Today is the day when we celebrate Martin Luther King Jr., a public figure whose career consisted of a single speech that consisted entirely of one willfully misinterpreted sentence.
Traditionally, this is a day on which contemporary Republicans hostile to virtually everything MLK stood for claiming MLK’s legacy for themselves. Rob has already cherry-picked the most farcical example. Then there’s this form that traditional bastion of civil rights, the National Review:
It’s felicitous that two days after Martin Luther King Day this year, the Supreme Court will be hearing oral arguments in Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs v. The Inclusive Communities Project. This case involves the “disparate impact” approach to civil-rights enforcement, and that approach is contrary to Dr. King’s famous dream of a day when Americans would be judged by the content of their character rather than the color of their skin.
Yes, if King’s legacy should be used to defend anything, it’s the “only formal, explicit, codified racism counts as racism” standard that was used for nearly a century after Reconstruction to allow states to disenfranchise African-Americans, stop African-Americans from serving on juries, etc. You can bet that’s exactly what King had in mind! And he totally would support the same Court that brought Roger Taney’s legal theories out of the mothballs to gut the Voting Rights Act ending disparate impact analysis too.
Then there’s this guy.
Perhaps the more refreshing approach can be seen in the writing of Ann Althouse. Forget trying to pretend that MLK was a reactionary on civil rights: he’s like Hitler, and therefore a liberal!