Speaker asks for a second look at the real Martin Luther King Jr.

One Martin Luther King Jr. Day speaker passionately called for a Columbus audience to reconsider a too-passive, watered-down image of the late civil rights leader.

Instead, he suggested they remember King as a fiery rebel who battled American economic and other national elements far beyond racism of the 1950s and 1960s.

Christopher Hunt’s remarks Monday night surfaced amid the seven-month-old Black Lives Matter of Columbus chapter’s largest meeting ever with 150 people of various races, backgrounds and ages at the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Columbus building on Goeller Boulevard.

The gathering was titled, “Reclaiming the Legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.”

“I was asked to come today and offer my thoughts and insights pertaining to the now-decades-long phenomenon in which Dr. King, who was once understood to be the most dangerous person in the U.S. by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, was quickly shaped into a type of national mascot for sentimental race relations, apolitical acts of goodwill, and superficial calls for love and brother/sisterhood,” Hunt said.

For more on this story, see Wednesday’s Republic.

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Brian Blair is a reporter for The Republic. He can be reached at bblair@therepublic.com or 812-379-5672.