Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee (R) says that civil-rights icon Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. would be “appalled” by the message of the “Black Lives Matter” movement.
In an interview on CNN Tuesday, the Republican presidential hopeful told host Wolf Blitzer that while he respected the protesters’ “great passions,” they employed rhetoric that was “magnifying the problems.”
“When I hear people scream, ‘black lives matter,’ I’m thinking, ‘Of course they do.’ But all lives matter. It’s not that any life matters more than another,” Huckabee said, according to video posted by Mediaite. “That’s the whole message that Dr. King tried to present, and I think he’d be appalled by the notion that we’re elevating some lives above others.”
After noting that he’d received death threats for integrating a formerly all-white church where he was a pastor, the former governor said that race isn’t really an issue.
“It’s more of a sin problem than a skin problem,” Huckabee said.
Though activists repeatedly stress that the “Black Lives Matter” slogan refers to the disproportionate levels of violence that black Americans suffer at the hands of law enforcement, Republicans have taken issue with the message.
Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush (R) said last month that former Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley (D) should not have apologised for saying that “all lives matter.”
“No, for crying out loud, no. We’re so uptight and so politically correct now that we apologise for saying lives matter?” Bush said last month.
“Should he have apologised? No. If he believes that white lives matter, which I hope he does, then he shouldn’t apologise to a group that seems to disagree with it.”
Activists from the group also confronted Bush during an event last week, prompting a quick exit.
At a rally several weeks ago, meanwhile, retired neurosurgeon and fellow Republican candidate Ben Carson also brushed off the protests.
“Of course all lives matter. I don’t want to get into it, it’s so silly,” Carson said. “Black lives are part of all lives, right?”
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