Pressley blasts white supremacy at Boston MLK breakfast

BOSTON (WHDH) - At Boston’s annual breakfast honoring Martin Luther King, Congresswoman Ayanna Pressley said the civil rights movement is not over and said institutionalized white supremacy is destroying the country.

Political leaders, including Gov. Charlie Baker, and residents filled the Boston Convention and Exhibition Center for the 50th annual breakfast, with the theme of “The Struggle Continues: Moving Forward Together.”

Boston Mayor Martin J. Walsh said the yearly event is inspirational, but needs follow-through.

“Every year we come to this breakfast, every year we leave here inspired, there’s an amazing speaker, we feel inspired about it,” Walsh said. “Every year we give our message, every year we talk — what happens tomorrow?”

Pressley, the first black woman to be elected to Congress in Massachusetts, said people need to fight racism in their government.

“I am so tired of people saying that what is ruining this country is identity politics, no it isn’t. It is hate and white supremacy codified through legislation,” Pressley said. “One of the things that bothers me about when we talk about the civil rights movement is when we bookend it as if we’re not still in it.

“The same is true when we talk of abolition. I’m still an abolitionist because my people still are not free,” Pressley said.

Sen. Ed. Markey called for economic and social reform.

“Martin Luther King used to talk about radical love, what we need in this country is radical reform,” Markey said.

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