Rebranding Fail

Republicans Commemorate March On Washington By Bashing Gays

This week marks the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington, a galvanizing event in civil rights history best known for Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I have a dream” speech. What better way to commemorate a great moment in history than by complaining about how the gays have hijacked the civil rights movement and have no right to be associated with it.

Unsurprisingly, that was the theme at the event hosted by the Republican National Committee. Among the comments from the dim bulbs that pass as luminaries in the party:

“You’re talking about a race of people, I don’t think you can make that comparison between a race of people and the gay rights movement, if that’s what you want to call it,” said former (thank God) Rep. Allen West.

“Everybody has come in front of them [African Americans] on the bus — gays, immigrants, women, environmentalists. You never hear any talk about the conditions confronting poor blacks and poor people in general.” said Bob Woodson, president of the Center for Neighborhood Enterprise. Woodson, who also said “corrupt” black politicians are “moral traitors,” received a standing ovation for his insights.

Ada Fisher, a physician and perennial GOP also-ran from North Carolina, complained that LGBT issues shouldn’t be central to the conversation about civil rights: “I think it’s unfortunate that people have diluted the purpose of the march on Washington I think it’s an unfair comparison. Whenever anybody wants something in this country they compare it the civil rights movement.”

To top it off, Alveda King, a niece of MLK Jr.’s, sang a spiritual rewritten to be more evangelical in tone. King has been trading on her family name for years to insist that her uncle would want nothing to do with gay rights.

Of course, no one seems to have mentioned that the main organizer of the March on Washington was a gay man, Bayard Rustin, who drew a direct connection between the civil rights movement and gay rights.

So, how’s that rebranding going, Republicans?

Photo credit: National Archives

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  • inspirations365

    Thank you for bringing up Bayard Rustin. Thank goodness someone else can understand. He himself said that the next Civil Rights front was going to be for LGBT rights. For people to turn a blind eye to this is a “moral treachery”.

  • JayHobeSound

    Typical bullying moral scolds. Republicans and TeaBaggers spend time bashing a comparatively small percentage of the population to stir up a few sound bites. However, there are a few republicans here and there that have been trying to sound reasonable and steer them in the direction of accepting The Gays. But it’s like a row boat trying to get a disabled old steam ship to change course.

  • Dez

    Okay Ada Fisher, so sorry that gay people who are born gay want to marry the person they love! What an insane request for someone to want! Her quote makes it seem as what we want is just a frivolous thing.
    How about when women wanted the right to vote a hundred years ago Ada? Would you call that a civil rights movement?
    Black people are the not the only group of people that have had their rights denied in this country. And gay people are still way behind in some very horrible places in the world.

  • Elloreigh

    So instead of joining in a celebration of Dr. King’s legacy, the RNC uses it as an opportunity to gay bash? Not to mention Tea Partier Joe Walsh using the anniversary of the March as an opportunity to give us a laundry list of everything he sees wrong with “Black America”, illustrating the continuing perception that there are different Americas for different groups, instead of us all being part of the same America.

    In a nutshell, the RNC and certain Tea Partiers have decided to be the party of division, not a party committed to uniting diverse communities of fellow Americans by focusing on the values we should have in common. Such as ‘liberty and justice for all’.

    And they wonder why they lost two straight presidential electins.

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