McCain's Dismal MLK Record Proves He Didn't Believe in King's Dream or Civil Rights
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John McCain is going to appear in Memphis today, on the anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King's assassination. That's worthy of a brass balls award as the Arizona senator has a long history of opposing civil rights legislation, including the federal MLK holiday, something he voted against as a Congressman in 1983. He now says he "evolved" and regrets that vote.
In 1983, when I was brand-new in the Congress, I voted against the recognition of Dr. Martin Luther King. That was a mistake, OK? And later I had the chance to ... help fight for ... the recognition of Dr. Martin Luther King as a holiday in my state."
The good folks at Color of Change have a fact sheet up on McCain's civil rights record. It's questionable whether his evolution is occurring at even a glacial pace. Decide for yourself as you read the items below.
Arizona Governor Rescinded Martin Luther King Jr. Day. In 1987, One of newly elected Governor Evan Mecham's first acts in office was to rescind Arizona's recognition of the Martin Luther King Holiday. "Mecham strikes many voters as a simpleminded ideologue who is giving a bad name to the nation's second-fastest-growing state. After rescinding the Jan. 19 holiday honoring Martin Luther King Jr., Mecham defended the use of the term "pickaninnies" for blacks." Time 11/9/87]
McCain Said He Thought Governor Was Correct in His Decision According to the Huffington Post, "In 1983, McCain voted against passing a bill to designate the third Monday of every January as a federal holiday in honor of King. Four years later, then-Arizona Governor Evan Mecham rescinded Martin Luther King Day as a state holiday, saying it had been established through an illegal executive order by his Democratic predecessor. McCain said he thought Mecham was correct in his decision." [Sam Stein, Huffington Post, 4/1/08]