Once a year, we as a nation remember the sacrifice Dr. King made in an effort to ensure equality for all. His brave battle for civil rights was possibly one of the most important pieces of American history–and because of that, the White Wing attempts repeatedly to co-opt the legacy of a man who would have opposed everything for which the Tea-Oh-P stands.
Undoubtedly, FOX News will grace us with numerous iterations of Martin Luther King’s “Republican-ness,” and right wing politicians who repeatedly attempt to undo much (if not all) of Dr. King’s work will (as they do every year) be singing his praises and attempting in vain to connect this great man’s accomplishments to whichever agenda is convenient for them. )
Thanks to the folks at DeadState, we were reminded that some people will not stand for the right wing’s attempts to pretend that they were not exactly the sort of people who would attend one of Dr. King’s actions — and ask for a fire hose.
At the January 16, 2012 Martin Luther King Jr. Gateway Technical College Humanitarian Award ceremony, Paul Ryan attempted to grab a slice of that “Let’s make it look like I would not have had the man thrown in prison” pie, but a brave teacher stood up to him–refusing to accept an award with which Ryan attempted to present him.
Ryan was on hand to present congressional recognitions to the three recipients of the humanitarian award, but high school social studies teacher Al Levie declined to accept the certificate when the congressman attempted to hand it to him. As Levie steps away from Ryan, he states that “I can’t in good conscience accept this award, as a humanitarian, Paul Ryan stands for everything I don’t believe in.”
After the event, Levie explained why he refused to accept:
[box type=”shadow”]“I would not accept the award from Paul Ryan because Paul Ryan is a lackey for the 1 percent. Paul Ryan had no business at a Martin Luther King event — it’s totally hypocritical. On the one hand, he votes to slash health care, while on the other hand, King dedicated his life and he died for it, for people to have adequate healthcare, to have adequate jobs.”[/box]
“King made it very clear that he was on the side of working people,” he added. “Ryan on the other hand, he has absolutely no affinity for the working class and for him to come to an event where somebody of King’s stature was honored is wrong.”
Watch the full video below:
Levie is on the state executive board of Voces de la Frontera, an advocacy group for immigrant and low wage worker rights and part of his local NAACP.