Wednesday on CNN Today, Martin Luther King III, the son of Martin Luther King Jr., told hosts Amara Walker and Michael Holmes that the violence that erupted in Ferguson in the wake of the grand jury’s decision not to indict police officer Darren Wilson in the death of Michael Brown is not what his father would have wanted.
“It’s been some five decades since Martin Luther King stood on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial, spoke to about 250,000 people there, and talked about his dream for equality,” Walker began. “What do you think he would have made of the riots we saw last night and the things that incited them?”
“I don’t know that any of us can really speak for my father,” King replied. “I will do the best I can based on some of his writings and views. I’m sure he would be greatly disappointed. First and foremost, he would certainly be feeling very bad for the family, I mean, he would have empathy for the family.”
“Secondly, he would feel disappointed that it erupted into a scenario of violence all across communities,” King continued. “He used to say that violence is the language of the unheard. And he constantly talked about, we must find nonviolent ways to address our conflicts, so he would be always advocating nonviolence, never stooping to and encouraging violence.
“What would you say to those people [who would not heed your father’s message?]” Holmes followed up.
“I think that we have to use as many voices as possible to speak to the younger generation,” King said. “My voice is one voice, but you really need those who are of that age, young people speaking to young people saying, ‘Look, there’s a more constructive way.’ We understand your frustration. This particular strategy is not going to yield a long-term result, it’s not going to create peace… in the long run, peace creates peace, not violence.”
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