2018 MLK at Mt. Zion a celebration of the fight against violence — and a standing ovation for the first Black woman to lead Seattle Police

The deadliest weapon in 2018? Hateful rhetoric. What does non-violence mean in Trump’s America? Seattle writer Ijeoma Oluo deconstructed and rebuilt the spirit of Martin Luther King, Jr. in her keynote Friday in front of dignitaries and city officials at the 45th annual MLK celebration at 19th and Madison’s Mt. Zion Baptist Church.

“Those who position themselves as allies to Dr. King’s commitment to non-violence must join us in our commitment to fight the fights of a discriminatory justice system, to fight the racial violence of our medical system, to fight the violence of systemic poverty, to fight the violence of erasure,” Oluo said inside the Central District house of worship home to one of the area’s largest Black congregations. “And to fight the violence,” she continued, “of taking on the loving heroes and community leaders and reducing them to little more than a speech about a dream in order to further diminish us all.” Continue reading