“When people in the future are thinking about crazy times,” King said to a crowd gathered in the BLUU Ballroom, “They are going to be thinking about right now.”
King’s visit to TCU Tuesday was sponsored by the Student Government Association as part of its TCUnity Week activities. He spent several hours on campus, meeting with two small groups in the afternoon in the King Family Commons before addressing students in the evening. He also spoke at Como First Missionary Baptist Church in Fort Worth.
King told the audience of a couple hundred people that the death of Eric Garner, who died in 2014 after being put in a chokehold by New York City Police, influenced him to begin looking into police brutality and social injustice.
“You can never know the moments that shape and change you,” said King.
King said that after the deaths of Garner, Mike Brown and others who were killed at the hands of police officer, he kept hearing people referring to the 60s and 70s and the civil rights movement.
“The thing people kept saying,” King said, “is that they thought we were going back in time, because they feel like we should have gotten over that”
King cited 19th century historian Leopold von Ranke who argued advancements don’t necessarily improve society as a whole.
“Our concept of time is that time is always getting better,” King said. “It’s not. They confuse the improvement of gadgets to the improvement of humanity.”
King expanded on the need for improvement of humanity and spoke about white privilege and the violence that has occurred the last year. The room appeared to be generally in agreement with King’s statements with jokes made by King in an attempt to keep the atmosphere positive yet informational.
King answered a few questions at the end of the event, then took selfies with many of those in attendance.