Corey B. King
3 min readJan 18, 2021

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Keep Dr. King’s Name Out of Your Mouth

We have reached that time in the year where it is time to commemorate the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. True to form, every year some well- meaning white person posts, a feel-good quote about love and peace to illustrate how much they honor Dr. King and/or to prove how woke they are, or how much of an ally they are to Black culture.

And let me just say, it is the most disingenuous, patronizing, and rage inducing thing that you can do. Why? Because it just brings to memory the fact that if your ancestors were a little less racist, and a little less threatened by him, he would probably still be here with us, or at the very least, he would have been afforded the opportunity of longevity, and died of natural causes. And the truth of the matter is that most of you do not give a shit about Dr. King or his legacy, because in all honesty, if you did, you would use your privilege to fight white supremacy, so that today’s Black people are not fighting the same racial battles, as their parents and grandparents; You wouldn’t vote for the likes of Donald Trump, and the entire GOP Senatorial candidates. Instead of stampeding the U.S. Capitol to contest an election that was fairly won, you would accept the results, and work with the powers that be, to bring about this racial and social justice that were the tenets of Dr. King’s dream and message. And even if you did not vote for Donald Trump, rather than posting these feel-good quotes to your social media, you would do the work of an actual ally and talk to the folks in your inner circle, be it your relatives, neighbors, or coworkers who are the very antithesis of Dr. King’s dream. Instead, you post these quotes every year and go about your business, like a quote is supposed to solve the problem of over 400 years of injustice. Therefore, I take exception to the posting of these quotes.

And it is always the peaceful, Kumbaya quotes. It’s never the quotes from Dr. King’s, “Letter from a Birmingham Jail, which was composed prior to his infamous, “I Have A Dream” speech. Or you would choose some of the writings and/or teachings from 1967–1968. In his last year of life, he was not the Dr. King of the “I Have a Dream” speech of 1963. The Dr. King of 1967–1968, was a man who had come to terms with the fact of the only way to promote equality and racial justice was to tell the truth about the white moderate. The…

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Corey B. King

Writer, Professor. Published my second book, I Have Some Shit to Say, memoir/essay collection in 2018! You can find me on Twitter at @coreybking