The Raw Story: TALLAHASSEE - A black Republican group has put up billboards in Florida and South Carolina saying the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. wa
July 5, 2008

The Raw Story:

TALLAHASSEE - A black Republican group has put up billboards in Florida and South Carolina saying the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. was a Republican, a claim that black leaders say is ridiculous.

The National Black Republican Association has paid for billboards showing an image of the civil rights leader and the words "Martin Luther King Jr. was REPUBLICAN." Told about the billboards, the Rev. Joseph Lowery let out a soft chuckle that grew stronger as he began to think more about the idea. "These guys never give up, do they?" said Lowery, who co-founded the Southern Christian Leadership Conference with King. "Lord have mercy."

"That was not the Martin I know and I don't think they can substantiate that by any shape, form or fashion. It's purely propaganda and poppycock," Lowery said. "Even if he was, he would have nothing to do with what the Republican Party stands for today. Do they think Martin would support George W. Bush and the war in Iraq?" Read on...

For anyone who thought the Republicans wouldn't use race as an issue in the '08 election, think again. The lowest common denominator is always in play for the party thats hemorrhaging members and on its way out. As I read this 2006 article by Dave Johnson at The Huffington Post I found that the NBRA and other associated groups have quite a history of hackery and controversy. Their chairwoman is a plagiarist, the group lost 7 of its 10 board members after members gave glowing reviews to President Bush for his handling of Hurricane Katrina, and many of their offices are nothing more than P.O. boxes and motel rooms set up for ready made, hit-and-run hideouts. Here's all you need to know about these GOP front groups:

Here's how the cynical process works. Your opponent is strong and you are weak in a certain area - in this case it is about strong African-American support for Democrats and a Republican race problem making its way into the news. To fight this you set up a front group that is designed to drive a wedge into the core of their support while providing "cover" to deflect attention from you. And to get this done you say anything - whatever is necessary to trick the voters into thinking their interests are served by your cause. So in this case the front-group Black Republican Freedom Fund is set up to run ads in urban areas that say, "Democrats started the Ku Klux Klan," "Democrats released those vicious dogs and fire hoses on blacks" and "Democrats blocked the minimum wage passed by Republicans." Read on...

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