Pence twisted MLK's words to say he would have supported a wall to keep immigrants out.
On Sunday, Mike Pence made his way over to "Face the Nation" to wax rhapsodic about how wonderful it would be to have a great big border wall.
But since no one wants the stupid racist wall, Pence was forced to scramble to find some sort of justification for the thing. And what he came up with was comically bad: quoting Martin Luther King, Jr.'s "I Have a Dream" speech to brag about the wall.
One of my favorite quotes from Dr. King was, 'Now is the time to make real the promises of democracy,' You think of how he changed America. He inspired us to change through the legislative process to become a more perfect union.
Mike Pence is right. That quote from the "I Have a Dream" speech is a great quote. However, it's not entirely clear what Pence is talking about when he says that King "inspired us to change through the legislative process" when MLK was, arguably, the best practitioner of civil disobedience as a pressure point to achieve change.
But it gets worse.
That's exactly what President Trump is calling on the Congress to do. Come to the table in a spirit of good faith. We'll secure our border, we’ll reopen the government and we'll move our nation forward as the president said yesterday to even a broader discussion about immigration reform in the months ahead.
Yes, Pence said that Donald Trump's zeal for a wall that cuts through communities and bars people, largely people of color, from entering the United States is just like Martin Luther King Jr.'s wish that all people live in freedom and equality.
Conservatives love Martin Luther King Jr. For them, he is a vessel into which they can pour their most racist and crackpot theories and assure us that MLK would have completely agreed. One of the worst of these was when a GOP congressman, Brad Wenstrup, went on Fox News to explain that the FBI opening a counterintelligence operation on Trump, a possible Russian asset, is just like the FBI spying on MLK.
Just because Pence seeking to capitalize on Martin Luther King Jr.'s historical legacy isn't a novel move doesn't make it any less disgusting. An administration as flagrantly racist as this one should never be allowed to co-opt Dr. King's words for any purpose, much less for a wall that serves as a testament to the racist, nativist ugliness of Trump himself.
Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.