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Biden honors Martin Luther King Jr. on 56th anniversary of his assassination

President Biden marked the 56th year since the assassination of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. with a statement paying tribute to King’s legacy and warning against the reemergence of political violence.

“Fifty-six years ago today, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. gave his last breath in the cause to redeem the soul of our nation,” Biden said in a statement Thursday, calling King one of his “political heroes.”

“But then, an extremist – armed with a rifle in his hands and fueled by the poison of white supremacy in his heart – shot and killed a great American who loved his country so deeply to make it better – even greater – even when it didn’t always love him back,” Biden said. “Dr. King and generations of foot soldiers known and unknown embody a patriotism that continues to inspire generations of Americans, including me.”

Biden warned against the reemergence of political violence, saying it should be condemned universally and taught extensively to ensure it never repeats.

“But on this day, and in this time, we all do well to remember another essential lesson about Dr. King’s life and legacy. All Americans – regardless of party or background – should be able to reject political violence and hate-fueled violence in any form,” Biden said. “We must condemn it, not condone it. We must confront it, not whitewash it. As we do, we must teach history and make history, not erase history. We must choose community over chaos.”

Concerns about political violence have grown in recent years, in particular since the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol that resulted in multiple fatalities.

In a December poll, 83 percent of Americans said they were concerned about political violence. On Wednesday, a new poll revealed that more than 20 percent of Americans said they thought violence may be necessary to secure political objectives in 2024.

Biden also noted the influence King has had on his own life, noting that after King’s assassination, Biden left a prestigious law firm and became a public servant.

“Since then, I’ve seen the push and pull and progress and setback on everything he stood for from voting rights to jobs and justice for all Americans,” Biden said. “I’ve had the greatest honor to serve as Vice President to the first Black President and now President with the first woman Vice President, as we carry forward his vision of a beloved community.”

Source: The Hill

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