It’s not even January yet, but another Republican representative is trying to co-opt Martin Luther King Jr.’s legacy. At a campaign rally stop on Wednesday where former Democrat Tulsi Gabbard joined her, Republican gubernatorial candidate Kari Lake claimed if the civil rights activist were alive today, he would be an “American First” Republican, according to The Daily Beast.
From the Daily Beast:
“Actually, I think [that party] does [exist],” Lake said. “I think [that party] is America-first. I’m a true believer that if MLK, Reverend Martin Luther King Jr. were alive today, if JFK were alive today, if our founding fathers were alive today, they would be America-First Republicans. I really believe that.”
No, Martin Luther King Jr. would not be a MAGA Republican if he wasn’t tragically assassinated. Kari Lane’s principles show that wouldn’t even be true.
In September, Lake echoed former President Trump’s rhetoric that immigrants are “rapists” and bringing drugs and crime into the United States. MLK believed in showing kindness and being helpful to immigrants, regardless of their background. Lake also believes in the lie that the 2020 Presidential election was stolen and wants to change Arizona’s voting system based on that. In his 1957 speech, “Give Us The Ballot,” King called for voting rights protections for African-Americans. These are the same rights many Republican-led legislators are passing laws to take away.
As they continually cherry-pick parts of King’s “I Have A Dream” speech, Republicans always try to twist his life’s work while embodying non of the principles he stood for. Bernice King, MLK’s daughter, wasn’t having Lake’s attempt at revisionist history. In a tweet, King criticized the gubernatorial candidate’s “false and dismissive” comments and invited her to read about her father’s past and perhaps take a course at the King center institute.