Much has been written in recent days about Martin Luther King, Jr.'s niece, Dr. Alveda King, because of her hooking up with Glenn Beck and being one of the speakers appearing at his 8/28 rally at the Lincoln Memorial. Most of the coverage of Alveda King has focused on her activities and remarks as an anti-abortion activist, such as her claim that abortion makes African-American children an endangered species, but there's another aspect of King's activism that has been overlooked -- her complicity in the Christian nationalist effort to rewrite American history.
I first came across the name Alveda King about three and a half years ago while writing a series on Talk2Action about the American history revisionism that's making its way into our public schools via the National Council On Bible Curriculum in Public Schools (NCBCPS). The NCBCPS curriculum, already being used in over five hundred school districts in thirty-eight states, contains a far more distorted version of American history than even the worst of what was proposed during the Texas textbook massacre. And who's on the NCBCPS advisory board? Dr. Alveda King -- right along with Glenn Beck's favorite pseudo-historian David Barton, whose historical lies and misquotes appear throughout the NCBCPS curriculum.
While Alveda King's complicity in Glenn Beck's agenda to distort history has primarily been confined to the distortion of the history of the civil rights movement, it is clear that she has also bought into David Barton's revisionism of early American history hook, line, and sinker.
Appearing on Beck's show on Thursday, King not only played along with the downplaying of our country's white founding fathers owning slaves, (because, of course, there were also some black founders who owned slaves too), but claimed that it was our founders who put "In God We Trust" on our money. According to King, "They [the founders] had enough sense to put on the back of that money 'In God We Trust.' You can't eat a piece of bread in America without remembering that you have to trust God to get it."
Alveda King obviously needs a little history lesson -- from somebody other than David Barton.
The national motto chosen by our founders was "E Pluribus Unum." The changing of our national motto to "In God We Trust" and the required placing of this motto on all of our money didn't happen until the 1950s. Like adding "under God" to the Pledge of Allegiance, putting "In God We Trust" on our money was the direct result of the "red scare" fears of "godless" communists infiltrating our society and government -- the same fears being revived by Glenn Beck.
The irony here? It was this fear of communists, and the claims of their ties to the civil rights movement, that led the F.B.I. to start wiretapping Martin Luther King, Jr.'s phone in the months following his "I have a dream" speech. Maybe Alveda King needs to do a little reading up on that.