For a while now I have been operating under the belief that Martin Luther King, Jr., perhaps the greatest American of the 20th century, was a Republican, as were many black people in this country until the late sixties and early seventies. I read this in many places and it seemed logical given black history in the GOP that he would have been. However, it is probably not the case that Reverend King was a Republican.
Being a Republican and a black Republican myself, a part of me sort of wishes that he were. Given his station in the south, the positive history of black Republicanism in the south and the racist regimes of southern Democrats, it seemed natural to me that he would be a Republican.
But the only clear source that Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was a Republican is the testimony of his niece Alveda King to that effect. Alveda has claimed that her uncle was a Republican for years, until recently when she seems to have admitted that she never had any hard evidence for that claim and no longer stands by it. Thanks, Alveda. It has been Alveda’s declaration that King was a Republican that has led to the claim being repeated, mostly by Republicans, in so many quarters, but it now seems that that claim was without basis.
Was King a Democrat? It’s sort of hard to say this. Dr. King was always deliberately non-partisan, at one point writing: “I feel someone must remain in the position of non-alignment, so that he can look objectively at both parties and be the conscience of both—not the servant or master of either.” That is why it is hard for us to answer this question.
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NOTE: Most of this myth peddling is coming from the National Black Republican Association; they just keep on saying that he was one. According to the article, this young brotha is currently running for congress as a Republican in the 43rd congressional district of California against U.S. Rep. Maxine Waters. (D)
Here's his website: https://www.facebook.com/wood2014/