Whites Dehumanize Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Into A Trope To Silence Black People
MLK is regularly evoked by Whites in a dehumanizing fashion in order to police Black vernacular (subversion/reclamation), police Black people’s response to continued State violence and anti-Blackness, and to control Black culture and life via the myth that the politics of respectability can “earn” us humanity; humanity denied us as the very foundation and current reality of this country, in fact.
It is triggering, erasure, abusive, ahistorical and violent to remind Black people practically on the hour of the coordinated State violence (abuse, arrests, physical violence, FBI intimidation, surveillance/COINTELPRO, psychological warfare and eventually assassination) on MLK and other Black activists/ordinary Black citizens, and then suggest that us behaving like a White-washed version of MLK (one erasing his work and humanly flaws and replacing it with appeasing Whiteness and empty deification) now will “protect” us from the same State violence that Black people have always faced. (MLK’s “non-violent” actions were still classified as “extremist.”) Whites, who benefit from racism, think it is acceptable to tell Black people to “behave” like MLK, when he was murdered for the same reasons that we have to fight today.
Darren Wilson has half a million dollars via donations from racists, had paid leave, a new wife, is viewed as a White hero and was not indicted (such a decision is apparently statistically rare); will not even face a trial for murdering Michael Brown, despite dehumanizing and killing him. (Not suggesting that his theoretical singular indictment or trial would be “justice” in this anti-Black country; the system itself is violence on us.) He called Michael’s expression of pain after being shot looking like a “demon” and his own strength like that of a child versus Michael as “Hulk Hogan” despite being close to the same size as Michael and had a gun while Michael did not. He claimed that he thought Michael’s punch could “kill” him though his hospital photographs are bruise-less. Clearly he is illogical because of anti-Blackness; the entire testimony is negligence, willful distortion and a racist farce. Whites benefit from violence on Black bodies yet have the audacity and cruelty to suggest how Black people should feel and respond to that violence, in which Whites use other Black people like MLK as dehumanized vessels to funnel those suggestions through.
It is basically White people so utterly willfully ahistorical and intellectually dishonest that they engage in cognitive dissonance with why MLK had to exist as he did in the first place and why we fight now. They use his body as a vessel for their own racism, since their own bodies and lies are never enough. Always the use and consumption of a Black body. Even celebration of the lack of indictment isn’t enough for them; so many of them are trolling Black people online right now because even the State’s affirmation of our dehumanization cannot satiate their appetite for harming Black people. They always want us to accept their version of reality, at the price of our humanity.
This shit also applies to non-Black people of color, and Black people who have internalized antiblackness and use that to harm other Black folks.