Martin Luther King Jr. Day has come and gone, and CNN host Don Lemon is not here for all the fake love Republicans and two Democrats showed MLK while either blocking voting rights legislation or being complicit in the blockage—as if the right for Black people to vote wasn’t a central fight in King’s legacy.
“Inevitably, you get the politicians–especially the ones in Washington now who are blocking people’s access to the voting booth–and they want to use Dr. King conveniently,” Lemon said. “They’re the biggest hypocrites on the planet.”
Now, lemon was mostly talking about the GOP legislators (all damn 50 of them) who opposed the voting rights bill that was put before the Senate on Wednesday, but he also had smoke for Sens. Kyrsten Sinema (D-Arizona) and Joe Manchin III (D-West Virginia), aka—those “white moderates” King warned us about—because they refused to end the Senate’s filibuster rule that blocked the legislation from being passed.
As for the GOP, Lemon is really only scratching the surface of why we should all be side-eying Republicans who were singing MLK’s praises on Monday.
Not only have Republicans been doing their best to ensure as many barriers are put between the voter and the voting booth as humanly possible, but the Republican war on Critical Race Theory—which is a fake war because Republicans don’t even know what the hell CRT is—has led conservative America to undermine the truthful teachings of Black history, all while pretend praising their pretend version of who MLK was.
For example, here’s Texas Gov. Greg Abbott praising MLK and his “I Have a Dream” speech as if his state didn’t pass an anti-Critical Race Theory law dropping requirements for educators to give lessons on MLK’s teachings.
Then there’s the fact that Republicans (and some Democrats for that matter) praise MLK while reducing him down to a single passage from a single speech and the words “will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.” (And even that line from the “I Have a Dream” speech is largely taken out of context.) Conservative politicians have insisted that CRT goes against everything MLK taught us because it makes white people feel bad, and all the while, they completely ignore all of the numerous disparaging things King himself has said explicitly about white people.
So basically, if Republicans and Democrats alike can’t be real about who MLK was and/or honor his legacy by protecting the right to vote—then they all really just need to keep the good reverend’s name out of their mouths.