Martin Luther King Jr. Day was less than a month ago, but many of the men and women at the highest levels of government have already forgotten the meaning of his legacy. Republican Senators voted to silence Elizabeth Warren on the Senate floor Tuesday night as she read the 1986 letter from King's widow Coretta Scott King opposing Jeff Sessions' nomination to a federal judgeship at the time. At least 19 of those senators also shared commemorative social media messages on MLK Day honoring the civil rights icon's work. These 19 senators who celebrated MLK Day then silenced Warren cheapened King's legacy, and it's an offense the American people shouldn't stand for a second.
The level of hypocrisy here is pretty astonishing, especially considering the short time in between the two events. One could argue that the senators were really trying to only silence Warren, but in doing so, they also disparaged the legacy of both Coretta Scott King and her husband, whose works are completely intertwined. Scott King's opposition to Sessions is part of her legacy of social activism, and Republicans don't get to cherrypick which parts of her history they want to recognize based on what's convenient for them.
The 19 senators listed here need to know that silencing Warren was a direct affront to the work MLK and Coretta dedicated their lives to, and that they can't use his name for political purposes again without bringing their policies fully in line with the Kings' social justice goals.
Join me in taking a moment to honor Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Our nation is forever grateful for his extraordinary sacrifices.— Bill Cassidy (@BillCassidy) January 18, 2016
Shelley Moore Capito
Today we remember the life and legacy of Martin Luther King Jr. Join me in honoring his memory.— Jim Inhofe (@jiminhofe) January 16, 2017
Honor MartinLutherKing Jr today &his quest for civil rights&justice To bad he didn't live to c his tremendous accomplishments— ChuckGrassley (@ChuckGrassley) January 16, 2017
Clint Smith, a writer, teacher, and PhD candidate at Harvard, initially asked the question on twitter. "Wonder how many senators who voted to silence Elizabeth Warren's reading of Coretta Scott King posted a quote from Dr. King during MLK Day," Smith posted. The above tweets are a collection of those found from Igor Volsky, deputy director for the Center for American Progress.