Vile Racist Tries to Derail MLK Event - Crowd Utterly Humiliates Her Instead

Vile Racist Tries to Derail MLK Event – Crowd Utterly Humiliates Her Instead

Each presidential election cycle, the Iowa caucuses seem to do a solid job of winnowing the Republican field. This is especially true on the highly conservative end of the spectrum. Also-rans who spent a year or more knocking on doors touting corn, ethanol, and family values often see their funding dry up quickly in defeat. But even winning is no guarantee of future success. Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee won Iowa in 2008. Former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum prevailed in 2012. Ted Cruz narrowly topped eventual nominee Donald Trump in 2016.  In each case, however, a more moderate alternative won New Hampshire (McCain in 2008, Romney in 2012, Trump in 2016) and went on to claim the Republican nomination.

It would seem, from the list of caucus winners, that Iowa is a deeply conservative state. And maybe it is, on the Republican side. But Barack Obama carried Iowa twice in general elections, and Trump narrowly topped Hillary Clinton with 51% of the vote in 2016. In reality, Iowa is solidly middle of spectrum politically. Ranked as 53rd most conservative of Iowa’s 99 counties, Dubuque falls squarely in the middle of the middle then. That makes Dubuque an ideal case study for how liberals and conservatives react when their strong opinions collide.

On Monday, many Dubuque residents attended a Martin Luther King Day breakfast at the Dubuque Multicultural Family Center. Not long after Dr. Farris Muhammad (the Center’s executive director) had finished his remarks, a woman approached his dais. Dr. Muhammad had spoken of the ultimate sacrifice Dr. King made, his life for his beliefs. The woman told Dr. Muhammad, “Excuse me, I’m really glad that he did die, because you’ve created a lot of racial discrimination in our country.”

The woman’s opinion should come as no surprise.

A juror in the 1997 Kenneth Fults murder trial admitted years later (under oath) that he had voted for the death penalty in the case because “that’s what that nigger deserved.”

A blogger wrote this of Trayvon Martin after he was killed by George Zimmerman in 2012, “Trayvon Martin was a Worthless N*gger Thug who Got What He Deserved!”

In EJ Wilkes book One Nation Under, he writes:

There seems to be a “n*gger got what he deserves” mentality among most white people and unfortunately some black people.” He then describes how most white people believe that if Michael Brown or Eric Garner had only not resisted and had let the police arrest them, they would still be alive.

This is not a new concept, either. In the 1941 Hadley Cantril book The Psychology of Social Movements, Dr. Cantril related interviews with everyday folks who had witnesses a lynching. One man, a show repairman, repeated the same old refrain. “The n*gger got what he deserved”. He then added, “They will get a little smart if you don’t keep them in their place.”

And that really is what it comes down to, isn’t it? Sometimes, many people truly believe, a person of color has to be killed for daring to consider themselves equal to whites. Especially when their murder has the added benefit of being a warning to others that they dare not overstep their place.

Dr. King did not overstep his place. He asked nothing more than for the founding document of the United States, the Declaration of Independence, to finally live up to the promise it made.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.

All men. Not just all white men. All men. For daring to demand equality, Dr. King paid with his life. And yesterday, on the day set aside to honor his sacrifice and to bring people of all races and beliefs together to foster a better understanding, in walked that unnamed woman. Out came her words, just another rephrasing of the the same old refrain, that Dr. King caused trouble by forgetting his place, and got what he deserved.

But we should not be discouraged. Unlike in the ugly past, public opinion was not on the woman’s side. Attendees were not going to sit silently. The director maintained order, and sought to use it as a teachable moment on such a solemn day.

The crowd jeered the woman after her comment, demanding she leave. She grudgingly did, muttering on her way out how much of a “shitty town” Dubuque had become. Odds are that was a reference to the recent racist “shithole” comments by President Trump. Which underscores just how dangerous it is to have a man like him in America’s top job.

Watch: Racist Heckler Shut Down At MLK Day Event

Featured Image illustration by Reverb Press, using images by Win McNamee/Getty Images; Kim Weaver, Twitter.

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Dave Weaver is a freelance political journalist and author. Born in Pennsylvania, which was home most of his life, Dave has called Maryland, New York, Kentucky, Arkansas, Ohio, and Maine home over the last decade. All the wandering has allowed Dave to experience America (and Americans) from a variety of perspectives. For a political junkie, the insights gained from this exposure are invaluable.