Martin Luther King Jr. Strip Club Ad Shows Ugly Side of Free Speech (PHOTO)

MLKSometimes there are news stories that make you glad you weren't taking a swig of your favorite caffeinated beverage when you began reading them. Take that as your warning to put down your coffee folks. Because the graphic designer stuck apologizing today because he used a photo of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. to advertise a party at a strip club is a prime example of "you can't fix stupid."

As a woman who has always made her living as a reporter, I hate to admit it, but this is the one sticking point I have with our right to free speech in America. People abuse the heck out of it.


We are allowed to say just about anything we want with very few restrictions. So a guy can decide the best way to celebrate a federal holiday is to throw an I Have a Dream Bash complete with naked ladies and lap dances. And so you end up with this:

MLK strip club ad

Gross, right? This is a man who changed America for the better. We don't need to see him holding up a wad of cash and advertising booze.

What we tend to forget is that just because we CAN say what we want doesn't mean we should. The event at The Office in Miami would have been legal -- if it hadn't been canceled due to outrage. But that doesn't mean that it would have been in good taste.

There are just some things that will never go together. Democrats and Republicans. Oil and vinegar. A 6-year-old eating ice cream and a clean white shirt. The face of the civil rights movement in America and a place where little girls' dreams go to die.

That's where common sense comes into play. If you want to say something -- be it on a flyer for a strip club or by opening your mouth and spewing forth some political diatribe -- you need to think first, then practice your constitutional right.

And with that in mind, there is some good news in all of this. Our right to free speech may have allowed this guy to slap Dr. King in an ill-advised place. But it's that same right that allowed people in Miami to get angry and call for respect for the late leader. Fortunately, that restores my faith in our system. 

What do you think of relating MLK with a strip club?


Top Image via runneralan2004/Flickr

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