- The Washington Times - Friday, January 26, 2018

A white Democrat running for Georgia governor has been accused of misappropriating Martin Luther King Jr.’s image after her campaign posted an ad attempting to tie her to the slain civil rights leader.

The ad by Stacey Evans’ campaign featured the gubernatorial candidate attending an annual service for King at the Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta. It showed Ms. Evans socializing with congregants and ended with an image of her clapping in slow-motion as it faded into a portrait of King.

The church said in a statement Thursday that the Evans campaign shot the video without the church’s consent.

“Our church leadership and administration does not condone such use of the church’s iconography or worship space,” the church said. “Any official videography and photography should be approved by the church office in advance.”

The Evans campaign said it removed the video last week shortly after church officials called, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported.

Referring to the juxtaposition of Ms. Evans’ and King’s images, several black publications accused the candidate of doing blackface. “White Candidate for Georgia Governor Basically Does MLK Blackface,” read The Root’s headline. The Grio’s headline blared, “Georgia gubernatorial candidate invents new way to do blackface.”

Ms. Evans is running in the Democratic primary against Stacey Abrams, who is black. The Evans campaign said the criticism is an effort by Ms. Abrams to “distort” the meaning of the video, The Journal-Constitution reported.

“No matter how much others may seek division for political gain, we will remain focused on bringing Georgians together to win this election and accomplish those goals,” the Evans campaign said in a statement.

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