Funny story about this picture. If I’m not mistaken, this rally took place in June of 1963. One week earlier, Martin Luther King was holding a rally in Detroit and George Romney was invited to participate. Romney infamously refused to participate in the Dr. King rally. When he was called out for it, he claimed it was because the rally was taking place on a Sunday and that his religious beliefs said he couldn’t participate in politics on the Sabbath. One week later, George Romney staged this photo op in a rally that he organized himself in response to the criticism for him refusing to march in King’s rally.
That immediately begs some side eye, but you can’t call the man out for his religious beliefs, right? Wrong. First of all, it goes to show Romney’s general attitude toward blacks at the time that he considered a rally in favor of human rights was nothing more than “politics,” a job that he could opt out of. If Romney considered his support for the civil rights movement to be political rather than humanitarian, then I can safely say I don’t give a fuck if he marched or not.
More importantly, it turns out that the vow to never work on Sundays that George Romney cited as his reason for refusing to march with Dr. King was actually non-existent. George Romney actually participated in politics quite a bit on Sundays. When campaigning against Barry Goldwater, George Romney held a number of political events on the Sabbath.
George Romney’s portrayal as a supporter of the civil rights movement has been, to say the least, greatly exaggerated.
Might I add that even if George Romney was walking in favour of human rights, it has nothing to do with Mitt Romney’s current policies.