Martin Luther King III: My Dad ‘Turns Around in the Grave’ Over Voting Rights Attacks — SXSW
Martin Luther King Jr. According to his eldest son, he will be amazed at his efforts to suppress the retreat of voting rights and civil rights teachings in this country, Martin Luther King III.
“People ask me, what do you think your dad is doing? And Festivals, he told Deadline. I feel like I’m going backwards, which is interesting because he wrote prophetically in his last book. Where should we go: chaos or community?, obviously he wanted us back in the community, but we see chaos all the time. Every day comes something more extreme than the previous one. So our work is cut out for us. ”
King and his wife Arndrea Waters King were among the panelists at the SXSW Featured Session entitled Voting Is a Civil Rights Issue.Our conversations ranged from Republican campaigns to restrict access to the vote and disdain for right-wing “awakeningism” to post-George Floyd America and King’s upcoming documentary series protect and serveexamines the “History of Police in America and the Origins of Institutional Racism” and offers “solution-based arguments”.
In the Kings’ home state of Georgia, the Republican-controlled Congress has made significant changes to state election laws in 2021. This includes shrinking ballot boxes, especially in areas with large voters of color and Democrats. The so-called Senate Bill 202 also significantly shortened the window of time voters can request an absentee ballot, a practice favored by Democrats more than Republican voters in 2020.
“My father and his team, and John Lewis, Amelia Boynton, and Joshua Williams, to name just a few, have broken down the barriers that give us the right to vote by law through the Voting Rights Act. “It’s still 55 years since my father’s death and this April is the 55th anniversary of my father’s assassination,” said King, “to make it harder for people to vote.” There are people who are literally introducing provisions for, by the way, the same people who are talking about protecting and preserving world democracy on the national stage while you are restricting democracy at home.
Waters King said, “Our daughter is the only grandchild of Martin Luther King Jr. and Coretta Scott King. She is 14 and will be 15 in May. And she and her peers sit now with less voting rights and rights periods than they did the day they were born. [Martin Luther King Jr.] I say that because she was born in 2008. In 2009, the Voting Rights Act, the crowning achievement of the civil rights movement, was essentially scrapped.
Waters King highlighted another retrograde behavior that affects young people like his daughter.
“It’s a law passed in Georgia about what can be taught in schools,” Waters-King said. “She and her peers are not taught history.
The New York Times reported earlier this week that Florida overhauled its social studies curriculum and urged parents, teachers, political activists, and others to scrutinize textbooks “not just to assess academic content, but to find tips and tricks.” Flag anything that could be.” For example, in the important racial theory. The Times reported that one publisher “produced multiple versions of social studies material, softening or removing references to race, even the story of Rosa Parks, to gain approval in Florida.” reported.
This is “writing out black history,” says MLK III flatly. He visited Tuscaloosa, Alabama. In February, hundreds of high school students “left classrooms after being told by school leaders to omit certain related events from the upcoming student-led Black History Month program,” The Associated Press reported. (School officials denied the students’ claims).
“The crowning major struggles of all these — the Montgomery Bus Boycott of 1955, the Birmingham campaign that led to the Civil Rights Act of 1965, the voting rights campaign between Selma and Montgomery in 1965. Yet history cannot be taught anymore. I can’t even talk about these things, according to what this school has done.”
The Kings clearly have no intention of staying silent, in fact expanding the scope of their activity and involvement through a media partnership with Calabasas Films, founded by producer Kapil Mahendra. are collaborating in protect and serve, examines how to combat police prejudice against communities of color. Black Americans continue to face dramatically higher police killing rates, more than twice as high as white and Hispanic Americans, according to a Washington Post study, just updated this week.
“Do you have to look at how we select our police officers? How do we train them? Consistent [training] You have to do that training — not just once, but over and over again — you have to do that training,” argued King. I advocate rotating the police. He also calls for an independent mechanism to investigate police misconduct.
“Seven out of ten cases brought to prosecutors, perhaps one out of nine, are committed by the police,” he said. “So they have a cozy relationship. So when a police officer does something wrong, how are you expected to prosecute this? No. We need an independent prosecutor.” [also] We need community policing.what are these protect and serve should be approx.
The 2020 death of George Floyd under the lap of a white Minneapolis police officer has shocked the nation and caused it to reckon with systemic racial injustice.
“Corporate America was starting to change,” said King. “Diversity, equity and inclusion departments have been funded and resourced.” But it could be argued that progress has stalled or even reversed. The national debate has turned from addressing systemic injustice to debates about “critical racial theory” and “awakeningism.”
“[My father] Challenged us to stay awake and engaged, but now someone else is using arousal as a negative concept. To become, we must all stay awake and engaged, he said, and he never said America was great or “great again.” did not. But he said that by challenging us all to stay awake, America can become the America it should be for all of us.
MLK III, who lost his father when he was only 10 years old, has seen backlash before.
“My father used to say, we’re at the stage where repression is legalized. The sad thing is that we’re still there and haven’t gone further,” he commented. Sixty years ago, in 1963, the March on Washington brought together workers, religious leaders, blacks, whites, and Latinos. , and others, and less than three weeks later, the 16th Street Baptist Church [in Birmingham, Ala.] It was bombed, [there’s] inevitable backlash. ”
Arndrea Waters King still sees some reason to hold on to hope.
“After all, there are more people with good intentions. We’ve seen that time and time again, not only in the work we do now, but also in the work we’ve done before against hate crimes and hate groups. “In fact, there are more people with good intentions than those who don’t.”
Their upcoming work at Calabasas Films will help bring together these forces of goodwill.
“We have to fight on multiple fronts. Indeed, we will always be active in activist activism and legislation, and at the same time, in times of history where these stories are not being told, there will be even more impact. We will continue to publish powerful content.”