Sunday, April 15, 2001

King calls for inclusion, end to profiling




By Mark Curnutte
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        Martin Luther King III on Saturday pledged the support of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference to help build businesses and jobs in Cincinnati's black neighborhoods and called on President Bush to make the city a national example of ending racial profiling.

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Martin Luther King III is flanked by Rev. Fred Shuttlesworth, left, at a news conference Saturday.
(AP photo)
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        Mr. King, president of one of the nation's most prominent civil rights groups, said the root causes of this Cincinnati's rioting are racial profiling and economic disparity between African-Americans and whites.

        “This city seems to be run by a group of power players, and they don't allow anyone else to come in,” Mr. King said in an interview with The Enquirer.

        “That has worked for them, but in the 21st century, that's a bad model. That's the kind of model that creates divisiveness, no real unity, an everybody-for-themselves mentality.”

        Mr. King, son of the slain civil rights leader the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., attended the funeral of Timothy Thomas at New Prospect Baptist Church in Over-the- Rhine and also met with Cincinnati Mayor Charlie Luken.

        Mr. King spoke later Saturday afternoon at
Greater New Light Baptist Church in North Avondale, where he was the guest of its pastor, civil rights leader the Rev. Fred Shuttlesworth. About 100 people attended.

        Mr. King was encouraged by comments last week from U.S. Attorney General John Ashcroft that the Bush administration is committed to ending racial profiling.

        “Racial profiling is one of the many things the bully pulpit of the presidency can affect,” Mr. King said. “Racial profiling is happening all across the country. Cincinnati should be the example of how to bring it to an end.”

        An SCLC program includes meeting with political and business leaders to encourage the inclusion of young minorities in the city's economy.

        “My father said violence is the language of the unheard, and young people in Cincinnati feel they have no voice and resorted to violence,” Mr. King said.

        He was joined at the pulpit by the Rev. Shuttlesworth, a colleague of his father's in the effort to desegregate Birmingham, Ala., and by Cincinnati Councilman Paul Booth. Mr. Booth's father, longtime Cincinnati pastor the Rev. L.V. Booth, was also an associate of the Rev. King Jr.

        The Rev. Shuttlesworth, beginning his 41st year in Cincinnati, said African-Americans must make demands of the city and must not fade into the background.

        “Let's ask God for the courage and strength,” he said.

        Mr. King said, “When hope is lost, my father used to say, there's nothing left. He also said the one institution that must keep the flame of hope alive is the church. That was true in his era and is true today.”

       



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- King calls for inclusion, end to profiling
Protester Lynch becomes
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