Billboards posted in cities around Texas are causing controversy for calling Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. a Republican, and urging Black people (who do not belong to the party) to make the switch. Appearing in Dallas, Austin, and Houston, the political advertisements were put up by Black Republican group, Raging Elephants, and reads “Martin Luther King, Jr. was a Republican. Vote Republican.”
While it is widely believed that the late leader of the Civil Rights Movement was a Democrat, Claver Kamau-Imani, founder of Raging Elephants, begs to differ. Kamau-Imani claims to have proof that King voted on the side of the GOP. “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,” he said. “We have the documentation to back the claims we’re making on the billboard.”
Yet some in the area see the depiction as downright wrong. “It’s a bit disrespectful for what Martin Luther King stood for, and who he was, to use his name in a political fashion, is a bit disrespectful,” noted Dallas resident Aaron Carswell.
Peter Jonhson, who worked alongside King in the ’60s, is disgusted by the billboard, believing that they exploit the memory of the Atlanta native, who was assassinated in 1968. “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.”
Regardless of the negative or positive responses, Kamau-Imani is happy because he’s effectively got people talking about the issue.
Click below to see a few photos of famous Black people who got down with the Republican party.
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Photo: News One