“When you cut facilities, slash jobs, abuse power, discriminate, drive people into deeper poverty & shoot people dead whilst refusing to provide answers or justice, the people will rise up & express their anger & frustration if you refuse to hear their cries. A riot is the language of the unheard.” - MLK
Following the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr. on April 4th 1968, people rioted in over 100 major cities in America.
It was determined that the states could not successfully repress what seemed to be an unrising in America, so the white house sent tens of thousands of national guard troops to several cities where the unrest was strongest.
J. Edgar Hoover, the FBI director who was responsible for COINTELPRO and thought to be the person who ordered Malcolm X’s assassination, reportedly recommended to top officials that they have the national guard kill the rioters. Walter Washington refused and later became the first elected mayor of Washington D.C. as well as the first black mayor in the city.