The New York Republican Party sent out a statement today in honor of Martin Luther King Day in which they recognize the slain civil rights leader for his “emphasis on personal responsibility, growth of small business and most importantly, the necessary work ethic to achieve the American dream.”
Those values, the GOP notes, “are all fundamental values of our Party,” but it is not clear they would be recognizable to Dr. King. In fact, the Republican Party, once the party of African-Americans in the wake of the Civil War, began to lose support among blacks during the Civil Rights era when the sit-ins and Integration efforts were perceived as an affront to personal property and small business (along with states’ rights, of course.)
During last night’s Republican presidential debate, Ron Paul said the firestorm over the controversial racial statements in his early 1990′s newsletters distracts from the real issues around race in this country.
He also invoked Martin Luther King and Rosa Parks while arguing he’s really the best candidate for African Americans.
“Concentrating on something that was written twenty years ago that I didn’t write, you know, is diverting the attention from most of the important issues,” Mr. Paul said. “More importantly, you ought to ask me what my relationship is for racial relationships, and one of my heroes is Martin Luther King, because he practiced the libertarian principle of peaceful resistance and peaceful civil disobedience, as did Rosa Parks did. But also, I’m the only one up here and the only one in the Democratic party that understands true racism in this country’s in the juficial system.”