These People Failed Martin Luther King Jr. Day | The Daily Show

Today is Martin Luther King Day, a day when America
celebrates the legacy of one of its greatest
civil rights leaders and a day where black people
get to cut in line at Chipotle. At least, that’s my excuse. But what is
Martin Luther King Day, and how should people
celebrate it? Well, for more on this,
we turn to a man who has had many dreams
that no one wants to hear about. Roy Wood Jr., everybody. (cheering and applause) -Hey. -Welcome, Roy.
Welcome. Good to have you. Good to see you.
Good to see you, Mandela. Look, MLK Day is a special day
for America, and it’s a special day for me
as someone who has been mistaken for Martin Luther King Jr.
many times. (laughter) (cheering and applause) But… But as we get further
and further away from his life, it’s easy to forget
what he was really about, which means sometimes,
people celebrate him in a really (bleep)-up way. So today, I’d like to show y’all some of my favorite
MLK (bleep)-ups, like this one. NEWSWOMAN: The holiday didn’t go
as planned for some today. A business
in Duluth, Minnesota, created controversy
when promoting a sale in honor
of the civil rights leader. The sign posted
at the shop read, “MLK Day sale. 25% off everything black.” But the owner says
it was just misinterpreted. 25% off everything black.
He was black. He was proud. He looked good.
We were celebrating that. (laughter) Are you serious? For MLK Day, 25% off for black clothes? What it should be is 100% off
for black people. Free at last, free at last, pants, tops and coats
are free at last. (laughter and applause) Yeah, Roy, you know,
and what-what makes it worse is that if you read
Dr. King’s speeches, you’ll see that he, like,
he was opposed to consumerism
and wasteful capitalism. That’s right! Celebrating MLK Day with a sale is like commemorating Samuel L. Jackson Day
by whispering. That’s not what
the man stands for. It’s not like in the middle
of his “Mountaintop” speech, Dr. King just broke off going, “Remember me with savings
too insane to be believed. “I might not get to that store
with you, “but mine eyes have seen
the power of the discount! Come on, Coretta, let’s roll.” You know, it-it actually…
it actually is unfortunate, because it seems like
some white people are out of touch
with Dr. King’s legacy. Oh, it’s not just a white thing. In fact, Dr. King
might actually be proud that on his special day, people of all colors
and backgrounds have been (bleep) up. As we pause to honor Dr. King
this year, a flyer for a local event
that bears his image is causing quite a stir. But as NBC25’s Walter Smith
tells us right now, the party is now canceled. The party promoters
nowhere to be found. This poster has a lot of people
shaking their heads in disgust. It shows
Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. wearing a gold chain,
promoting a party called Freedom to Twerk. It was supposed to take place
at this club, but it’s been canceled. The owner says he’s disgusted, and there’ll be
no twerking here. (laughter) “There will be
no twerking here”? Sound like Gandalf
in a Tyler Perry movie. “There will be
no twerking here!” And then, you know, the strippers fly
all over the place. And also, how are you gonna
photoshop Dr. King with gold chains
to try and make him look cool? He was already cool. Look at the…
look at these real pictures of Dr. King
from back in the day. Look at him playing pool
in a suit. (cheering and applause) In a suit, right,
fresh from a march. That shot’s so cool,
it doesn’t matter if he misses. And here he is
making the library look cool. Standing in front of books
like they’re stacks of money. But this-this is my favorite
Martin Luther King: wearing sunglasses inside. Trevor, he could have taken
that call in private, but he left the door open
for the haters. (laughter) But maybe…
maybe the most popular activity on MLK Day is using his legacy
to push your own agenda, and no one has done it
in a more interesting fashion than this guy. I believe
that Gun Appreciation Day honors the legacy of Dr. King. And the truth is
I think Martin Luther King would agree with me
if he were alive today that if African Americans
had been given the right to keep and bear arms from day one
of the country’s founding, then perhaps slavery
might not have been a chapter in our history. (groaning and laughter) Okay, okay. Hold on. I’m pretty sure on Dr. King’s
list of priorities, giving slaves guns
comes way below not having slaves
in the first place. -The logic…
-(cheering and applause) The logic makes no sense. This makes no sense.
How would you do that? Like, dude,
do you think the slave owners would have just had
a little chitchat? “Well, should we set them free?” “Oh, no, don’t set them free. Let’s make it interesting.
Give them shotguns.” Now, I will say this. If slaves did have guns, the movie Roots would have
only been 15 minutes long. “Your name is Tob… “Oh, whatever you want us
to call you. “That’s cool. What is it, Kunta? -Okay, we’ll call you Kunta.”
-Okay, so, Roy, we’ve seen people mess it up,
you know, with sales or, you know,
with their own agendas, but what is the proper way
to celebrate Dr. King’s legacy? Listen, man, it’s simple. MLK was for racial equality,
economic justice and stood against
the exploitation of the poor. And he did so
because he knew that one day, our great nation
would rise above bigotry, injustice and poverty, and, on that day, my friends, there will be twerking
for everyone, everywhere. Roy Wood Jr., everybody.

Stephen Childs

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