Martin Luther King Would Fuck the Insurrectionists' Shit Up (2021 Edition)

Throughout his too-short life, Martin Luther King, Jr. called "bullshit" on what was motivating racists who violently opposed the Civil Rights Movement and the work that King and his Southern Christian Leadership Conference were doing non-violently. He saw through the rhetoric and called it what it was: lies. 

Here he is in December 1959 in his Address at the Fourth Annual Institute on Nonviolence and Social Change in Montgomery, Alabama, where Rosa Parks had taken her stand by not giving up her seat a few years earlier: "There is great need for positive leadership from the moderates of the white South in this tense period of transition. Unfortunately today, the leadership of the white South is by and large in the hands of close-minded extremists. These persons gain prominence and power by the dissemination of false ideas, and by appealing to the deepest fears and hates within the human mind." See, King understood that lying and fearmongering were the tools of those trying to maintain their white power structures. 

That fear even bled over to other whites, ones who didn't believe what the racists believed but didn't act to stop them. King said, "There are in the white South millions of people of goodwill whose voices are yet unheard, whose course is yet unclear, and whose courageous acts are yet unseen. Such persons are in Montgomery today. These persons are often silent today because of fear of social, political, and economic reprisals."

And it's all, all, all just so fucking familiar, even now. 

King was a realist about how long it would take to achieve the goals of the SCLC and how difficult it would be. But he also saw hope in reaching out to those fearful whites: " In the name of God, in the interest of human dignity, and for the cause of democracy, I appeal to these white brothers to gird their courage, to speak out, to offer the leadership that is needed. Here in Montgomery we are seeking to improve the whole community, and we call upon the whites to help us. Our message to the white community is simply this: We who call upon you are not so-called outside agitators. We are your Negro brothers whose sweat and blood have also built Dixie."

Later in his life, King articulated in terms of morality the fight between Blacks who wanted to live with the same rights as white people and the whites who desperately tried to prevent that, and he warned that Black Americans should not imitate the immorality of whites in power. This is from his August 1967 Address Delivered at the Eleventh Annual SCLC Convention, titled "Where Do We Go From Here?" King said, "What is needed is a realization that power without love is reckless and abusive, and that love without power is sentimental and anemic. Power at its best is love implementing the demands of justice, and justice at its best is love correcting everything that stands against love. And this is what we must see as we move on. Now what has happened is that we've had it wrong and mixed up in our country, and this has led Negro Americans in the past to seek their goals through love and moral suasion devoid of power, and white Americans to seek their goals through power devoid of love and conscience. It is leading a few extremists today to advocate for Negroes the same destructive and conscienceless power that they have justly abhorred in whites. It is precisely this collision of immoral power with powerless morality which constitutes the major crisis of our times."

Damn, that last sentence is such a brilliant explanation of how power is used against the powerless. This ideal of power that is moral has always seemed like pipe dream, but it always seemed possible until the last 4 years under this most immoral of presidents. 

So Martin Luther King would fuck the shit up of the racist insurrectionists who tried to overthrow the legitimate government because he had seen through the same bullshit that was used as justification for their uprising. It wasn't to protect the vote or the Constitution or any of that. It was because they believed the lies and they acted on the fear and they wanted to assert the immoral power of their whiteness. King saw them all for who they are: cowards who cannot stand a future where that shield of whiteness doesn't grant them the shield of privilege.