Conservatives Try to Co-Opt Martin Luther King Jr, Anniversary of D.C. March

| by Michael Allen
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The 50th Anniversary of the March on Washington D.C. celebration featured speeches today by civil rights leaders, President Obama and Rep. John Lewis (D-Ga.), who marched with Martin Luther King Jr. in the 1960s.

However, conservatives have tried to co-opt King this week with the much-repeatedly mantra "If Dr. King were alive today he would..." followed by their political position.

On August 26, Fox News host Bill O'Reilly used King's memory to attack black women for having children out of wedlock, black men for creating a "crime wave" and rap music for its supposed evils (video below). 

O'Reilly also claimed that Dr. King would not like the modern day civil rights movement that "continues to blame America" rather than "encouraging personal responsibility."

Not to be outdone, Christian conservative Gary Bauer wrote on his website Campaign for Working Families how King would oppose Planned Parenthood, if he were alive.

"Far from promoting Planned Parenthood's agenda, Reverend King would expose its racist roots and point out that it deliberately locates abortion facilities in inner city communities. He would weep at that fact, which has resulted in more than 20 million aborted black babies, a death toll the KKK could not reach in its most deranged dreams," claimed Bauer.

However, King was given the Margaret Sanger Award from Planned Parenthood in 1966.

In a wrote in a letter to the organization, King wrote: "I am happy to be the recipient of the Margaret Sanger Award and I can assure you that this distinct honor will cause me to work even harder for a reign of justice and a rule of love all over our nation."

The National Review, which opposed King and the march 50 years ago, now writes: "The civil-rights revolution, like the American revolution, was in a crucial sense conservative."

Sources: Mediaiate.com, Planned Parenthood.org, Campaign for Working Families, The National Review