Miss Me with Your MLK Quotes if You Don’t Support Voting Rights
Another Martin Luther King Jr. Day is upon us and, once again, I’m bracing myself for the dizzying, day long onslaught of self-serving hypocrisy. Ah, yes, the annual online showmanship of Republicans posting key quotes from MLK’s “I Have a Dream” speech (because they’ve never read or heard anything else by the man) while they actively work to strip voting rights away from people who look like Dr. King. If the times in which we’re currently living weren’t so terrifying, this would almost be hilarious. Almost.
I’m just here to say: miss me with your fake fuzzy feelings for Dr. King if you spend the other 364.9 days of the year suppressing voting rights, undermining our democracy, or promoting the Big Lie.
It feels good to get that off my chest. Not that I expect anyone to dial down their hypocrisy on my account. But it just seems especially bad this year, doesn’t it, considering these “leaders” could vote on bills at the federal level to secure the voting rights of every eligible American and instead are choosing to do nothing while a slew of states pass legislation making it even harder to vote.
That’s exactly the world Dr. King was talking about in his famous speech, though, right? The one in which he mentions doing whatever’s necessary to concentrate power in the hands of the wealthy few while the lowly masses go unheard and uncounted.
I don’t find it hyperbolic to say that I fear for our democracy. I worry about how weak it has been revealed to be in the stark light of day, how easily it could crumble beneath the jackboots of those who are willing to resort to shocking violence in order to subvert an election and get what they want. These people, and the politicians who purposely whip them into a nationalist frenzy, are the ones who wouldn’t have stood with Dr. King when he was alive and advocating for the Voting Rights Act of 1965. They are no great supporters of equality, or voting rights, or racial justice. Are we supposed to believe that they care about the words of Dr. King or what he stood for, even for a single convenient day out of the year?
We’ve run a terrifying, demoralizing gauntlet of death and disease over the last 2 years. In that time, these so-called “leaders” have more clearly revealed and…