Pence Insults American Hero

Gage Skidmore from Surprise, AZ, United States of America, CC BY-SA 2.0 , via Wikimedia Commons

During a discussion on affirmative action, prompted by the Supreme Court’s recent ruling, former Vice President Mike Pence misquoted a portion of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s renowned “I Have a Dream” speech.

On Thursday (June 29), the Court ruled against considering race as a factor in college admissions for private and public universities. The decision was based on two cases involving Harvard University and the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill, which were brought to the Court by the conservative nonprofit group, Students for Fair Admissions (SFFA).

In an opinion published Thursday, Chief Justice John Roberts of the Supreme Court stated that the policies of the universities are in violation of the Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment.

The controversial decision came up in an interview Jonathan Karl, host of ABC News’s “This Week” had with Pence when he confronted the former Vice President and GOP Presidential candidate about the decision.

Karl queried whether it would be a “problem for America” if the most-selective colleges and universities in America “have fewer Black and Hispanic students.”

Pence replied that his belief that the Supreme Court’s decision “was an acknowledgement of the incredible progress that minority Americans have made” in education and would “continue to compete and succeed in universities around the country,” emphasizing that this success would be a “colorblind society” that is every Americans aspiration.

Karl repeated the question, pressing Pence to respond that the “achievements of African Americans” and Hispanic Americans would ensure they “compete and succeed.”

Pence, who served as the admissions counselor at his Alma Mater, Hanover College, made a mistake by misquoting Dr. King Jr.’s speech while commenting on the Supreme Court’s decision.

He claimed students would achieve success with “Martin Luther King Jr.’s vision in place,” misquoting, “that 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.”

Instead, MLK Jr.’s famous quote describes his dream for his kids to “live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character.”