Just saw a conservative blogger condescendingly ask if President Obama knows that Martin Luther King, Jr. was a Republican

I usually ignore such nonsense, but since this misleading claim can be so easily and quickly debunked:

  1. King had no strong allegiance to either party, believing that “the Negro should be more of an independent voter…this would give him more bargaining power" and stating "I’m not inextricably bound to either party.”
  2. In 1956, he wrote in a letter to Miss Viva O. Sloan, “I haven’t fully decided which candidate I will vote for. In the past I have always voted the Democratic ticket.”
  3. He also supported John F. Kennedy for President but, despite urgings from friends, decided not to publicly endorse either candidate. “I felt that Kennedy would make the best president. I never came out with an endorsement.”
  4. He strongly opposed the Vietnam War, in part because he felt money used to finance the war should instead be devoted to anti-poverty programs: ”A nation that continues year after year to spend more money on military defense than on programs of social uplift is approaching spiritual death.”
  5. Later in life, he was a self-identified democratic socialist: ”There must be a better distribution of wealth, and maybe America must move toward a democratic socialism.”

In the future, let’s try not to rewrite history.   

616 Notes

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