Martin Luther King Jr. has made an appearance in Election 2012 and if you beleive a billboard in Dallas, he would be voting for Republican Mitt Romney. The billboard, positioned above Martin Luther Kin Jr. Avenue in Dallas says in bold letters: “Martin Luther King Jr. was a Republican. VOTE REPUBLICAN!”
This is not a new idea nor is it a claim that hasn’t been mentioned before. Yet the billboards have not sat well among the community member that it targets. The billboards were thought up by Claver Kamau-Imani, a Houston, Texas, church leader and the founder of RagingElephants.org, a conservative group that aims to recruit more African Americans for the Republican Party.
Kamau-Imani said the use of the American Civil Rights leader and Nobel Peace Prize winner are honest and portray exactly the message that his group wants to relay to African American voters.
“The use of Dr. King, because of him being an icon in the community, we feel would be most effective. That’s why we used it. We have the documentation to back the claims we’re making on the billboard.”
Dr. King’s niece, Reverend Alveda King says that her uncle was actually a Republican and there is a YouTube video showing her saying it. Yet there is no actual documentation proving the claim.
“Martin Luther King may have very well believed in some of the Christian principles of the Republican Party, but Dr. Martin Luther King was not a Republican or a Democrat. [He] would not be with the party of Newt Gingrich, he would not be with the party of Sarah Palin, he would not be with the party of Rush Limbaugh, Michael Savage or Sean Hannity.”
Peter Johnson, an activist who worked with King in the 60’s said:
“Using his image is one thing, exploiting his legacy is another. To distort his legacy, it’s sacred to some of us. We know the suffering and sacrifice that was made.”