Are they trying to imply that Black voters only vote for black candidates?
Even if Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was a republican, he definitely wouldn’t be a fan of all the bull going on today.
According to The Huffington Post:
Hovering above Martin Luther King Jr. Avenue in Dallas, a provocative billboard makes a controversial claim in black and red block letters: “Martin Luther King Jr. was a Republican. VOTE REPUBLICAN!”
It’s a claim, and a voter registration tactic, that has been used before, despite a decidedly mixed reactions from community members who see it.
The ads posted this year — as well as similar billboards posted in Austin and in Houston back in 2009 — are the brainchild of Claver Kamau-Imani, a Houston, Texas, church leader and the founder of RagingElephants.org, a conservative group that aims to recruit more African Americans for the Republican Party.
Kamau-Imani said the use of the American Civil Rights leader and Nobel Peace Prize winner is appropriate and accurate.
“The use of Dr. King, because of him being an icon in the community, we feel would be most effective,” Kamau-Imani told CBS DFW. “That’s why we used it. We have the documentation to back the claims we’re making on the billboard.”
This documentation is hard to pin down, however.
In 2009, Kamau-Imani told Fox News that King’s niece, the Rev. Alveda King, said her uncle was indeed a Republican. But while video of Alveda King’s claim is available on YouTube, Kamau-Imani acknowledged there’s no documentation to back her up.
That 2009 billboard was taken down early, after the leader of the local New Black Panther Party chapter organized a press conference rallying support against the $3,000 sign.
“Martin Luther King may have very well believed in some of the Christian principles of the Republican Party, but Dr. Martin Luther King was not a Republican or a Democrat,” Quanell X told Fox News at the time. “[He] would not be with the party of Newt Gingrich, he would not be with the party of Sarah Palin, he would not be with the party of Rush Limbaugh, Michael Savage or Sean Hannity.”
Dr. King’s son Martin Luther King III, as well as various other friends have all objected to this label. Ultimately, Politifact said the claim was false.
Back in Dallas, Peter Johnson, an activist who worked alongside King in the 1960s, told CBS that the billboards are simply offensive.
“Using his image is one thing, exploiting his legacy is another,” Johnson said. “To distort his legacy, it’s sacred to some of us. We know the suffering and sacrifice that was made.”
To take the sacrifice that Dr. King and so many others made is beyond disrespectful. It makes us wonder what other disgusting tactics these ignorant fools will make.
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