5 Horrible Ways Politicians ‘Honored’ MLK Day

With civil rights crumbling and racial injustice climbing exponentially, Martin Luther King Jr. Day has become a mainstay for white Americans to acknowledge their privilege and confront the racial disparities that continue to plague our nation.

But each year too many right-wing politicians and movement leaders corrupt Dr. King’s work, minimizing and dismissing the radical acts that he took on in the fight for racial justice.

This year, unsurprisingly, they were at it again. Here are five horrible ways politicians “honored” Dr. King’s legacy:

1. The president paid a quick — very quick — visit to the MLK memorial

President Donald Trump originally didn’t have any public appearances scheduled to honor Dr. Martin Luther King Jr’s birthday – and maybe it would actually have been better to leave things alone. Instead, the president made an extremely brief visit to the MLK memorial, with a statement that definitely left something to be desired.

Talking Points Memo reports:

According to the press pool report, Trump made a few remarks after laying down a wreath. “Good morning, everybody,” Trump said. “Great day. Beautiful day. Thank you for being here. Appreciate it.” The report states that Trump lingered at the memorial site for about two minutes. The President’s full trip, including his motorcade ride, lasted a total of 15 minutes.

2. The vice president compared Trump to King

As if the fly-by memorial stunt wasn’t offensive enough, Vice President Pence made things even worse by comparing President Donald Trump to the civil rights legend over the weekend during an interview with CBS News.

Newsweek reports:

“Honestly, you know, the hearts and minds of the American people today are thinking a lot about it being the weekend we are remembering the life and the work of Reverend Martin Luther King Jr. One of my favorite quotes from Dr. King was, ‘Now is the time to make real the the promises of democracy,’” he said, quoting a passage from Dr. King’s famous “I Have a Dream” speech.

Pence continued on to argue that like MLK, Trump has also “inspired us to change.” “You think of how he changed America, he inspired us to change through the legislative process, to become a more perfect union,” he said. “That’s exactly what President Trump is calling on the Congress to do, come to the table in a spirit of good faith.”

3. The White House press secretary downplayed the entire assassination

Meanwhile, White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders thanked King, saying he “gave his life” for ending racial inequality, apparently finding the word “assassination” too unpleasant to use.

According to The Hill:

Twitter users were quick to point out that King was assassinated and criticized Sanders for her use of the phrase “gave his life.”  James Earl Ray was convicted of assassinating King in 1968 in Memphis “Apparently, MLK volunteered to be murdered,” wrote Cory Provost, a district leader for New York’s 58th Assembly District.

4. The president’s National Diversity Coalition head attacked Kamala Harris

When California Senator Kamala Harris picked this holiday as the time to launch her new campaign for the Democratic presidential nomination, Bruce LeVell, a President Trump supporter, argued that she’s “completely out of step with Dr. King’s legacy,” unlike the current president.

Writing for the Daily Caller, he stated:

…President Trump is a man of action who truly cares about the forgotten communities of this country, and he’s still only halfway through his first term. I have no doubt that he’ll go down as the greatest President in history for black Americans. Harris seems intent on inflaming racial tensions by insinuating that Donald Trump is a racist, despite everything he has done for minority communities. Perhaps she thinks she can convince people to view her as the civil rights leader of her generation, but that’s a pipe dream. Dr. King was a warrior for economic freedom who would embrace the economic renaissance lifting up black communities across the nation today, and not the politics of division and radical left economics.

5. Steve King uses a fake quote

Considering that Iowa Congressman Steve King spent the last few weeks defending white supremacy, you’d have thought he would stay far away from MLK day. But no, King decided to try to participate, and he did a spectacularly bad job at it.

Huffington Post writes:

Historians may one day point to Jan. 21, 2019, as the day irony as we know it died. What other reason can explain why unapologetically racist Iowa Congressman Steve King chose to tweet a tribute to the slain civil rights legend Martin Luther King Jr. on the day commemorating his birth. To make things more ludicrous, King’s tweet of praise included this quote attributed to King: “Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.” Problem is, King never actually said that, according to Snopes.com.

Photo credit: Gage Skidmore/Wikimedia Commons


Belinda Lang
Belinda Lang2 months ago

All five airheads are deplorable.

Chad Anderson
Chad Anderson2 months ago

Thank you.

Ciaron Drain
Ciaron Drain2 months ago

The thing is why would anyone be surprised with this and if anything the Trump administration has demonstrated that political satire is now going into the realms of something Salvador Dali would do - so if Donald Trump is hiding in a Wardrobe in a matador costume it will be safe to say he is not trying to get to Narnia.

Colin C
Colin C2 months ago

No surprises thank you for the article informing me

Sherry Kohn
Sherry K2 months ago


Julie W
Julie W2 months ago

Rhoberta E: RK R's posts rarely make sense, but Lorrie O seems completely crazy! Total gobbledygook.

Maria P
Martha P2 months ago


Peggy B
Peggy B2 months ago


Shirley S
Shirley S2 months ago

Noted with no surprise.

Debbi W
Debbi W2 months ago

trump and pence are disgusting, and clueless.

Of course MLK was not white, so the racists did the least possible and it showed.