GOP’s Martin Luther King Jr. billboard causes a stir

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Watch video of Republicans defending and protesters denouncing the billboard. 

Tempers are flaring in Houston, Texas over a billboard the reads “Martin Luther King, Jr. was a Republican!” The group that paid for the sign says they can support their claim but at least one activist is angry that Dr. King is being align with any political party.

This billboard in southeast Houston has drawn its share of stares but by claiming that Martin Luther King, Jr. was a Republican, it has also drawn controversy. That includes a shouting match between the man responsible for the sign and a group led by community activist Quanell X, who took issue with politicking the legendary civil rights leader.

“Don’t align that man who lived and died to save all people to a certain Republican or Democratic party. He’s bigger than politics,” said X.

Texas Republican Party Chairman Jared Woodfill likes the billboard.

“I commend them for doing that. And it’s a conversation that we’ll continue to have because we’re not backing off.”

Quanell X says local Republicans should denounce the billboard. He says while Dr. King may have supported some conservative family values, he doubts MLK would be Republican today.

“The party of Tom Delay, the party of Rush Limbaugh, the party of Sean Hannity, the party of Michael Savage would not be the party of Dr. Martin Luther King, Junior.”

The sign’s designer, Apostle Claver, the founder of says the sign is just the first step.

“And the billboard is saying conservatives are coming. And we’re going to offer solutions to the problems that this neighborhood has,” Claver said.

Claver says that documented proof that MLK was a Republican may not exist. But he sites words from Dr. King’s niece, Alvetta King, who wrote about both MLK and his father being aligned with the GOP.

color:#F79646”>theGrio Asks: Do you feel that this billboard is disrespectful to Dr. King or are the protesters overreacting?

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