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Saturday, December 3, 2016

Former Republican nominee for vice president Sarah Palin used the occasion of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. to attack the first African-American president of the United States:

“I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character.” – Martin Luther King, Jr.

Mr. President, in honor of Martin Luther King, Jr. and all who commit to ending any racial divide, no more playing the race card.

(Isn’t the “race card” what Republicans are demanding to stop black people from voting?)

The star of a new show on the Sportsman Channel is referencing an outrage that exists only in the right-wing blog world over the president pointing out — as he has several times — that some people do not like him because he is black.

“Now, the flip side of it is there are some black folks and maybe some white folks who really like me and give me the benefit of the doubt precisely because I’m a black president,” he said, according to The New Yorker‘s David Remnick.

Of course, right wingers fail to point out the second part of the president’s point. You see, to them, race is a subject that should not be discussed, but only hinted at as a means of destroying the social safety net.

Salon’s Joan Walsh points out what’s going with Palin:

Celebrating Dr. King’s birthday has become a bipartisan affair since Republicans stopped opposing the creation of a holiday to celebrate the slain civil rights leader.

But take a look at this post by MSNBC’s Ned Resnikoff and you’ll see King’s economic beliefs would repulse most Republicans — even if they love using his “content of their character” quote to justify opposing affirmative action. He championed the labor movement, and called for a minimum guaranteed income and the right to a job. These beliefs bear a strong resemblance to the “Five Economic Reforms Millennials Should be Fighting For” that Jesse A. Myerson recently published in Rolling Stone, and which earned him overwhelming ridicule from the same right-wing blog world that’s furious with the president for pointing out the obvious about race.

Mrs. Palin using this holiday to try to shame the president for discussing race is sadly predictable. What would have been shocking is if she had instead used her considerable platform to encourage Republicans to support an extremely moderate fix to the Voting Rights Act.

PS: This Daily Kos diary post from 2011 about what Dr. King “actually did” has gone viral, with both Republicans and Democrats touting its unique insight.

Photo: Gage Skidmore via Flickr

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