Distorting civil rights history, again

The National Black Republican Association made headlines a little over a week ago when it began airing radio ads in Maryland and Ohio claiming Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. was a Republican. The ads included gross distortions of civil rights history intended to make the Republican Party sound palatable to African Americans, who usually vote overwhelmingly for Democrats.

Now the NBRA’s at it again. Apparently not content to insult listeners with merely 30 seconds of distortions, the NBRA has released a new 60-second version of its ad (audio here). The new ad contains plenty of additional warped history, and also attempts to stir up anti-gay sentiment. Here’s the transcript:

Voice 1: Dr. King was a real man. You know he was a Republican.
Voice 2: Dr. King? A Republican?
Voice 1: Democrats passed those black codes and Jim Crow laws. Democrats started the Ku Klux Klan.
Voice 2: White hoods and sheets?
Voice 1: Democrats fought all civil rights legislation form the 1860s til the 1960s. Democrats released those vicious dogs and fire hoses on blacks.
Voice 2: Seriously?
Voice 1: And the Dixiecrats? Remained Democrats and vowed to vote for a yellow dog before a Republican. Republicans freed us from slavery and put our right to vote in the Constitution.
Voice 2: What?
Voice 1: Republicans started the NAACP, affirmative action, and the HBCUs.
Voice 2: Sounds like Democrats have bamboozled blacks.
Voice 1: Democrats blocked the minimum wage passed by Republicans, and over $200 billion have been spent on education health care and job training since President Bush took office.
Voice 2: So Democrats want to keep us poor while voting only Democrat.
Voice 1: Democrats want us to accept same-sex marriages, teen abortions without a parent’s consent, and suing the boy scouts for saying God in their pledge.
Voice 2: See, we need to think and vote on our own values.
Voice 1: Exactly. Democrats have talked the talk but the Republicans have walked the walk.
Voice 2: It’s time for us to do the walk.
Voice 1: You know it girl.

This misrepresentation of history is shameful, but it’s not isolated. Radical right faux “historian” David Barton has been peddling similar propaganda through a new DVD, and the NBRA has cited Barton’s work as a basis for its communications.

Thankfully, Barton, the NBRA, and their allies are not going unchallenged. Respected African American Democrats and Republicans, as well as nonpartisan leaders such as Rev. Timothy McDonald, the national chair of African American Ministers in Action, are standing up against these distortions and for the truth.