Skip to comments.What Sarah Palin gets totally wrong about MLK Day and the 'race card' (Must've hit a nerve)
Posted on 01/21/2014 12:55:18 PM PST by 2ndDivisionVet
Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin (R) caused a small kerfuffle on Monday by requesting of President Obama, on her Facebook page: "Mr. President, in honor of Martin Luther King, Jr. and all who commit to ending any racial divide, no more playing the race card."
Nobody seems quite sure what prompted the request, though USA Today and Talking Points Memo, among others, suggest it was a new Obama profile in The New Yorker, in which the president famously says that marijuana is no worse for people than cigarettes and alcohol. In the germane passage regarding race, Obama tells interviewer David Remnick:
"There's no doubt that there's some folks who just really dislike me because they don't like the idea of a black president.... Now, the flip side of it is there are some black folks and maybe some white folks who really like me and give me the benefit of the doubt precisely because I'm a black president." [New Yorker]
Palin began her critique with this quote from Martin Luther King Jr.'s famous "I Have a Dream" speech: "I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character."
The inference is that the civil rights icon, like Palin apparently, was committed to "ending any racial divide," and would have been above playing the "race card."
Not to put too fine a point on it, but King was trying to end a very specific racial divide, and he wasn't really worried about white children being judged by the color of their skin. Seriously, read the speech [PDF]. He does hope that "the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slave-owners will be able to sit down together at the table of brotherhood." But when he was speaking in 1963, nobody was really keeping the sons of slave-owners away from that table.
This isn't pro forma Palin-bashing. She wasn't alive when King gave his speech, and I have no doubt she is an admirer of the changes King helped bring to the United States. But it doesn't honor Dr. King to misrepresent what those changes were.
On Sunday, The Atlantic revisited the famous 1964 Norman Rockwell painting of a 6-year-old black girl, Ruby Bridges, being escorted by U.S. marshals into a newly desegregated New Orleans school. One of the marshals, Charles Burkes, remembers that Bridges "just marched along like a little soldier, and we're all very very proud of her."
Well, "children like Ruby were soldiers, facing angry mobs and even death threats during their daily trips to school," says The Atlantic's Jennie Rothenberg Gritz. "By 1963, when Martin Luther King shared his dream that 'little black boys and black girls will be able to join hands with little white boys and white girls,' Ruby had spent more than two years in the trenches."
Before we got to the "Love Sees No Color" era of the 1990s, much less the election of a black president, the U.S. had to undergo some pretty fundamental changes. And the main thing King accomplished "was not to make white people nicer or fairer," says Hamden Rice in a 2011 Daily Kos post that went viral on Monday. (I learned about it from approving conservatives.) King's major victory was that he "ended the terror of living as a black person, especially in the South." Rice's entire posting is worth a read, but here's a sample:
Yes, Dr. King had many other goals, many other more transcendent, non-racial, policy goals, goals that apply to white people too, like ending poverty, reducing the war-like aspects of our foreign policy, promoting the New Deal goal of universal employment, and so on. But his main accomplishment was ending 200 years of racial terrorism, by getting black people to confront their fears. So please don't tell me that Martin Luther King's dream has not been achieved, unless you knew what racial terrorism was like back then and can make a convincing case you still feel it today. If you did not go through that transition, you're not qualified to say that the dream was not accomplished.
That is what Dr. King did not march, not give good speeches. He crisscrossed the South organizing people, helping them not be afraid, and encouraging them, like Gandhi did in India, to take the beating that they had been trying to avoid all their lives. Once the beating was over, we were free. [Daily Kos]
"Despite what our civil religion tells us," King's legacy "is not color blind," Rice argues. He improved "the subjective experience of life in the United States for African-Americans." And that's why "some of us who are African-Americans get a bit possessive about his legacy."
Much of the U.S. celebrates King's birthday on the third Monday of the year, around his birthday, thanks to a law signed by President Ronald Reagan in 1983, another law signed by President Bill Clinton in 1994, and years of hard-fought advocacy work by King supporters. As Gandhi isn't a hero just in India, King's legacy belongs to more than African-Americans; he's now a safely ensconced American icon and a Nobel Peace Prizewinning international symbol for change through nonviolent protest.
But using MLK's words about his own black children to nebulously attack America's first black president isn't just classless, it's a whitewashing of history. Palin, as a private U.S. citizen, is entitled to her opinion. But, to paraphrase the late Sen. Daniel Patrick Moynihan, she's not entitled to her own facts. In this case, Palin probably would have been better off spending MLK Day away from the laptop and maybe, like Obama, volunteering at a soup kitchen.
LOL! I’m just guessin’ that he said it’s possible, just possible that some folks don’t like him cause he’s black. He even got that wrong. He’s halfrican-American. Color got nuthin’ to with it there berry.
Not to put too fine a point on it, but King was trying to end a very specific racial divide, and he wasn't really worried about white children being judged by the color of their skin.Ending racism is ending racism, Herr Weber. You just called MLK a racist by saying that, Herr Weber.
He’s complaining about his numbers getting worse. I didn’t know he’s been getting blacker!!!
Happy MLK, Jr. Day!
"I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character." Martin Luther King, Jr.
Mr. President, in honor of Martin Luther King, Jr. and all who commit to ending any racial divide, no more playing the race card.
There’s almost nowhere to go but up from 4%. George Zimmerman is 25%.
He rather clumsily works in some of the usual logical fallacies (”She wasn’t alive when King gave his speech”), but doesn’t quite get around to actually saying what he’s pretending that Palin got wrong.
Ah, I beg to differ with the author of this blather! The son's of slave owners were certainly being forced to stay away from the table of "Brotherhood" with the "Black Man" during the 60's! Any White man/woman/child found to be cavorting with any Black person was quickly reminded, and often harshly, of the penalty for doing so.
Palin just called him on it, but you're not allowed to point out the obvious anymore.
Dr King didn’t mean that racial consideration should be a two way obligation, apparently.
So Dr. King was an egocentric intellectual dwarf who only cared about himself and "his people?"
8/16ths White, 7/16ths Arab, 1/16 Black.
Maybe he has MLK and BHO confused?
“Any White man/woman/child found to be cavorting with any Black person was quickly reminded, and often harshly, of the penalty for doing so.”
Maybe where you lived. Not where I was.
Is Peter Weber suggesting that Martin Luther King Jr. was a racist who only cared about the treatment of blacks?
OK, so this author is saying that MLK was actually a racist because he meant that blacks should receive preferential treatment in the law instead of simply equality under the law.
Which is probably true, but we’re not allowed to say it.
Check out this one:
Sarah Palin whitesplains the meaning of MLK Day to that black guy in the White House
WTH does “whitesplains” mean?
Ah... very clever... the racebaiters now have a cute little word to dismiss the opinion of anyone white.
Obama proved a black man was CAPABLE of winning the White House (twice in fact), however he has not proven he himself is capable of DOING the job. THIS is why he is criticized. His character is horrible (everyone now admits that Obama lied to push Obamacare, that Joe Wilson was correct in saying YOU LIE to Mr. Obama during the State of the Union speech when Mr. Obama LIED about his critics).
Obama still says that his low approval numbers are because of his skin color. THAT is playing the race card and the DUmmies keep spinning disproven memes.
Might I add a
“bless their little hearts” to that comment?
Where does the jerk who wrote this piece fall on Obama's false claim of ties to the Selma march and the changes that came afterwards?
"What happened in Selma, Alabama and Birmingham also stirred the conscience of the nation...This young man named Barack Obama...came over to this country. He met this woman...(who) had a good idea there was some craziness going on because they looked at each other and they decided...it might...be possible for us to get together and have a child. There was something stirring across the country because of what happened in Selma, Alabama... So they got together and Barack Obama Jr. was born. So don't tell me I don't have a claim on Selma, Alabama. Don't tell me I'm not coming home to Selma, Alabama. I'm here because somebody marched."
Neither was this author.
How does calling Obama out on playing the race card misrepresent MLK? The author really pulled that one out of his ass.
Peter Weber is a senior editor at TheWeek.com, and has handled the editorial night shift since the website launched in 2008. A graduate of Northwestern University, Peter has worked at Facts on File and The New York Times Magazine. He speaks Spanish and Italian and plays bass and rhythm cello in an Austin rock band, The Heavenly Rays. Follow him on Twitter.
That's what's missing from today's rock acts, rhythm cello.
I have heard of "acting white" which entails good manners, good grades, and essentially civil behavior. Maybe "whitesplain" means to explain something truthfully, as opposed to a politically correct explanation.
8/16ths White, 7/16ths Arab, 1/16 Black.
.... I saw it expressed in 8ths... do you have a reference to the 16ths calculation? tia
Since that time, probably 50,000 white people have been murdered by blacks. So King's dream has not been fulfilled, but it's not because of nasty, white racists. Today we have a black Klan that goes around terrorizing the country. What have you to say about that Mr. Weber?
Maybe where you lived. Not where I was.
My dad, a Scottish immigrant who grew up in So Cal where businesses and entities that discriminated against blacks were like as not (rightly!) boycotted and criticized, was ONE PISSED OFF DUDE in the U.S. Navy during WWII, when policy was to make stewards out of all black sailors, regardless of their qualifications. Dad was FURIOUS that a black guy on his ship, who had a degree in engineering, for crying out loud, was PREVENTED from being the officer he should have been, and whose skills and leadership could have saved American lives in battle.
My dad always maintained that a LOT of American veterans saw this horrifically stupid, mindless discrimination in WWII, saw how it actually endangered their lives and ability to win the war, and that it was a MAJOR force in the anti-segregation movement supported by REPUBLICANS and opposed by Democrats that followed during the decades after the war.
it is true that MLK did inherently put the burden on white people and not blacks, in the inuendos. There was a certain amount of black moralizing whites pride indeed.
That being said, he probably was too reconciliatorial in the end and thus was executed because he was starting to go off the script.
They are soooo gooood!
Turns out Stanley Ann Dunham had an ancestor who was mixed-race black/white. The article linked to thread had a photo of the Dunham ancestor.
Then it should not be a national holiday.
I see two - and a few in between.
Really? Seriously? You are actually go to go with this? Are you playing the stupid card? Obama plays the race only slightly less then those 2 world class race card players Sharpton and Jackson.
” do you have a reference to the 16ths calculation?”
Not handy. I just did an IXQ search for his racial makeup.
“My dad always maintained that a LOT of American veterans saw this horrifically stupid, mindless discrimination in WWII”
Korea and Viet Nam had significant effects, as well.
50/50 White/Black. This “Obama is a Arab” bit was started by Kenneth Lamb, and he doesn’t strike me as a trustworthy source, IMO. Just ask Beckwith.
In '63, those sons would be pushing 80. I doubt they cared.
I thought that was a northern suburb of New York City, myself.
WTH does whitesplains mean?
Knew they weren’t fans of the Fourteenth Amendment.
Governor Palin posted the following on Facebook:
NAACP Leader Shows True Colors
The NAACPs attacks on Senator Tim Scott illustrate the anger and increased intolerance of the political left. Having falsely staked the claim of embracing diversity we see another example of the lefts tolerant hug excluding those who do not subscribe to their liberal agenda. Its not personal. Its not racist. Its not mean spirited. Its COMMON SENSE to NOT subscribe to their failed liberal policies that lead to dependence on an unstable and bankrupt government.
But heres another example of how the supposedly tolerant left treats an African American conservative who doesnt subscribe to their failed liberal agenda:
Tim Scott was raised by a single mother, started working at age 13, faced challenges through school, and then met a mentor a local Chick-fil-A operator who taught him how to think your way out of poverty. With that, and strong work ethic, Tims commonsense conservative roots took hold. Tim became a successful small businessman, Congressman and U.S. Senator. He is an honorable man who judges people by the content of their character, not the color of their skin, and seeks the same for himself.
With too many purposefully dividing America on the basis of race and gender, its imperative that we who strive for a truly United States, under God, take a stand! Dont be afraid to call out hypocritical double standards applied to independent Americans who are continually falsely accused of discrimination and intolerance. Playing small and timid in this era of potentially great progress towards American solidarity helps no one.
Take a stand! Help leaders like Tim Scott get re-elected in 2014. We need more strong leaders who, like Tim, are conservative because theyve learned from life experiences, not poll driven messaging, what works for our great country.
Support Tim Scott today: http://votetimscott.com/
- Sarah Palin
Any professional writer who uses the adolescent rhetorical trope “seriously” should have his skull beaten in.