In this article on Truthout, Professor Barbara Ransby and BLM-Chicago’s Aislinn Pulley assert that Dr. King’s legacy is, at its core, a critique of structural state violence and inequality. They write:
April 4 marks the historic 50th anniversary since Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated. At this time, it is vital to highlight the fact that King understood the depth of state violence, noting the violent effects of government policy in many spheres.
As King said a year before his death, “I could never again raise my voice against the violence of the oppressed, without having first spoken clearly to the greatest purveyor of violence in the world today — my own government.”
It is easy to focus on “lone gunmen” or “rogue cops” as individual perpetrators of violence, and of course on one level, that is true. People pull the triggers of guns. But the problem runs deeper than that. Police have enormous power and privilege in leveraging deadly force against civilians who they see as a threat or whose lives they don’t value. The state gives them permission to use this force and condones racist violence by allowing wanton shootings to occur with impunity.
King’s anniversary will be marked in many ways around the country. In Chicago, where we live, the 16-month-old Resist, Reimagine, Rebuild (R3) Coalition and affiliated activist groups will hold a rally at the city’s Daley Center to highlight the radical legacy of King and those who fought alongside him. We will link King’s legacy to the ways in which we can resist the rampant anti-Black state violence being perpetrated today.
You can find the full post on Truthout.