In invoking Martin Luther King in an interview on Monday when asked about the United States riots, Prime Minister Scott Morrison was entering an argument that has turned partisan on social media.
Both sides of the argument that is convulsing America have quoted the great civil rights leader to push their cause.
Martin Luther King was famously an advocate of peace, and this appears to be the point Mr Morrison was making when he told Sydney radio he found images of the riots "terribly disturbing".
"There's not always rubbish on social media. I saw a good meme on the weekend. Martin Luther King, you know, didn't change anything by burning anything down and looting any shops," he said.
"And so as upsetting and terrible is the murder that took place, and it is shocking, that also just made me cringe."
Mr Morrison's office did not say which meme he was referring to, suggesting a quick search on Google or Twitter would yield a number of them.
One that matched Mr Morrison's sentiment has the words "Looted nothing. Burned nothing, Attacked no-one. Changed the world."
But while the activist advocating peace and condemned riots, his message was fierce, and the words in the meme go no way capture his meaning.
His famous speech on riots was at Stanford University in 1967 when he told his audience about the "rat-infested vermin-filled slums" that black people inhabited, an "arena of blasted hopes and shattered dreams" where "little children ... are forced to grow up with clouds of inferiority forming every day in their little little skies".
His message for the Californian audience was not a lecture against violence but a call to metaphorical arms.
He argued against complacency, condemning the "appalling silence and indifference of the good people who sit around and say wait on time".
He warned that the cities of America were "powder kegs" built on the despair, desperation, disappointment and bitterness in the black communities. And riots would continue as long as America postponed justice.
"Our nation's summer riots are caused by out nation's winter's of delay," he told the audience.
"I will continue to condemn riots and continue to say to my brothers and sisters that this is not the way, continue to affirm that there is another way. But at the same time it is as necessary for me to be as rigorous in condemning the conditions which cause persons to feel that they must engage in riotous activities as it is for me to condemn riots.
"I think America must see that riots do not develop out of thin air, certain conditions continue to exist in our society which must be condemned as vigorously as we condemn riots.
"In the final analysis the riot is the language of the unheard. What is it that America has failed to hear? It has failed to hear that the plight of the Negro poor has worsened over the last few years. It has failed to hear that the promises of freedom and justice have not been met. It has failed to hear that large segments of white society are more concerned about tranquility and the status quo than about justice equality and humanity."
Martin Luther King's Stanford speech had a couple of other pointers for advocates of self-reliance and the self-made person.
He recounts meeting someone who pointed out the achievements of migrants to the US and suggested that instead of protest, he "teach your own people to lift yourself by your own bootstraps".
"It is a cruel jest to say to a bootless man that he ought to lift himself by his own bootstraps. The fact is that millions of Negros as a result of centuries of denial and neglect have been left bootless and they find themselves impoverished aliens in this affluent society," Martin Luther King responded, advocating a guaranteed minimum income, which he said would go a long way to dealing with the entrenched economic problems faced by black communities.
His speech was largely heard in silence, but this line brought applause.