In 1983, Martin Luther King Jr. Day officially became a United States holiday. The president at the time was Ronald Reagan. Initially, Reagan had been opposed to the idea, but eventually came around.
There was, of course, opposition from Republican lawmakers as well. North Carolina Senator Jesse Helms, a noted racist, said that King Jr. shouldn’t be honored because he was a radical and a communist. But eventually, the bill passed into law.
Nearly 40 years later, many Republicans are still unsure if King is worthy of being honored or not. In fact, according to a new poll, a majority of GOP voters don’t think it should be a holiday at all.
The survey, taken by The Economist/YouGov, showed that 58% of all respondents felt that MLK day should be a holiday. When asked if the holiday was justified, only 41% of self identified Republicans said yes. 36% said no and 23% said they were not sure.
This seems to reflect the current GOP push against ‘critical race theory.’ To them, the recognition of any kind of acknowledgment of Black history is an attack on white America.
See the full study here
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Todd Neikirk is a New Jersey-based politics and technology writer. His work has been featured in psfk.com, foxsports.com, and PoliticusUSA. An avid pet lover, he has been known to contribute to Pet Lifestyles Magazine. He enjoys sports, politics, technology, and spending time at the shore with his family.