Turning Point USA founder Charlie Kirk appears to have dedicated his entire platform to making blatant racism sound smart. It’s an easy job as long as the only people he has to convince are fellow racists who have the critical thinking capacity of a toddler’s wet diaper. For people who are actually intelligent, even moderately so, it’s clear that Kirk’s analytical skills are limited to whatever, in his mind, makes white supremacy sound like common sense.
Right now, the right-wing commentator is on a mission to highlight the negative impact that Martin Luther King Jr. and the Civil Rights Act of 1964 have had on America, which, at the very least, is a departure from delusional white conservatives trying to rewrite MLK into their own white and fragile image—but that doesn’t make Kirk’s white nationalist nonsense any less pathetic.
Recently, Kirk made an appearance on an episode of Fearless with Jason Whitlock, because the only Black people he ever associates with are the same ones who would have pointed out the balcony King was standing on to his assassin.
Here, Kirk is whitesplaining to Whitlock that anti-Black discrimination could have easily been solved through simple laws, as opposed to a massive civil rights movement, which was only necessary because governments refused to intact those simple laws. He’s also erroneously trying to rewrite history by suggesting that segregation was limited to “a couple states and a couple jurisdictions,” as opposed to the more than a dozen southern states that had Jim Crow laws and Black Codes on the books, and the myriad of northern states that also practiced segregation. (By 1950, there were only 18 states that actually had laws barring racial discrimination—not that there’s any reason to think it made the white people in those states any less racist.)
Kirk continued on his Rewrite America For White Comfort campaign by explaining that, “based on every objective analysis,” MLK gave us “more race focus and less emphasis on character and conduct.”
Again, setting aside the fact that Kirk thinks it’s odd that MLK focused on race during a fight against racism, it’s kind of wild to see him straying from white America’s practice of reducing MLK’s entire ideology to a single line about “content” of “character” from a single speech.
Still, it’s clear that when Kirk says, “based on every objective analysis,” he really just means “based on the lens of whiteness.” Kirk argued that, due to the civil rights movement, America is overtly focused on race “60 years later,” which is only news to white people who have enjoyed life as the default racial identity of America, allowing them to ignore that Black people across the country have always had a different conversation regarding race in America than they do.
Kirk has been on his weird anti-MLK steez since at least last month when he promised his followers that he would expose the “myth” around the civil rights icon, who he has characterized as “awful” and “not a good person.”
“Who was MLK? A myth has been created and it has grown totally out of control,” Kirk tweeted in January. “While he was alive most people disliked him, yet today he is the most honored, worshipped, even deified person of the 20th century.”
Actually, it was only the overwhelming majority of white people who disliked him while he was still alive. But, again, Kirk only knows how to view things from the perspective of whiteness. If he were actually a smart person he would be able to detect the irony in that as he complains that too much focus is put on race.
Then there’s this from Newsweek:
At one point on Monday, Kirk said that as soon as King became idolized, “the progress of black America goes sideways.”
“Their cities disintegrate. Their families collapse. Educational progress stagnates. They become enormously dependent on government support,” Kirk posted on X before adding that, “You will know the tree by its fruit.”
Here, Kirk appears to be mystified that after Black people were legally excluded from equal opportunity and resources for generations, the state of the Black community didn’t magically ascend to the post-racial utopia of American exceptionalism the second the 1964 Civil Rights Act was signed.
Maybe a Bull Connor-like white racist who appears to believe desegregation was more negative than positive isn’t the one who should be telling Black people when they were better off.
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