What Are Some Myths of MLK That People Take As Fact?


Quick Answer

Some myths about Martin Luther King, Jr. are that he was politically conservative, that he opposed abortion and that he opposed special rights for minorities, such as reparations and Affirmative Action. Conservatives commonly invoke these myths to paint King as a supporter of right-wing politics.

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What Are Some Myths of MLK That People Take As Fact?
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Full Answer

Many modern conservative campaigns have portrayed King as a Republican to further their own causes, attempting to draw comparisons between King and contemporary Republican candidates. The reality is that as a civil rights leader, King never declared allegiance to any political party, maintaining a bipartisan stance. King’s autobiography notes that in political elections, he always voted Democrat.

Another myth is that King was against abortion. This myth owes its circulation to Alveda King, King’s niece and a prominent anti-abortion activist. In reality, King was an adamant supporter of family planning as means to reduce overpopulation and improve quality of life. In 1966, King was actually one of the first recipients of the Margaret Sanger award, named in honor of the Planned Parenthood founder.

Many conservatives argue that King’s vision of racial equality was founded on equal treatment and did not include special privileges for minorities. In fact, King was a vocal advocate for social measures such as minority quotas at jobs and monetary reparations for slavery. King enacted his ideals through programs such as Operation Breadbasket, which boycotted companies that did not hire African Americans in proportion to the population.

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