10 Of The Most Offensive ‘Tributes’ To Martin Luther King Jr. Made Online Today

It’s Martin Luther King Jr. day, and that means it’s another great chance for right-wing social media users to trip over their own genitals trying to claim the mantle of Dr. King while absolutely missing the point of everything he stood for. Below are some of the most offensive “tributes” to Martin Luther King Jr. from Twitter and Facebook (and this is by no means an exhaustive list).

1. The Federal Bureau of Investigation:

Why is it tone-deaf?

Because in November 1964 the FBI, which had been secretly wiretapping Martin Luther King Jr., sent a letter attempting to blackmail him into giving up his crusade for racial justice. The letter said “You are done,” called King a “fraud,” threatened to expose illicit affairs, and urged him to commit suicide. So, go ahead and keep it, FBI.

2. The Central Intelligence Agency:

Why is it tone-deaf?

Because the CIA had a spy shadowing Dr. King attempting to connect the reverend to communists in the United States. They also reported in December of 1964 that Dr. King had a “reputation” of being a “heavy consumer” of alcoholic beverages. Then again, you might knock back a few rounds if you found out the FBI was trying to blackmail you into suicide.

3. Florida State University:


Why is it tone-deaf?

Because you shouldn’t be using the image of a Civil Rights legend to psyche up your (unpaid) student athletes, but you ESPECIALLY shouldn’t do it when you’re trading on racial stereotypes of a marginalized people like the Seminole tribe. Also a wide receiver glove? Come TF on. (This tweet has since been deleted.)

4. The XFL:

Why is it tone-deaf?

Again, it’s possible that a murdered nonviolent crusader for social justice isn’t the best messenger for your ultra-violent “no-holds-barred” version of the NFL. The XFL, started by professional wrestling mogul and Trump BFF Vince McMahon, promised they would be making a comeback soon—and that all their players would stand for the national anthem. The XFL folded after one season only to re-emerge after football players protesting racial injustice rankled some NFL fans. It’s unclear why they felt MLK Jr. day was the best time to reclaim some relevance. Also, um, not to question the intellectual honesty of a professional wrestling organization, but I’m not entirely certain this is even a real MLK Jr. quote.

5. The National Rifle Association:

Why is it tone-deaf?

For starters, the “R” in “NRA” stands for “rifle,” which happens to be the weapon used to murder King. Aside from that, the man was committed to nonviolence and pacifism to bring about social change. Also, the NRA is never vocal about the rights of black gun owners, like Philando Castile, who get murdered by the police or even “good guys with guns” who attempt to stop mass shooters.

6. The Republican Party:

Why is it tone-deaf?

Since the Nixon era, the Republican Party has campaigned on themes of racial resentment and used plainly racist imagery to both foment and profit from this resentment. They have even pressed Dr. King’s memory into service during their campaigns against other marginalized groups, including gay people. Basically any time anyone pushes for more social justice Republicans invoke a white-washed version of King and claim he would be against it. Also, racist Republicans and future Republicans fought against making Martin Luther King Jr. day a national holiday.

7. The North Carolina Republican Party:

Why is it tone-deaf?

Because the North Carolina Republican Party racially gerrymandered districts to dilute the power of the black vote and allow them to win a larger share of seats. They also pushed for a strict voter ID law and other restrictions to prevent African-Americans from voting. You know, pretty much exactly the kind of racial injustice MLK Jr. spent his life fighting to correct. You don’t have to take my word for it either, they admitted in court documents they were trying to limit black voting.

8. White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders:

Why is it tone-deaf?

Martin Luther King Jr. didn’t “give his life” to anyone, he had it taken from him by a racist murderer. Also, and obviously, Sarah Huckabee Sanders has spent her professional career polishing the racist turd that is the Trump presidency. She’s done everything from dismissing his alleged use of the n-word to defending his racist attacks on black women to spinning his remarks that African countries were “sh*tholes” as a positive. Sanders might want a seat at the table of brotherhood, but she should be sent home with a cheese plate and a polite “GTFO.”

9. Donald Trump:

Why is it tone-deaf?

Because Trump spent about two minutes at the memorial, which is not an exaggeration although it was long enough to grab the ~30 seconds of footage he needed for this video. Trump and his father were also caught by the Nixon administration refusing to rent to black people. Also, Donald Trump led the racist charge to delegitimize the first African-American president, fanned the flames of intolerance surrounding the nonviolent NFL protest against police brutality, and has obviously done way more racist things than I have room to list here.

10. Everyone sharing this right-wing meme:


Why is it tone-deaf?

Oh I think you know why.