On Wednesday, C-SPAN attempted to honor the legacy of Martin Luther King with a viewer discussion about his life and legacy. Unfortunately, the network’s decision to take viewer phone calls backfired as anchor Pedro Echevarria was swiftly inundated with racist trolls.
“The blacks burned the town down after he was killed,” said Patrick from Trenton, New Jersey. “When you raise one group up — the blacks’ so-called civil rights — you’re taking privileges away from another group.”
“Today’s real meaning of this day — you have to look at it. It’s James Earl Ray, the lone-wolf assassin. He had a dream and James Earl Ray’s dream came true.”
Ray assassinated King in Memphis 50 years ago today.
In the style of all C-SPAN hosts, Echevarria showed no emotion and stoically ended the call after the caller exceeded the sum of acceptable insanity.
“And I will tell you, here in Magnolia, the black people are more prejudiced against whites than we are against them,” said Anita from Arkansas before that call was ended as well.
Robert from Florence, Kentucky wanted to talk about King’s history of plagiarism and some personal matters concerning the civil rights icon.
“He was beating up on prostitutes which he routinely saw. This was known,” he said before his call was also terminated.
This isn’t the first time trolls harassed C-SPAN on-air. Radio host Howard Stern has routinely directed his listeners to prank the channel’s call-in shows to discourse about his penis. The channel — it seems — remains stubbornly committed to the practice.