Conservatives have hijacked civil rights and taken us back decades in racial tolerance, says Ian Haney-Lopez, a law professor at the University of California at Berkeley.
"A wonderful way we can talk about this is [former Alaska Gov. and vice-presidential candidate] Sarah Palin and what she tweeted on Martin Luther King Day," Haney-Lopez told "The Steve Malzberg Show" on Newsmax TV.
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"She tweeted both Martin Luther King statements that we should appreciate each other for the content of our character rather than the color of our skin and also a blast criticizing President Barack Obama for race baiting.
Haney Lopez, author of "Dog Whistle Politics: How Coded Racial Appeals Have Reinvented Racism and Wrecked the Middle Class,"
"Let's start with this idea that we should look to each other's character rather than skin color.
"That's the colorblind ideal in the sort of Dr. King version, and what it said is that don't see people primarily in terms of race, see people as humans. Realize our human connection."
"But what conservatives have done with it is they've flipped it around and they said, 'you should never see race at all. You should never acknowledge race at all. Don't talk about race.
"And that's not what King was saying."
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