For a long time we have known that Sarah Palin was a racist. Much has been made about Palin’s Iowa speech. Some thought she was on drugs. Others thought she was drunk. Still others suggested that she might have had a stroke. To me that speech reminded me of a teen under the influence of nitrous oxide, with her mouth full of cotton.
Bristol Palin has come to the defense of her mother, and source of Bristol’s financial support. Revealing her astute powers of knowledge and intellect, Bristol explained that her mother was quoting from MLK Jr. when she talked about riding on the back of another man. It wasn’t clear from the speech what she was talking about. Who was riding whose back? Was this a sexual reference to heterosexual sex, or homosexual sex? Was it another reference to Obama’s “big stick” or his need to grow some “cojones?” To be fair, here is the actual quote from Bristol:
“‘The Man,’ can only ride ya when your back is bent.”
People went nuts over this, saying it didn’t make sense.
I wonder how many of them know that analogy came from Martin Luther King Jr? I’d say none of them. Or at least, no one is pointing it out. (UPDATE: Dave Weigel figured it out – thank you!) This is what MLK Jr. said (emphasis added):
“Change does not roll in on the wheels of inevitability, but comes through continuous struggle. And so we must straighten our backs and work for our freedom. A man can’t ride you unless your back is bent.” – Martin Luther King, Jr.
Here is the actual part of the speech given by Palin:
Here is the actual transcript of the relevant part of Palin’s speech:
“…GOP leaders by the way ya know the man can only ride ya when your back is bent, so strengthen it, then the man can’t ride ya America won’t be taken for a ride because so much is at stake and we can’t afford politicians playing games like nothing more is at stake than oh maybe just the next standing of theirs in the next election.”
The actual quote of MLK Jr. was taken from a letter he wrote in 1963 from a Birmingham jail.
The iconic leader of the civil rights movement wrote:
“Change does not roll in on the wheels of inevitability, but comes through continuous struggle. And so we must straighten our backs and work for our freedom. A man can’t ride you unless your back is bent.”
Clearly MLK was inspired by the Freedom Riders that rode buses in the south in 1961-1963 in peaceful protest of racial segregation.
The significant, portion of the quote, misquoted by Palin, was the reference to “the man” instead of “a man.” Instead of referring to a slave owner, or a person who might discriminate against a black man, Palin’s reference to “the man” was a direct and specific reference to a black man, President Obama. Instead of advocating standing up for freedom and the U.S. Constitution, Palin was mocking the President.
Sarah probably isn’t smart enough to understand the difference between the two statements. She is a bigot who is too ignorant to know that she just showed her true colors to the world. We see her for who she is. What we see is frighteningly ugly.