Bauer’s Attempt to Coopt MLK

Add Gary Bauer to the long list of wingnuts working hard to pretend that Martin Luther King would agree with him if he were alive today. Specifically on abortion, he says that King would be fighting against Planned Parenthood to stop “black genocide.”

Here’s what I think Reverend King, if he were alive today, would be focusing his efforts on:…

Far from promoting Planned Parenthood’s agenda, Reverend King would expose its racist roots and point out that it deliberately locates abortion facilities in inner city communities. He would weep at that fact, which has resulted in more than 20 million aborted black babies, a death toll the KKK could not reach in its most deranged dreams.

And now, a word from reality. In the real world, as opposed to the fantasy world that Bauer and his fellow right wingers occupy, King was given the Margaret Sanger Award by Planned Parenthood and accepted it gratefully, honoring Sanger in the process. His acceptance speech, read by his wife because he could not be there, began:

There is a striking kinship between our movement and Margaret Sanger’s early efforts. She, like we, saw the horrifying conditions of ghetto life. Like we, she knew that all of society is poisoned by cancerous slums. Like we, she was a direct actionist — a nonviolent resister. She was willing to accept scorn and abuse until the truth she saw was revealed to the millions. At the turn of the century she went into the slums and set up a birth control clinic, and for this deed she went to jail because she was violating an unjust law. Yet the years have justified her actions. She launched a movement which is obeying a higher law to preserve human life under humane conditions. Margaret Sanger had to commit what was then called a crime in order to enrich humanity, and today we honor her courage and vision; for without them there would have been no beginning. Our sure beginning in the struggle for equality by nonviolent direct action may not have been so resolute without the tradition established by Margaret Sanger and people like her. Negroes have no mere academic nor ordinary interest in family planning. They have a special and urgent concern.

Many clinics are located in inner city areas because that is where poverty is and because both Sanger and King knew that one of the keys to reducing poverty was to reduce unwanted pregnancies. This talk of “black genocide” is moronic. This isn’t a dictator setting out to kill black people, it’s black women making their own decisions not to bring an unwanted child into a situation where they would only be poorer as a result of another mouth to feed (or any number of other reasons, all of which are personal to the woman making the choice; surely they know their own situation better than an old white guy like Bauer).


  1. Randomfactor says

    “Here’s what I think Reverend King, if he were alive today, would be focusing his efforts on:…”

    1. Gun control.

  2. Chiroptera says

    You’d thunk that if he were really concerned with what MLK thought, he’d be making sure that black people weren’t being denied their right to vote through unreasonable ID requirements, massive voting roll purges, and high rates of felony convictions.

  3. Chiroptera says

    And what’s with this sudden fascination the right wing has for Martin Luther King? Are they running out of false quotes to attribute to the Founders of the Republic?

  4. says

    Chiroptera “You’d thunk that if he were really concerned with what MLK thought, he’d be making sure that black people weren’t being denied their right to vote through unreasonable ID requirements, massive voting roll purges, and high rates of felony convictions.”
    Nope. He’d be for all those things. Also, he’d be for repealing Obamacare and Dodd-Frank. And, if there was any time left over, he’d be for increasing the power and scope of agencies like the FBI and NSA to spy on people like him.

  5. says

    The tired old trope that “Martin Luther King was a Republican” is revived every so often to try to obscure the fact that blacks today treat the GOP like poison (which is only a fair turnabout). It depends on the historical truth that African Americans used to register Republican (if allowed to register at all) back in the day when the party of Lincoln (remember him?) used to stand for civil rights against the bigots that ran the Democratic Party in the South. Today’s Republicans try to ignore the simple historical fact that the bigots left the Democratic Party in droves and flocked to the GOP when JFK and LBJ endorsed civil rights for blacks (and Southerner LBJ signed both the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965) and Nixon followed up with his Southern Strategy. Bigots have a home in today’s Republican Party. Blacks don’t.

  6. edmundog says

    Say, I’ve heard numerous claims that Margaret Sanger was a big racist, but I’m understandably skeptical, given the source of said claims, i.e. anti-choice websites. Can anyone here shed some light on that?

  7. says

    Wikipedia indicates a mixed bag for Sanger. She apparently believed “light races” were superior to “dark races,” yet was more than willing to work with members of the African-American community, and wouldn’t tolerate bigoted behaviour amongst her staff or their refusal to work on interracial projects. She also supported eugenics, but it’s pretty hard to find a public figure who didn’t in some way support eugenics in the early 20th Century. But whatever she believed it doesn’t mean Planned Parenthood’s current leaders believe the same thing.

    As for Bauer you wanna bet that this “Oh noes, they’re killin’ teh Negroes!” will soon be followed with a nice dog whistle post about how there’s no welfare reform.

  8. matty1 says

    There is something very weird about this obsession with what dead people would have thought of current politics. As if there aren’t enough living people with opinions to consider. Granted none of them have the respect MLK gets but he earned that respect by what he said and did not by just claiming that “This is what x would have said”.

    Maybe if people want to respect Kings legacy they should work on using their own effort and intelligence to argue their case rather than the lazy shortcut of using a dead man as a mouthpiece.

  9. matty1 says


    it’s pretty hard to find a public figure who didn’t in some way support eugenics in the early 20th Century

    I don’t know if it is also worth pointing out that while early 20th Century ideas on eugenics were abhorrent the preferred methods were sterilisation and voluntary celibacy not the killing of ‘inferiors’. It is easy to read later events back into earlier ones and assume people at the time knew where things were heading but this is rarely an accurate view of history.

  10. StevoR : Free West Papua, free Tibet, let the Chagossians return! says

    Martin Luther King gave arguably the greatest speech of the last century.

    Was, I gather, a kind, visionary great individual.

    Gary Bauer? (Gary who?)


    I cannot imagine how Gary Bauer thinks he knows or has any flippin’ right at all to speak on Martin Luther King’s behalf or claim he knows what he’d think.

    I think y’call that.

    A fucken cheek.

  11. Pen says

    It seems plausible to me that a woman who aborts because she is young and/or poor might typically go on to have just as many children as if she hadn’t, while bringing them up in better circumstances. Anyone have any data on that?

  12. felidae says

    I think MLK would be appalled by this repulsive little midget and his ilk who are so concerned about black babies between conception and birth and are hostile to their welfare thereafter

  13. laurentweppe says

    I Bauer’s last shred of sincerity was alive today, he would say

    Here’s what I think Reverend King, if he were alive today, would be focusing his efforts on:…

    …Not getting murdered by some local Brevik-like nutjob driven into a murderous frenzy by the heinous discourse i would most certainly be spewing about him.

  14. says

    Jesus what a moron /facepalm

    These nutjobs appropriating MLK is like the biggest slap in the face to democratic socialists I can think of. What a bunch of jerks =(

  15. says

    Anyone remember Phiip Roth’s Our Gang? It was a parody/satire on Richard Nixon. In the chapter where “Tricky” hold a press conference, he cites Martin Luther King: “Martin Luther King was a very great man, as we all must surely recognize now that he is dead.” The only thing missing is the word “safely” tucked in just before “dead.”

  16. anubisprime says

    It is all framing and using what ya got!

    In Blighty there has been a fair deluge of MLK press articles and TV snippets for a couple of days…the news shows were wall to wall for a while, 50th anniversary of his speech and all that and how that translated into the situation today, which is broadly concluded to be better then 50 years ago but a damned long way to go yet.

    I suspect that few ‘moderate’ US religio institutions would have a ongoing hate campaign waged against MLK and what legacy there is left…well not openly anyway.

    So to catch the sheeples eye and appear all modern and beating with a progressive heart, in pink and fluffy remembrance of a hero of social history which has seemingly become if not sacrosanct then culturally a odd spike in civic pride…and use that perceived tsunami of reference to nail your own twisted ideology to the same flagpole.

    Try and appear at one with a national icon.

    Better still nail that national icon to your twisted ideology…all is good!

  17. says

    If Martin Luther King, Jr. came to Gary Bauer’s door today, Bauer or one of his security detail, might just shoot him and claim SYG. Yeah, they ARE that fucked up.

  18. caseloweraz says

    Just yesterday, I was listening to Arlo Guthrie’s tribute to Mary Travers of Peter, Paul and Mary. (She died of leukemia in 2009.) Guthrie pointed out that Mary Travers wasn’t just a popular singer; she took risks for her beliefs.

    So did Dr. King, as we all know.

    I wonder what sort of risks Gary Bauer exposes himself to.

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