This past Sunday, Roland Martin received a statement from the Republican National Committee signed by Reince Priebus, the chairman of the organization, which praises Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s famous “I Have A Dream” speech.
“Dr. King’s courageous quest for justice and reconciliation makes him one of the most heroic and important Americans of the 20th century,” said RNC Chairman Reince Priebus. “In the decades since he delivered his hopeful call for equality and freedom, America has taken enormous strides in fulfilling the dream he shared with the nation that day. As we reflect on the power of his words and the effect they had, we rededicate ourselves to the task of ending injustice in all its forms.”
Martin explained the quote pulled from the RNC’s statement “speaks to a fundamental issue” that he has when talking about the Republican Party and a number of discriminatory policies they promote.
Martin said, “The problem I have is folks want to praise Dr. King in hindsight of the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom as opposed to what he actually said.”
In expounding upon his point, Martin explained the most important part of Dr. King’s speech was expressed in his thesis, not the end of the address that everyone quotes and focuses on.
The host of NewsOne Now read the portion of MLK’s speech, which in part states:
“There are those who are asking the devotees of civil rights, “When will you be satisfied?” We can never be satisfied as long as the Negro is the victim of unspeakable horrors of police brutality.”
During the same speech, Dr. King said:
“We cannot be satisfied as long as the Negro in Mississippi cannot vote and the Negro in New York believes he has nothing for which to vote.”
After reading the excerpts of King’s address, Martin poked holes in the RNC’s attempt to praise Dr. King and asked Republicans, “Are you speaking out on police brutality?”
At this present time, Republicans are trying to alter voting hours in a thinly veiled attempt to suppress the African-American vote. Also, voter ID laws in Texas and Wisconsin could disenfranchise Black voters in November.
Martin spoke directly to RNC Chair Reince Priebus, as well as the Republican National Committee, saying if you issue a statement claiming you are dedicated to fighting injustice, you can start with addressing voter suppression and police brutality.
In closing his remarks, Martin said, “This is real simple for me. A press release means nothing. The question is: Where are you on the policies?”
Watch Roland Martin challenge Republicans to fight against injustice in the video clip above.
PHOTO CREDIT: Getty