Mike Pence Insults Martin Luther King Jr.?

Michael Vadon, CC BY-SA 4.0 , via Wikimedia Commons

When asked about affirmative action following the Supreme Court’s recent ruling, former Vice President Mike Pence misquoted a part of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s famous speech “I Have a Dream” from 1963.

Last week, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that affirmative action in college applications was unconstitutional in a 6-3 decision. According to the court ruling both private and public universities should not use race as one of the factors they consider during the college admissions process. The decision comes following two cases related to Harvard University and the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill, which were filed by the conservative nonprofit organization, Students for Fair Admissions (SFFA).

On Thursday, Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts wrote in the issued opinion that affirmative action violated the 14th Amendment’s Equal Protection Clause.

On Sunday, when Jonathan Karl, host of ABC News’ This Week, asked 2024 presidential candidate Pence about the ruling, by questioning whether it would be a problem for the entire country if the most selective higher education institutions had fewer Black and Hispanic students.

Pence answered by expressing support for the decision of the Supreme Court, arguing that this was an acknowledgment of the progress that “minority Americans have made.” He added that he had full confidence that minorities are going to continue to succeed in universities across the country.

He then proceeded to misquote Dr. King Jr. ‘s speech by saying that he was hoping that a society “we’ll be judged not by the content—or judged by—not by the color of our skin, but by the content of our character and by our own academic performance.” However, King Jr.’s quote originally notes: “I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character.”