‘Klansmen dressed in suits are being sworn into office,’ Black Lives Matter leader tells Brooklyn MLK tribute

Black Lives Matter leader at MLK tribute: ‘Klansmen dressed in suits are being sworn into office’

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Photo gallery

The struggle continues: Black Lives Matter co-founder Opal Tometi gives the keynote address at the Annual Brooklyn Tribute to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr at the Brooklyn Academy of Music on Jan. 16.
Preach: Brooklyn’s famed Institutional Radio Choir shared their golden tonsils with the event.
The king of Kings County: Borough President Adams speaks.
Straight outta Brooklyn: Pamela Mondezie and Doris Paine enjoy the show. Mondezie says she comes every year because it is always a good time — and it’s free!
Standing Tall: Mayor DeBlasio and Firt Lady Chirlane McCray spoke about Dr. King’s legacy as well as mental health.
Sacred steel: The Campbell Brother rocked the house with their spiritual steel guitar.

The co-founder of activist group Black Lives Matter railed against President-elect Trump during her keynote address at this year’s Brooklyn Tribute to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. on Monday, telling the hundreds-strong crowd that the fight for equality is just beginning.

“When men no better than Klansmen dressed in suits are being sworn into office, we cannot be silent,” activist Opal Tometi told the crowd at the Brooklyn Academy of Music.

Just days away from Trump’s inauguration, Tometi rallied the audience to oppose his proposed Muslim registries and mass deportations of undocumented immigrants, as well as to join the Black Lives Matter movement’s fight to bring police who kill innocent black men to justice, according to attendees.

Her message really resonated with the crowd, said one audience member.

“Her speech was phenomenal, and it was right on point,” said lifelong Fort Greene resident Pamela Mondezie who has been attending the 31-year-old show for some 15 years. “She was touching on a lot of his work and his legacy — that we can’t stop, especially now. We must continue to fight.”

Alongside Tometi, plenty of locals pols also offered their words — including the borough’s Acting District Attorney Eric Gonzalez, who gave a stirring tribute to the late Ken Thompson, Brooklyn’s first black district attorney, who died of cancer last year.

“It was moving,” said Mondezie. “Sad but good in the same sense.”

But there was also plenty of fun, Mondezie reports — performances from Brooklyn’s own Institutional Radio Choir and sacred steel band the Campbell Brothers had everyone up and dancing, she said.

“The music moved you, gave you chills in your body,” she said. “They had the crowd on their feet.”

Reach deputy editor Ruth Brown at or by calling (718) 260–8309. Follow her at
Updated 10:17 pm, July 9, 2018
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Reasonable discourse

notbuyingit from Bed-Sty says:
So let's stain the day dedicated to the good Reverend Martin Luther King with BLM rhetoric.
Jan. 17, 2017, 10:53 am
lee from kensington says:
MLK would agree. What part of Jeff Sessions is not a Klanner in a suit? Oh right. Sessions doesn't smoke weed!
Jan. 17, 2017, 11:08 am
Brooklyn Born Baby from Brooklyn says:
Lee how would you know what the great late MLK would or would not agree with? Are you his kin?
Jan. 17, 2017, 2:05 pm
Student of King from Fort Gre5ene says:
Is it possible that watching radical Muslims that have no respect for women would be something King would not support?

I usually attend this event but in the past there were too many politicians with their selfish rhetoric. This year I passed.

Where is the message on the impoverished, the oppressed, the homeless? Would King dislike neoliberalism as well as neofascism?

No one is truly representing the people King cared about.
Jan. 17, 2017, 7:44 pm
Honeycita from Williamsburg says:
Ironic that a woman who judges everyone by the color of their skin before the content of their character can pretend to have any connection to Matin Luther King. She is an oppurtunistic hyppocrite.
Jan. 18, 2017, 9:52 am
james from gravesend says:
"MLK would agree. What part of Jeff Sessions is not a Klanner in a suit? Oh right. Sessions doesn't smoke weed!"

This is where the fake news propoganda spreading in some communities is very dangerous.

Jeff Sessions PROSECUTED AND PUT KKK KLANSMAN IN JAIL. Session problem is that he is white and that what the racist BLK group does not like. BLM IS A HATE GROUP. plain and simple
Jan. 18, 2017, 12:24 pm
Homey from Crooklyn says:
Mental illness clearly is pervasive in the far left
Jan. 18, 2017, 1:39 pm

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