People Are Outraged After Mike Huckabee Is Reportedly Chosen To Deliver Keynote Speech At MLK Breakfast Event

What were they thinking?

599 points

A backlash has ensued over news that former Governor Mike Huckabee was invited to speak at a prayer breakfast that’s part of the January 17 observance of MLK Day by the state commission. Huckabee has tweeted out some pretty racist messages, and if it’s attention he wanted, he got it. The former Governor has called the Black Lives Matter movement “dangerous” and has tweeted out an anti-Asian message.

The Arkansas Times reports that having Huckabee speak at the event observing Martin Luthor King is not going over well. Little Rock activist Dr. Anika Whitfield and the Arkansas Democratic Black Caucus sent letters to the outlet.

“We write to express our deep disappointment and true outrage with the MLK Commission’s decision to select former Governor Mike Huckabee as guest speaker for the annual MLK Interfaith Prayer Breakfast on the King holiday, January 17, 2022, at the Governor’s Mansion,” the Black Caucus wrote.

“Mr. Huckabee has demonstrated, on numerous occasions, that he is not the appropriate speaker to advocate for unity,” the letter continued. “During Pope Francis’ 2015 U.S. visit, Mr. Huckabee attacked former President Barack Obama’s faith in a television interview, suggesting that the first African-American president “pretends to be” a Christian.”

‘During his 2016 presidential campaign, Mr. Huckabee attacked Black Lives Matter, erroneously stating that the movement “elevates some lives over others” and claiming that Dr. King would be “appalled by the movement,”‘ the letter continues. ‘His out-of-touch comment was quickly denounced by Martin Luther King III who insisted that his father would embrace the movement and would “be very proud of young people standing up to promote truth, justice and equality.”‘

“Even more alarming is Huckabee’s claim that the January 6 insurrection at our nation’s Capitol was more of “a rally that turned into a riot because of a few bad actors,” minimizing the mob violence that threatened our democracy,” the Black Caucus added.

Whitmer called it an “insult.”

“What an insult to Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. to invite Mike Huckabee, a person who walked away from pastoring to pursue a political and television career,” the letter reads. “Mike Huckabee has unapologetically used his political and televised roles to support the denial of human rights and the systemic oppression of people through imposing poverty, and creating discriminatory laws and policies based on race, religion, and identity. His separatist theology and philosophy expressed through his support of voter suppression laws and his candid, culturally offensive and judgmental statements are staunchly opposing to the loving theology and philosophy that Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. embodied in his living and his legacy.”

Who thought it would be a good idea to let Huckabee speak at an MLK event? In 2015, Huckabee came very close to calling our country’s first Black President a Muslim. Bless his heart.

You can read the full letters here.

Featured image via Gage Skidmore/Flickr, under Creative Commons license 2.0

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599 points