The Oregon Faith Report - Faith News from Oregon

Don’t depoliticize Martin Luther King

April 4, 2018 --

By Tom Krattenmaker
Oregon writer
Featured often in USA Today, Religion News Service

Whenever we remember the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., some people inevitably pull out a piece of sandpaper and try to smooth the sharp edges of the great civil rights prophet.

“Don’t politicize him,” they say.

As if that were possible without erasing the man himself and his vital place in history.

Fox News and its devotees tried to domesticate King in classic fashion back in January on MLK Day. In a commentary for the network’s website, Jeremy Hunt played up one side of King’s life and legacy — that he was a Christian minister who spoke of inner spiritual transformation—while ignoring the political nature of what King spent much of his time pursuing: specific changes to policies and practices to elevate African-Americans.

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