Fox News host Kimberly Guilfoyle tried so shame NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick on Tuesday by arguing that Martin Luther King Jr. would not approve of his decision not to stand for the national anthem out of protest.
“I think Dr. King, if he were alive today, he wouldn’t disrespect the flag or the anthem,” Guilfoyle said. “He would use his words and his voice to send a message for positive change.”
Conservatives have long used King’s name as a silencing tactic against protest, often in response to large-scale demonstrations or riots like the ones in Baltimore during the Freddie Gray case. But as Mic.com reported, King was not critical of such manifestations of anger against political institutions.
“I think America must see that riots do not develop out of thin air,” King said in a 1967 speech at Stanford University. “Certain conditions continue to exist in our society which must be condemned as vigorously as we condemn riots.”
As Salon pointed out in 2014, conservatives are also mistaken in invoking King’s name to defend “color-blind” ideologies, citing a passage from King’s 1964 book Why We Can’t Wait.
“Among the many vital jobs to be done, the nation must not only radically readjust its attitude toward the Negro in the compelling present, but must incorporate in its planning some compensatory consideration for the handicaps he has inherited from the past,” the civil rights leader wrote. “It is impossible to create a formula for the future which does not take into account that our society has been doing something special against the Negro for hundreds of years.”
Watch Guilfoyle’s remark, as posted online, below.