It’s a dark day for the Resistance, thanks to GOP Sen. Mitt Romney’s commitment to proceeding with the process to replace the late SCOTUS Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.
We’ve documented quite a few angry reactions already (and there are plenty more where those came from), but this one from Atlantic contributing writer Jemele Hill deserves its own post because, well, it’s just so predictably awful:
Can we please stop pandering to supposed "white moderates" like Mitt Romney when it's always clear that their real allegiance is to their own patriarchy and consolidation of power? White moderate gonna White moderate. That's why Martin Luther King Jr., said what he said.
— Jemele Hill (@jemelehill) September 22, 2020
Jemele’s tweet is special because, while she uses it to register her general disgust with Romney’s belief in adhering to constitutionally defined procedures, it also brings in both the patriarchy and racism. And invokes Martin Luther King Jr.! That’s truly impressive.
For those who are wondering, here’s what Martin Luther King Jr. wrote in his “Letter from a Birmingham Jail”:
I must make two honest confessions to you, my Christian and Jewish brothers. First, I must confess that over the past few years I have been gravely disappointed with the white moderate. I have almost reached the regrettable conclusion that the Negro’s great stumbling block in his stride toward freedom is not the White Citizen’s Counciler or the Ku Klux Klanner, but the white moderate, who is more devoted to “order” than to justice; who prefers a negative peace which is the absence of tension to a positive peace which is the presence of justice; who constantly says: “I agree with you in the goal you seek, but I cannot agree with your methods of direct action”; who paternalistically believes he can set the timetable for another man’s freedom; who lives by a mythical concept of time and who constantly advises the Negro to wait for a “more convenient season.” Shallow understanding from people of good will is more frustrating than absolute misunderstanding from people of ill will. Lukewarm acceptance is much more bewildering than outright rejection.
I had hoped that the white moderate would understand that law and order exist for the purpose of establishing justice and that when they fail in this purpose they become the dangerously structured dams that block the flow of social progress. I had hoped that the white moderate would understand that the present tension in the South is a necessary phase of the transition from an obnoxious negative peace, in which the Negro passively accepted his unjust plight, to a substantive and positive peace, in which all men will respect the dignity and worth of human personality. Actually, we who engage in nonviolent direct action are not the creators of tension. We merely bring to the surface the hidden tension that is already alive. We bring it out in the open, where it can be seen and dealt with. Like a boil that can never be cured so long as it is covered up but must be opened with all its ugliness to the natural medicines of air and light, injustice must be exposed, with all the tension its exposure creates, to the light of human conscience and the air of national opinion before it can be cured.
And Jemele Hill is using what Civil Rights hero Martin Luther King Jr. — who had some legitimate bones to pick — wrote in 1963 to demonstrate that Mitt Romney doesn’t care about black people, despite having zero evidence to support that assertion.
Hysterically incoherent. https://t.co/xmc3cU7rNr
— Triarius (@AdamWilday) September 22, 2020
So, in other words, it’s completely on-brand for Jemele Hill.
Just like ignoring the parts of MLK Jr.’s legacy that don’t support her narrative:
He said something far more powerful about skin color….you might have missed it. I'm sorry, purposefully ignored it. https://t.co/VJqcUEcoRL
— Charlie (@CharlieJThomas) September 22, 2020
— Eric Spencer (@JustEric) September 22, 2020
"I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character." https://t.co/u9nwuAKTGE
— Hermann Pretorius?? (@Meneer_Mann) September 22, 2020
What does Romney’s race have to do with anything? https://t.co/vHNMj9jPrR
— Jordan Lebowitz (@Espnjordan) September 22, 2020
I think he actually said content of a person character but of course you just wanna blame the white man. https://t.co/7rr4KysfIv
— Kristin (@Sodangfancy100) September 22, 2020
Always nice to invoke MLK when you judge people by their skin color https://t.co/EcnChoIcGc
— perpetuallyuneducated (@doxxedbylibs) September 22, 2020
And the mask slips again
At least we know for sure now her racism is real https://t.co/HEyAU8QKtK
— ?Miss Em? (@RosetaniLiving) September 22, 2020
Actually, MLK Jr stressed the importance of judging content of character rather than viewing and organising people by immutable characteristics like race and sex. Maybe you missed that not so minor detail. What a racist embarrassment you are. Sell crazy someplace else. https://t.co/6trdqaFBjW
— ?? (@Jude_Raw) September 22, 2020
Why would she? The Twitter market for crazy is second to none. And Jemele Hill is one of the best salespeople out there.