May 1 1995

The Right Has a Dream

Martin Luther King as an Opponent of Affirmative Action

In the last years of Martin Luther King, Jr.’s life, many mainstream journalists and conservative politicians treated him with fear and derision. In 1967, Life magazine (4/21/67) dubbed King’s prophetic anti-war address “demagogic slander” and “a script for Radio Hanoi.” Even years later, Ronald Reagan described King as a near-Communist. Today, however, a miracle is taking place: Suddenly, King is a conservative. By virtue of a snippit from one 1963 address–a single phrase about “the content of our character”–King is the most oft-quoted opponent of affirmative action in America today. “Martin Luther King, in my view, was a conservative,” right-wing […]

Jul 1 1993

Lani Guinier: ‘Quota Queen’ or Misquoted Queen?

In the media smear campaign against Lani Guinier, Clinton’s nominee as assistant attorney general for civil rights, her views were not only distorted, but in many cases presented as the exact opposite of her actual beliefs. One of the most prominent themes of the attack on Guinier was her supposed support for electoral districts shaped to ensure a black majority – a process known as “race-conscious districting.” An entire op-ed in the New York Times — which appeared on the day her nomination was withdrawn (6/3/93) — was based on the premise that Guinier was in favor of “segregating black […]