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Because today, a number of conservatives will try to pull a misdirection by claiming that Martin Luther King was a Republican. Look at the issues Martin Luther King advocated for in addition to civil rights, and then try to tell me which Republicans today are advocates for the same issues.

It's a curious historical revisionism that is being played out today by some in the right, with the goal to convince blacks that "the real racists" are those of the Democratic Party. To believe this, you have to ignore all history from 1950 to today where the racist Democrats of the South who voted against civil rights legislation eventually switched parties to become racist Republicans, some by way of the Dixiecrat Party. You have to forget the fight in the 1980s by many of those Republicans to stop the creation of a holiday in his honor.

It would be funny if it wasn't so brazenly shameless and sad.

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sterlingnorth
Jan. 19th, 2010 03:24 am (UTC)
Curiously, one of the big pushers of this myth is Aveda King, niece of MLK. She's a social and economic conservative who was a fellow at the Alexis de Tocqueville Institution when it was in operation. She largely uses her notoriety to be an anti-abortion activist and was lately supporting opposition to same-sex marriage.

Now, this myth seems to have been born from the fact that Martin Luther King Sr was actually a registered Republican. Which would not have been unusual in his time given the Democrats in the South were segregationists. It would not be surprising if when MLK Jr first registered to vote, he registered as a Republican for that reason. But this particular mythologizing of MLK exists just to give conservatives the veneer of moral superiority on race which they lost while going after the white racist demographic from the 1960s onward. But to claim MLK as their own ignores that even beyond race, MLK's beliefs did not mesh with that of Republicans of the day, much less of today.
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