Back in September, a photographer for the St. Louis Riverfront Times took a photo of a group of protestors in front of the Ferguson, Missouri, police station, one of whom, a young African American man, was holding a sign reading “No mother should have to fear for her son’s life every time he leaves home.” Two months later, as protests were again rocking Ferguson, the image was resurrected as a viral racist meme after someone photoshopped the man’s sign to read “No mother should have to fear for her son’s life every time he robs a store.”
The image was quickly traced back to its origin and debunked, but not before it had entered the popular conscious of right-wing activists trying to demonize the Ferguson protestors.
Among these, it turns out, is Alveda King, a conservative activist who is a niece of Martin Luther King, Jr., who cited the hoax photo in an interview last week with Iowa GOP committeewoman Tamara Scott as she asserted that if a “child is trained” then “he or she will not be in the wrong place at the wrong time” like Michael Brown.
“I just can’t believe that quote,” Scott responded, adding, “It just shows you a whole mindset.”
King responded that she also “couldn’t believe it” but had “Googled it to make sure it was true.”