Tuesday, January 16, 2018

No Mr. Perkins - You don't get to appropriate Martin Luther King's legacy

Tony Perkins
Monday night, Tony Perkins wrote “When Freedom Was King” at Family Research Council's blog. I will quote the first paragraph:
When the sun broke over the frosty city of Washington this morning, light caught the stony silhouette of a man. Arms crossed, the towering likeness of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. emerges out of granite, as unflinching as the leader himself. Like a centurion, he stares straight ahead, eyes fixed on another monument of freedom: the Jefferson Memorial. Like a faint echo, the wind whips around the words etched in the rock at his back, as relevant as ever, “We shall overcome.”
Perkins' use of Dr. King's memory to advance his agenda is appalling. Tony Perkins is a hate group leader and a Louisiana politician who has direct connections to the Ku Klux Klan and other racist groups.

Later on:
In four days, tens of thousands of Americans will spill into the streets of the National Mall that first heard Dr. King's dream, hoping for a "more noble expression of humanness" for the unborn. They will march, as he did, for a revolution of dignity. "I really believe that if my uncle were here today," Alveda said wistfully, "he would encourage us to find solutions to the problems, even women's problems, and all problems, without having to do violence to babies in the womb... He said the Negro cannot win if he is willing to sacrifice the futures of his children for immediate personal comfort and safety," she went on. "Abortion, of course, forces us to do exactly that."
We cannot know whether Martin Luther King was pro-choice or not. Roe v. Wade was decided in 1973, five years after King's death. As for Alveda King, she never met her uncle and has had three abortions. She claims that she had them because she was “deceived” by pro-choice proponents. All three? That might pass in Tony Perkins' world but critical thinkers want to know what form of deception would lead Ms. King to have all those abortions. Trotting out Martin Luther King to advance anti-choice efforts is misleading. Alveda's suggestion that Dr. King's call for unity in demanding civil rights has some connection to opposing abortion is stunningly stupid.

While his death preceded Roe v. Wade, Martin Luther King was, most certainly, a staunch supporter of Planned Parenthood. He appreciated the many values of family planning which he felt should be funded by the government. Indeed, in 1966 King received a Margaret Sanger award from Planned Parenthood recognizing his commitment to reproductive rights and  commitment to reproductive rights and reproductive health.

Furthermore, on the subject of Family Research Council, virtually every civil rights leader from King's era and beyond has been a staunch proponent of LGBT rights. Rep. John Lewis is the last surviving member of The Big Six civil rights leaders. His support has been fervent and consistent. Towering figures like the late Julian Bond supported LGBT rights including marriage equality. Bond was a past president of Southern Poverty Law Center and the NAACP. In fact on MLK day in 2007 bond famously said: “If you don't like gay marriage, don't get gay married.” Dr. King's widow, the late Coretta Scott King, was a proponent of marriage equality as early as 2004.

Shame on you Tony Perkins. You are an unashamed bigot, a greedy white nationalist and Christian supremacist. Martin Luther King would have been repulsed by your hate group, Family Research Council, and what it stands for. You don't get to suggest that you are a spiritual successor to Martin Luther King. It is part of a cynical agenda to advance your greed for money and power.

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