NYC Public Advocate's Statement Commemorating Martin Luther King Jr. Day

January 15th, 2024

Press Release

"On Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day, it’s important to look beyond the sanitized quotes and characterizations to see Dr. King the activist, the agitator, the radical. Through that revolutionary lens, it is easier to see the ongoing struggle and the need to take it up. Because today the Black community can vote – sometimes – and we can go to public schools – sometimes – but the "freedom" of the King dream is far from achieved.

"Right now, as it has been since the days of Dr. King, our community is still trapped between the very real street violence in our neighborhoods and the too-often oppressive overpolicing ineffectively deployed to combat it. And also far too often in today’s political environment, we see leaders who would exploit that tension rather than work to resolve it. We should be wary not to follow those leaders who claim their own purposes should stand in for ours.

"We are not a singular speech, we are a conversation. And that conversation, which stretches back as far as the marches Dr. King led, is critical as we continue the work to upend the same unjust systems those marches opposed."

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