I don't know if any of Dr. Martin Luther King's children have ever appeared on Fox News. But I do know that when the race baiting Fox News needs an African-American perspective on civil right issues, they routinely call on MLK's niece, the right wing Alveda King who routinely misrepresents her uncle's legacy in order to promote right wing talking points. She has criticized "Occupy." She joined her fellow right wingers in dissing African-American Congresswoman Maxine Waters over a comment about the Tea Party. Despite the fact that her uncle received an award from Planned Parenthood, Ms. King, who works for the radical, anti-choice "Priests for Life," claimed that he was "pro-life." And she just might have gotten the ball rolling for the ongoing Fox meme that Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson "played the race card" in Trayvon Martin's "late abortion." This morning she was back, on Fox & Friends, to complain about a viral photo, done to commemorate Trayvon Martin, of her uncle in a hoodie.
Gretchen Carlson, whose son can wear hoodies without hassle, reported on the photo before introducing her guest, "Dr" Alveda King. (In referencing King, African-American blogs do not use the "Dr" which is an honorary degree which King received from St. Anslem's College. She is as much of a "doctor" as Sean Hannity and Steven Colbert both of whom have honorary doctor degrees). As the chyron read, "Causing A Stir, Artist's Image of Dr. King, Jr. in Hoodie," Gretch effused about how "she feels" for King: "To have your uncle put in that kind of a photo. It, it just it immediately puts you into this controversial situation and almost forces you to have to respond to it." (King is estranged from the immediate King family) Gretch wanted to know how King felt about "somebody using your uncle's image in this way."
King said she wasn't angry at the art or artist but "saddened" because "it takes away from many of the messages" of her uncle. She said that when she sees the picture she doesn't think of MLK's quote about how "we should live together as brothers and sisters..." because she "doesn't see the love or reconciliation..." She asserted "none of his message is conveyed there." (MLK also said "We know through painful experience that freedom is never voluntarily given by the oppressor; it must be demanded by the oppressed.")
Gretch folded her arms and looked thoughtful as she asked if MLK "would be wearing a hoodie" - a ridiculous question given that the photo is symbolic of racial profiling - a reality that is denied by Fox News talkers who have never had to have "the talk" (except for their African-American contributors and Geraldo Rivera) with their sons. King didn't think he would be wearing it now, as a mature man, and wouldn't have worn it as a teenager. (Hoodies weren't in vogue when MLK was a teen). As she spoke, the chyron reinforced the Fox agitprop: "Causing a Stir, King: My Uncle Would Never Wear a Hoodie."
While she acknowledged the pain of Trayvon's death, she noted that "Zimmerman's dreams are deferred as well." She claimed that much of uncle's message "is missing" in the photo. In discussing the trial, she said that "justice did prevail" and now we need to "have a message of peace." She didn't mention that, last Sunday, many African-American pastors wore hoodies while preaching their sermons.
Funny how King talks about peace after having been part of a WashingtonDC rally, in 2010, given by the toxic and divisive Glenn Beck. The African-American blog, "The Grio," described her as "turning MLK's dream into a nightmare." But in this segment, she was measured and her right wing talking points were couched in soothing cadences and religious terminology. None of us, including Alveda, can speak for MLK; but one thing is for sure. He would be appalled at the racial injustices which still pervade this country - and that is what the photo speaks to.
A commenter, on "Black America Web," says it best: What she believes he would, or would not do, or feel is void. No, he would not wear saggy pants, but when did a hoody become thug gear, or disrespectful." Gretch and Alveda didn't address that but then, they wouldn't, would they?
Something tells me the right-wing noise machine (including FoxNoise) would be throwing a fit at the “desecration” of their beloved idols. Of course, the artist/s could just make a whole series, including some more “neutral” names—Mahatma Gandhi, Jesus, George Washington, Marilyn Monroe—in the same vein, especially with the “Does the hoodie really change your image” caption.