got to hand it to the GOP and a couple of centrist Democrats - they
certainly know how to misinterpret and misrepresent the message of
Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. in an effort to promote their retrograde
never fails, almost like clockwork, some politician will echo
(arrogantly and without shame) a select passage of the iconic speech
that the late civil rights leader delivered during the March on
Washington in 1963: “I have a dream that my four children will
one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color
of their skin, but by the content of their character.”
was a profound comment to be sure. And, indeed, every morally
requisite human being should adopt and unapologetically embrace its
values. The problem is many members in the two aforementioned
categories fail to “practice what they preach,” choosing
instead to engage in antics that embody the antithesis of such
most recent is newly inaugurated Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin, who
shamelessly employed all sorts of disturbing sorts of dog whistles in
his gubernatorial campaign. Youngkin perversely used King’s
words to advocate for parent’s choice in public schools,
issuing an executive order to justify his ban on critical race theory
in K-12 education.
must equip our teachers to teach our students the entirety of our
history - both good and bad … Only then will we realize Dr.
Martin Luther King Jr.’s dream that our children ‘will
not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their
character,’ ” Youngkin’s executive order states.
months earlier, it was Florida governor and much talked about
potential 2024 Republican presidential candidate, Ron DeSantis, who
incorrectly cited the civil rights leader. DeSantis stood before his
state legislature with a straight face and declared that his reason
for invoking his STOP W.O.K.E. Act, a law that grants parents
permission to sue teachers caught teaching critical race theory in
Florida public schools, was “to honor the spirit and values of
Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.” Yes, you read that correctly.
wonder if King were alive today, would he have advocated to direct
such hostility and disingenuous outrage toward any form of education
that taught kids to learn about the history of its people regardless
of whether the truth that emerged from such information turned out to
be either good, bad or ugly? You can’t make this stuff up! This
is political theater of the obscene.
gross misinterpretation of King’s message doesn’t end
with Republicans - they have kindred spirits in the Democratic party
who enjoy playing similar games. Arizona Sen. Kyrsten Sinema, who has
pretty much thumbed her nose at every segment of the progressive wing
of her party, stated that John Lewis, the late congressmen for whom
the voting rights bill is named, along with King were her personal
heroes. Go figure.
she feels that the most effective and laudatory way to support the
legacy of both men is to politically align herself with Republican
senators like Ted Cruz and Mitch McConnell to protect the filibuster
(a long held relic of Jim Crow) rather than pass legislation designed
to protect the right to vote for Black people.
should not go without saying that in his landmark article “Letter
From Birmingham Jail,” King made it clear that he reserved the
majority of his frustration for the white moderate.
truth is that most of Republican politicians would have likely
mercilessly attacked King and everything he stood for tooth and nail
had they been in congress during his time on Earth. He would have
been lumped in with Black Lives Matter, a big government liberal, and
referred to in other terms by this group of men and women to indicate
their disdain for his progressive and humanitarian values.
truth is King would have opposed virtually all the retrograde values
these individuals embrace in his name. End of story!