Residents of Minneapolis, Minnesota have been up in arms since the killing of George Floyd, an African American man, by four white police officers went viral.
On Monday, a police officer pinned Floyd to the ground with his knee on unarmed Floyd's neck. He repeatedly kept saying he could not breathe as he called out for help, which was refused to him. Despite protests from passersby, the police officer continued to press his knee against Floyd's neck.
Desperate and helpless, Floyd kept crying out 'I can't breathe.' But his cries went unheard. His death has sparked nationwide protests and in some cities, the protests turned into violent riots as well.
Several Americans, including the US President Donald Trump, are of the opinion that rioting simply leads to the cause becoming convoluted and the actual issue loses its importance. Trump even tweeted saying that the "thugs" who were creating riots were dishonouring the memories of Floyd.
Legendary civil rights leader, Martin Luther King's son, Martin Luther King III, also an international human rights activist, tweeted a famous quote by his father to sum up the situation.
As my father explained during his lifetime, a riot is the language of the unheard.— Martin Luther King III (@OfficialMLK3) May 28, 2020
MLK had once said that riots are the language of the unheard. No, this does not mean MLK condoned violence; he only tried to explain why people protest and why riots happen. A fact, his own son probably knows better than anyone else.
This point seems to have slipped the minds of Americans who were quick to school Martin Luther King III on the words of his father and the weight they carried. While several came out in support, there were quite a few who raised objections:
The statement above simply states a reason behind rioting. People continue to feel unheard, some may go to more extreme measures to be heard. Everyone is quick to jump on the ‘is rioting bad’ topic now because it means not having to discuss the real problem that caused the riot.— Wheatstraw (@Book2880) May 28, 2020
And that's the point MLK was making, when a riot happens it's because people do not feel like they are being heard. It's not condoning the riot it's explaining what it is happening.— ✌️ (@JohnnyNebraska3) May 28, 2020
I’m stuck on how somebody is going to instruct this man on who his father was as if he doesn’t know better than random Twitter stranger. Smh. pic.twitter.com/baNz7fcaiP— caprimom (@caprimomx2) May 29, 2020
Strong say from a wise man— ʀᴀɢɢʏ sɪɴɢᴏ® (@singoRaggy) May 30, 2020
Your father was a brilliant man, but he wouldn’t condone the riots. He thought there was a better way to deal with the issues......— Ray Hobgood (@raymondhobgood) May 28, 2020
True as this may be, sometimes the line is blurred when it comes to looting & vandalism. Is there a right way to demand justice without the collateral damage to a community that's already struggling?— george kassel (@georgek32456901) May 28, 2020
That quote is taken completely out of context. The great MLK would never condone any kind of activity like that.— Jason Patrick (@jpat1313) May 30, 2020
You don't mind if folks riot and tear down all those pathetic signs named after him then.— Nick Szabo (@NickSzabo4) May 29, 2020