed civilian. Again, a police officer shot and killed an unarmed civilian. This decision supports those actions, supports future instances of extreme policing and supports the fact the only defense an officer needs is, “I feared for my life” and he/she is justified for their actions. This is a loss for everybody who isn’t police. Much like school violence, this will not be a national issue until it begins to effect the suburbs. The justice system asked for calm and promised a fair thoughtful decision. That didn’t happen, we found out more about who was killed and less about who pulled the trigger everyday of this nonsense. All those that are against rape culture call that victim blaming… We just witnessed it at its finest. Patience didn’t work, humility hasn’t worked… Residents of Ferguson… Burn that bitch to the ground.”