One of the highest ranked Web sites on Dr. Martin Luther King is one run by a White-supremacist group whose goal is to convince youths that the slain civil rights leader was much less than a hero, scholar and peacemaker.
On “martinlutherking.org” there are downloadable fliers “to pass out at your school.” One of those “educational” fliers asks: “Which holiday honors a philanderer, a drunk, a liar, a plagiarist, and a cheater?” The answer: “Martin Luther King, Jr. Day.”
The operators of the site are members of a group called Stormfront, which the Southern Poverty Law Center describes as the largest “hate group” online. Stormfront has been co-opting King’s name for its Web address for the past decade, and it is the third most popular site that pops up when Martin Luther King is Googled, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports.
Mark Potok, of the hate-crime-fighting law center, told the Journal-Constitution that Stormfront has about 154,000 members, an 82,000-member increase from two years ago.
Don Black, the leader of Stormfront, has said that wants his Web site to reach high school students “who are forced to parrot the liberal party line about King being a great leader.” He said, too, that “The United States was traditionally a White nation, and we have the right to preserve it. If that makes me a racist, I am.” But Black’s steady stream of hate-talk, no matter how distasteful, isn’t necessarily illegal.
The civil rights leader’s nephew, Isaac Newton Farris Jr., who heads the nonprofit King Center in Atlanta, said he has decided against challenging Stormfront in court.
“You can’t stop people from having opinions,” he said. “If people think my uncle was adulterous and didn’t have a Ph.D., we can’t do anything about that. The only thing we can do is stop them from using his name.”
Pete Wellborn, an Atlanta lawyer who specializes in Internet law, told the Journal-Constitution, “As vile, reprehensible, ignorant and horrible as that Web site is, one could argue that it’s political comment.” The Kings could succeed in a suit, he said, if they could prove that Stormfront is making money off King’s name.