Sarah Sanders Refers to Martin Luther King Jr. With Alternative Facts

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snadersOn the day that Americans honor the great equal-rights leader Martin Luther King Jr., Sarah Huckabee Sanders irresponsibly tweeted that he gave his life.

On Jan. 21, 2019, Sanders, the Trump administration’s press secretary riled the masses when she essentially denied King assassinated by stating he chose to give up his life. That phrase is typically used for someone who died in the line of duty or a heroic act resulting in death.

The backlash on Twitter came fast and hard. Within minutes, responses began to tell her that he was murdered because of his teachings.

  • Stacey Shinske asked why Sanders was trying to undo everything he did. She added #alternativefacts.
  • Montgomery Granger began by stating “Sorry, you are mistaken.” He then inferred she was un-American as is anyone who strives to divide the nation. Lastly, Granger reminded readers that the American flag was the symbol used by the civil rights movement.
  • Beth Bryson simply reminded Sanders that King did not give his life but was assassinated.
  • fresh whipped topping wrote: “Imagine @PressSec’s face when, two years after Trumpsim has died, she realizes that the tweet has the opposite effect in that it made her appear both racist and disingenuous.
  • Sarah Wood reminded Sanders that King was killed. “He was killed by the same type of people who continue to support Trump and attend his rallies with confederate flags and racist slogans. MLK Jr. didn’t give his life, his life was stolen. Shame on you for trying to spin that fact.”

As a public speaker, she has plenty of time to verify facts and proofread her speeches ahead of time. One would imagine she also has an editor or someone to review her content. There is no excuse for this kind of mistake, even in Tweets.

However, this is typical of deniers who twist language and details to suit their needs. For all intents and purposes, she spread fake news.

A History Lesson for Sanders

King was assassinated on April 4, 1968, at the age of 39. He began his work in the mid-1950s to make a significant difference in how Americans view civil rights and prejudice. Because of his passion and leadership, activists and voters stood their ground against segregation.

King taught that resistance did not require violence. He was a Baptist minister and the head of Southern Christian Leadership Conference, which promoted non-violent tactics to achieve their goal. One of the memorable events that brought the American civil rights movement to the attention of the world was the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom in 1963.

It was during this march that King gave his, “I Have a Dream” speech. On Aug. 28, 1963, over 250,000 civil rights supporters, approximately 60,000 of whom were white, listened to him talking about “civil and economic rights and an end to racism in the United States.” His speech, made from the steps of the Lincoln Memorial was televised.

Four years before his assassination, King was awarded a Nobel Peace Prize.

Perhaps, Sanders, Vice President Mike Pence, President Donald Trump, and his administration will learn to take a moment to consider how their alternative facts do not change the facts. Instead, they confuse people and further divide the United States. In the meantime, leaders of all races recognize the need for Americans to come together to restore unity in spite of the current leadership in the White House.

Written by Cathy Milne-Ware


The Hill: Critics seize on Sarah Sanders tweet saying MLK ‘gave his life’
The Daily Dot: Sarah Sanders, NRA deliver truly misguided MLK tributes today
Encyclopedia Britannica: Martin Luther King, Jr.
Constitution Daily: 10 fascinating facts about the “I Have A Dream” speech

Featured and Top Image Courtesy of Thomas Hawk’s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License


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