Mike Pence is facing backlash after quoting Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech to support Donald Trump’s effort to make Congress fund the building of the U.S.-Mexico wall border.
On Sunday (Jan. 20), Pence appeared on CBS’ “Face the Nation,” and while there, he discussed his thoughts on the country’s current democracy. In doing so, Pence tried to use King’s words to justify Trump’s government shutdown over funding the wall. “One of my favorite quotes from Dr. King was ‘Now is the time to make real the promises of democracy,’” said Pence.
“You think of how he changed America. He inspired us to change through the legislative process, to become a more perfect union. That’s exactly what President Trump is calling on Congress to do — come to the table in the spirit of good faith,” Pence said. “We’ll secure our border. We’ll reopen the government, and we’ll move our nation forward, as the president said yesterday, to even a broader discussion about immigration reform in the months ahead.”
Following Pence’s statements, hundreds reacted, calling the politician’s words an “insult to King’s legacy.” Rep. Jackie Speier, D-Calif., referred to Pence’s use of King’s words “beyond disgraceful.”
Ibram X. Kendi, founder, and director of the Antiracist Research & Policy Center at American University in Washington noted Pence’s comments and tweeted: “They ‘honor’ MLK every year by assassinating who he was.”