Apropos of VDARE’s annual appeal to end the national holiday for Martin Luther King, last week, Time magazine asked whether the Great Man was a Republican [Was Martin Luther King Jr. a Republican or a Democrat? The Answer Is Complicated, by Olivia B. Waxman, January 17, 2020].
“The answer is complicated,” the headline says.
From Olivia Waxman’s piece:
His niece Alveda King, an Evangelical supporter of President Donald Trump, has argued that her uncle was a Republican, like his father Martin Luther King, Sr., who was also a Baptist minister. That idea has been repeated often, but videos that claim to show that Martin Luther King, Jr. is Republican have been proven not to do so. King’s son Martin Luther King III said in 2008 that it’s “disingenuous” to insist he was when there is no evidence of him casting a Republican vote. “It is even more outrageous to suggest that he would support the Republican Party of today,” the younger King added, “which has spent so much time and effort trying to suppress African American votes in Florida and many other states.”
The idea that King would have been a registered Republican is not far-fetched, given the party’s history and its position in national politics in the 1950s, but scholars and those who knew him best say they can’t imagine that he would have supported Republican presidential candidates in the 1960s. In fact, King himself said he voted for Democrat Lyndon B. Johnson for President in 1964.
“I know of no one who has verified MLK’s party registration,” says Clayborne Carson, editor of King’s autobiography and Professor of History and Founding Director of The Martin Luther King, Jr., Research and Education Institute at Stanford University. “[He] may have been registered as a Republican and voted Democratic [in national elections].”
Waxman explained that King likely voted Democrat because of black support for FDR and JFK, the latter of whom tried to get King out of jail in October 1960. King famously repaid JFK’s help then and afterward by telling a repulsive joke about Jacquelline Kennedy when she knelt by her dead husband’s coffin in 1963: “Look at her,” King said. “Sucking him off one last time.”
The FBI also recorded King saying to the Reverend Ralph Abernathy, who had been rebuking his behavior “Come on over here, you big black motherf***er, and let me suck your d**k.” (This was not a serious request, but a crude insult to Abernathy's protests against King's lifestyle.)
After Garrow published his story that King witnessed, encouraged, and laughed as a fellow minister raped a woman, Garrow concluded that “a profoundly painful historical reckoning and reconsideration inescapably awaits.”