Conservatives Slap Seniors, Endorse M.L. King and Federal
Civil Rights Acts
the upside-down priorities that plague America's failed conservative
movement, the right-wing Republican news weekly Human Events
attacked senior citizens and denounced as "socialist"
an administration plan to add a prescription drug benefit
to Medicare, but later enthusiastically endorsed major, wide-ranging
socialist civil rights legislation that stripped Americans
of basic property rights, concentrated unprecedented power
in federal hands, and subverted the U.S. Constitution. A front-page
article by neo-conservative immigration advocate Linda Chavez
praised radical left-wing Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr., who,
during the Vietnam War, compared the U.S. to Nazi Germany,
and denounced his country as "the greatest purveyor of
violence in the world today."
In a headline surprising for its callousness by even the standards
of tin-eared conservatives, Human Events' June 23rd
edition attacked senior citizens in a story addressed to America's
elderly, telling them in harsh terms, "Buy Your Own Drugs,
Grandma." The paper, which Republicans use to convince
conservative voters like senior citizens that the GOP is on
their side, worried that America would become a "socialist
country" if ailing seniors on slender fixed incomes received
federally-subsidized prescription drugs as part of their existing
"America would become a socialist country ... of people
struggling to pay taxes to cover the ... medical costs of
other people's grandparents," the paper warned.
The following week Human Events of June 30th found
nothing "socialist" about unprecedented sweeping
federal civil rights legislation that permanently destroyed
the American federal system.
Praising a speech Rev. King delivered during a black power
rally in Washington, D.C., in 1963, Human Events boasted
that "These words launched a civil rights revolution
that was embraced by the American people and led to passage
of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Voting Rights Act of
1965, and the Fair Housing Act of 1968. As a result, America
is today a more just nation."
Endorsing King's radical political agenda, Human Events
falsely claimed that Rev. King favored a "color blind"
society and opposed affirmative action. But the historical
record contradicts the right-wingers' claims. In fact, King
explicitly supported the use of anti-white bias to help transfer
social and economic power to blacks, which he called "compensatory
It was King who initiated the first "affirmative action"
programs in cities around the country, although the term was
not then in use. Under King's leadership, the Southern Christian
Leadership Conference gathered data on the employment practices
of corporations in Atlanta, Chicago, and Philadelphia and
lobbied companies there to hire blacks in proportionate numbers
to the communities where they conducted business.
But that's not all. King wanted racial preferences embedded
in law. In a 1965 Playboy interview, King explicitly recommended
special treatment. The interviewer asked, "Do you feel
it's fair to request a multi-billion dollar program of preferential
treatment for the Negro, or any other minority?"
King's response: "I do indeed... Within common law we
have ample precedents for special compensatory programs ...
And you will remember that American adopted a policy of special
treatment for her millions of veterans after the war.... They
could receive special points to place them ahead in competition
for civil service jobs..."
Stephen Oates, in his book Let the Trumpet Sound, notes
that King backed special legal benefits for blacks. "A
society that has done something special against the Negro
for hundreds of years must now do something special for the
Negro," King said.
Some subscribers were shocked to see the paper praise King.
"I can't believe Human Events did that. King had
a lot of Communist connections. They should know better,"
one subscriber told Middle American News.
King had been the object of intense FBI scrutiny because of
his close association with Stanley D. Levinson, a major figure
in the Communist Party and an important link to its controllers
in Moscow, as well as other Communist operatives in the U.S.
As documented by the Council of Conservative Citizens in its
booklet, The King Holiday and Its Meaning," older
conservatives like Sen. Jesse Helms, R-NC, are not as quick
as today's beltway right-wingers to praise King. In debate
on the Senate floor over creating a holiday for the slain
radical, Helms detailed and then summarized King's Communist
"Throughout his career," said Helms, "King
... associated with the most extreme political elements in
the United States. He addressed their organizations, signed
their petitions, and invited them into his own organizational
activities. Extremist elements played a significant role in
promoting and influencing King... King's patterns and associations
and activities ... show that he had no strong objection to
Communism, that he appears to have welcomed collaboration
with Communists, and that he and his principle vehicle, the
Southern Christian Leadership Conference, were subject to
influence and manipulation by Communists."
But to Human Events-style conservatives, radical leftists
like King are heroes, while America's senior citizens are