Remembering Martin Luther King’s courage

we hunted the mammoth

Today is Martin Luther King day here in the United States. In remembering Dr. King’s legacy, alas, his story is sometimes reduced to a few simplistic soundbites, and we forget how much of a struggle his famous struggle really was.

The one thing no one seems to want to remember is how much opposition there was to King and his message, and how ugly and violent and hateful this opposition was.

King and his family faced real threats and real harassment on a daily basis. He was subject to real violence, yet continued to preach a message of nonviolence.

As a reminder of the courage it took to be Martin Luther King, here’s an account of a march he led in Chicago in 1966, taken from Rick Perlstein’s book Nixonland. (Content warning: Racist language, violence.)

August 5. Six hundred open-housing activists, ten thousand counterdemonstrators. Some wore Nazi helmets. Others…

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