Monday marked the annual commemoration of Martin Luther King Jr Day (MLK Day) in the United States and it saw the usual pouring in of tributes as well as paying of homage to the iconic civil rights activist from prominent personalities and people across the world.
Though MLK is remembered for his charisma and indelible mark and contributions during the civil rights movement, many politicians and institutions used his image to project their agendas at the displeasure of his youngest child and daughter, Bernice King.
It started with the controversial National Rifle Association (NRA) which tweeted that Dr King “applied for a concealed carry permit in a “may issue” state and was denied. We will never stop fighting for every law-abiding citizen’s right to
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Bernice King was quick to clarify the history by stating: “This is not the full story, @NRA. My father evolved beyond this moment. Your tweet is a regrettable, very unfortunate one, especially on today. I invite you to study him and his nonviolent philosophy.”
President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence also implied on the day that their fight for a wall at the Mexico border was in line with what MLK fought for. This received some backlash.
“No, @VP Pence and @realDonaldTrump, #MLK would have never supported your wall. If he were alive today, MLK would probably be leading a #TSAStrike to end your shutdown,” tweeted the Somali American Minnesota Congresswoman Ilhan Omar.
In a series of Tweets, Bernice King suggested other ways her father, who lived an exemplary life, could be “authentically honored”.
Read them below:
- “He was a global, comprehensive thinker who believed that all of humanity is interconnected.”
- “He was not anti-political. He believed that laws should reflect a quest for justice and peace. And he worked and protested for legislative change.”
- “King was not a “why can’t we all just get along?” King. He understood that truth and reconciliation are joined, as are peace and justice.”
- “King was hopeful, but his hope was not naïveté. That’s not what hope is. He studied the human condition and believed that, with nonviolence, we could build a more peaceful, just, humane world.”
- “He wrote and spoke about racism, white supremacy, and colonialism. His “not be judged for the color of their skin” quote should not be used to chastise people and label them as “race baiters” when they are conveying racism as a very real, persistent evil.”
- “Honor King with truth about the state of our nation and world. Be wise, aware and a witness for the violated and voiceless.”
- “Honor King by studying his philosophy, not just his quotes. He cultivated a way of thinking purposed to recognize the spark of divinity in every individual. Beyond borders and without walls.”
- “Honor King by engaging in courageous, compassionate action to serve needs AND transform systems. My father referred to this as “transforming Jericho Road,” not only “flinging a coin at a beggar.”
- “Drive out hate with love, which is a force for peace and justice.”
- “Do justice. You negate your desire for peace if you’re not working for justice. “True peace is not merely the absence of tension; it is the presence of justice.”
- “Seek the common good for our World House.”