Two weeks ago when Dane County District Attorney Ismael Ozanne announced that no charges would be brought against the Wisconsin police officer who shot and killed an unarmed Tony Robinson, he did something that many elected officials do to quell the community — invoked Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
It’s a common tactic used to remind demonstrators that our greatest civil rights leader was non-violent, a tactic used to absolve the gross violence and disenfranchisement of minority communities while placing the onus on said communities to refrain from reacting.
That, in itself, is violence. Dr. King may have been non-violent, but he was also noncompliant.
“My decision will not end the racial disparities that exist in the justice system,” Ozanne said. “Whether we are policing, teaching or parenting, when we use violence to maintain control, we do so at a tremendous cost.”
He then whipped out his secret weapon:
“Violence never brings permanent peace.”
Naturally, Twitter users weren’t happy with the appropriation of King’s quotes to fit a specific agenda.
Enter journalist and Demos fellow Donovan Ramsey, who offered up a solution to curbing the co-opting of MLK quotes by those ignoring the very violence against Black bodies.
Use Ronald Reagan quotes for the Black agenda.
In this week’s The Retweet, join us as we explore just how effective Reagan’s quotes could be in amplifying Black voices against police violence.
How’s this for a change?
Check out the video above and let us know what #ReaganQuotes you would use.
You can find more episodes of The Retweet here.