It’s Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, So Get Ready for Republicans to Claim MLK Would be on Their Side

mlk-republicanI always love how any time some famous civil rights leader is honored, like we do today with Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Republicans fall all over themselves trying to proclaim that they’re a party which staunchly supports civil rights both now and historically.

A claim which, of course, is ludicrous.

Just because long ago most southerners were Democrats (back when many Democrats were racists) doesn’t suddenly mean that Republicans were this party for civil rights and equality.  Especially when you factor in logic, reality and what’s commonly known as the “Southern Strategy.”

You know, when the Republican party recognized that African-Americans were voting for Democrats, so in a strategy to lure white voters to the GOP they used racism to drive white voters toward the Republican party.  Because “blacks are voting for Democrats and southern whites sure don’t want to vote for the party that black people vote for, right? Right?!

For a more thorough explanation, check out this article I wrote a while back on the topic.

And don’t even give me this nonsense about, “Well, we’re the party of Lincoln!”  Republicans were the party of Lincoln – but not anymore.  Hell, Republicans aren’t even the party of Eisenhower anymore.

But today will undoubtedly bring out Republicans claiming that they’re actually the party that’s fought for civil rights while Democrats are the racists.  They’ll say how much they respect and honor the memory of Dr. King – then try to claim that if he were alive, there’s no doubt that he would be a Republican.

Which is just laughable.  Why, because they assume he would be against abortion and same-sex marriage?

I know in their world that’s all that seems to matter, but for those who don’t live inside of a very narrow-minded box, life is about much more than those two issues.  I believe Dr. King might not approve of abortion, but I think he’d let each individual choose for themselves.  I also believe Dr. King would have evolved on the stance of gay marriage (as the majority of the country has) and embraced equality and civil rights for all Americans.

After all, in his “I Have a Dream” speech, he spoke about judging one another based on the content of one’s character.

But all Republicans do is judge people.  They judge the poor, the sick, those who don’t have a job, those who want to immigrate to this country, those of other religions or other nationalities – they basically judge anyone and everyone who isn’t a straight, white Christian.

I think back on the countless racist comments and messages I’ve seen about our president since Obama was elected in 2008, or the vile names I’ve heard him called living here in Texas, and just laugh at conservatives who honestly sit there and try to tell me that there isn’t rampant racism throughout the GOP.

Like I’ve said before, living in Texas I’ve heard Obama called derogatory terms for African-Americans far more often than I have “president” or even his own name.  So don’t sit there and tell me there isn’t rampant racism within the Republican party.  I see it all the time.

So when I see Republicans try to sit there and claim that a famed civil rights leader, and a minority, would be on their side?

I honestly just laugh.  But that’s what you’ll see all day today.  Republicans showing exactly how ridiculous they are by proving how little they understand history or their own reality.

Allen Clifton

Allen Clifton is a native Texan who now lives in the Austin area. He has a degree in Political Science from Sam Houston State University. Allen is a co-founder of Forward Progressives and creator of the popular Right Off A Cliff column and Facebook page. Be sure to follow Allen on Twitter and Facebook, and subscribe to his channel on YouTube as well.

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