WASHINGTON -- A week after the House punished Rep. Steve King for published comments about white supremacy, the Iowa 4th District Republican took to Twitter to pay tribute to slain civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr. on the day commemorating his birth.
"Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. gave his all for all. I have long agreed with his speeches and writings," King tweeted Monday. "Today I think of this MLK quote, “Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.” May we renew ourselves in his teachings so that he can RIP."
Problem is, Martin Luther King, Jr. never actually said that, according to Snopes.com.
The website notes the erroneous quote is "abundantly" cited on the federal holiday honoring King. While the exact quote is "nowhere to be found in King’s speeches or writings, it does seem to be a paraphrase of a more complex thought he uttered during a sermon in Selma, Alabama, on 8 March 1965, the day after “Bloody Sunday,” on which civil rights protesters were attacked and beaten by police on the Edmund Pettus Bridge," according to Snopes.
In that sermon, King said, "A man dies when he refuses to stand up for that which is right. A man dies when he refuses to stand up for justice. A man dies when he refuses to take a stand for that which is true."
House GOP leaders on Jan. 14 stripped Steve King of all his committee assignments after he was quoted in a New York Times story saying, "White nationalist, white supremacist, Western civilization — how did that language become offensive?"
In a rare move, the full House the next day overwhelmingly approved a resolution of disapproval designed to rebuke King. The resolution, which King supported, called for the chamber to reject white nationalism and white supremacy as “hateful expressions of intolerance that are contradictory to the values that define the people of the United States.”
King has insisted the Times quote has been "completely mischaracterized." The outspoken conservative congressman said he was only wondering aloud: "How did that offensive language get injected into our political dialogue? Who does that, how does it get done, how do they get by with laying labels like this on people?"