Why, oh why, do politicians have to misuse and abuse Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s incredible legacy?
Cultural misappropriation is too real: MLK’s memory just got jacked again. This time, Georgia candidate for governor Stacey Evans released a tone-deaf ad that fails at trying to align her agenda with King. The video shows Evans visiting King’s church, Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta, hugging and interacting with Black churchgoers. At the end, she is seen standing in a pew while doing slow-motion clapping before her face fades into a picture of MLK.
Oh boy! The confusion and problems in this ad are just too much. Watch it below:
Clearly, this is an ad for fundraising and an attempt to garner support as well as endorsements for Evans. She is trying to tap into the Black church’s power and unity, a mission that is not only wrong but unwelcome given that Ebenezer didn’t authorize her to film in its sanctuary. Campaigns for support should never be executed at the expense of misappropriation. Evans didn’t have to run this ad that uses King for political gain, and several folks agree with that.
“GA Gubernatorial Candidate Stacey Evans gets the #GirlByeAward for trying to defend her tone deaf and offensive commercial! And no, the @staceyabrams campaign didn’t ask me to say this.,” Tishaura O. Jones tweeted.
“You have no diversity on your team & apparently don’t understand its value,” CNN commentator and former South Carolina state legislator Bakari Sellers tweeted along with a link to the offending ad.
Another comment also spoke truth to power.
“Superimposing Dr. King’s face over your candidate’s does not move you closer to uniting us all,” activist Anoa Changa wrote. “Our legacy and struggle are not to be used as props to push people across the finish line.”
The ad makes use of the same vile appropriation that drove campaigns featuring MLK’s quotes to silence Black Lives Matter and deter them from protesting. Evans could have asked one simple”WWKT” question before shooting this ad: What would King think? The exploitation of King must stop!