The Republican Party ought to be ashamed for its absence from the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. “I Have a Dream” speech from the 50th anniversary celebration at the Lincoln Memorial. Several GOP congressional leaders declined an invitation to speak — and this is the party which campaigned in 2008 on the theme “Country First!”
I was not shocked at this GOP no-show snub. Even the Washington Post headline read, “GOP leaders choose oil industry over MLK Marchers.”
During the Reagan presidency, Congress debated a bill to create a federal Martin Luther King Jr. holiday. Ronald Reagan reacted by saying, “We need to know more about him before we create a holiday in his name.” In the end, the president signed the bill into law.
It should be noted that Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), during the debate said he opposed the idea on the grounds that it would be too costly for our economy. In fact his home state was the last in the union to vote a state holiday in honor of Dr. King. Could it have been: They “caved” in only after Black football players threatened to boycott the Super Bowl game?
Folks, this is the political party Abraham Lincoln led in 1860. And he was the Republican president who in 1863 issued the Emancipation Proclamation, which granted freedom to slaves!