Profs argue MLK would embrace Ferguson protests
Two college professors have argued that Civil Rights icon Martin Luther King, Jr. would embrace the disruptive Ferguson street protests and the Black Lives Matter movement.
Joyce D. McNickles, a professor at Emmanuel College, and Dr. Christopher Whitt, an associate professor of political science at Augustana College, are both claiming that the recent protests that sprung up after the deaths of Michael Brown and Eric Garner are continuing the work of Dr. King.
"We need to channel Martin [Luther King, Jr.], people, and not just 'I have a dream' Martin."
"We need to channel Martin [Luther King, Jr.], people, and not just 'I have a dream' Martin," McNickles told a packed auditorium at Emmanuel’s Mosaic Cultural Center on Monday. "We need to bring Martin back."
McNickles began having an imaginary conversation with Dr. King on stage, reading out instances where black men, women, and children faced prejudice in the modern era. In her “conversation” with Dr. King, McNickles claimed that blacks do not receive adequate medical attention, are often the first to be alluded to amputee procedures, and are disproportionately imprisoned on death row.
The professor claims that Dr. King had a more “radical” message than is acknowledged in the I Have a Dream Speech, noting that King once labelled the U.S. government the "greatest purveyor of violence in the world."
"Joyce, that sounds like black lives don't matter,” the professor said, pretending to be Dr. King.
McNickles concluded her performance by voicing her support for protesters who recently blocked Interstate-93, claiming the inconvenience to commuters was necessary to evoke a response. The traffic jam that resulted from the protests left an 83-year-old car crash victim in route to the hospital stalled on the highway for twice as long.
"If some are inconvenienced by protests ... so be it ... I say, keep on marching," said McNickles.
Dr. Whitt also spoke, praising the protesters for disrupting status quo.
"We have to continue to remind people that black lives matter," said Dr. Whitt. "We want to have elected officials who are genuinely interested in the community.... Black people are simply not votes to be manipulated."
Dr. King’s niece, Dr. Alveda King, told Fox News in November that today’s movement is nothing like the original Civil Rights Movement, arguing that those in the movement were trained not to be violent or provoke riots.
"I believe rioting is actually an unnecessary evil," King told Fox News.
"During my lifetime and during the times that I marched or went to jail, or my father, A.D. King, or my uncle, Martin, we were asking people not to riot, but to use our words and use peaceful protest."
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