Bernice King Scorched Steve Bannon's MLK & Trump Comment
Well, there's a response for you. In a series of tweets on Wednesday, the daughter of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. hit back at a longtime associate of President Donald Trump, and she didn't mince words. Specifically, Bernice King scorched Steve Bannon's MLK and Trump comments, forcefully rebuking his claim that her father would've supported the current president of the United States for his economic policies.
King, 55, is the youngest daughter of the late civil rights icon, born in 1963, five years prior to his assassination. In a series of tweets, she took on Bannon ― formerly the head of the far-right website Breitbart and a strategist for Trump's campaign and administration ― who earlier this week claimed her father would've approved of what Trump's been doing.
"If you look at the policies of Donald Trump, anybody — Martin Luther King — would be proud of him, of what he's done for the black and Hispanic community for jobs," Bannon told the BBC. When he was questioned on this point by interviewer Emily Maitlis, he didn't back down.
"You don't think Martin Luther King would sit there and go: yes, you're putting young black men and women to work?" Bannon told the BBC. "The lowest unemployment we've had in history, and wages are starting to rise among the working class, and you finally stop the illegal alien labor force that's coming in and competing with them every day, and destroying the schools and destroying the health care? Absolutely."
In a thread of seven tweets, King hit back against Bannon's remarks, insisting that her father would not have supported Trump's presidency, for some very specific reasons.
"My father’s concerns were not sectional, but global," she wrote. "He was an activist for the civil rights of Black people in America, but he was also an activist for human rights. Further, he would not refer to people as 'illegal aliens.' The term is degrading and does not reflect his belief that we are all a part of the human family."
King also criticized Bannon's own history, maintaining that her father would never "pit one group against another" as Bannon has often sought to do.
"In addition, he would never pit one group against another in the struggle for justice, as Bannon attempts to use him to do in discussing those he termed as 'illegal aliens' and Black people," she tweeted.
"My father would be extremely disturbed by the climate created by leaders, who have emboldened people to easily express and demonstrate cruelty, predominantly toward people of color and immigrants," King continued. She then ended the thread by countering Bannon's claim that a low unemployment rate would make her father admire Trump.
#MLK would be proud of a livable wage for all and not merely a low unemployment rate," she concluded.
Bannon has long been considered a highly controversial and inflammatory figure, especially on matters of race. During his tenure at Breitbart, the site had a news tag dedicated exclusively to "black crime," and is regarded by many media observers as one of the more visible platforms for the so-called "alt right," which encompasses many white nationalists and white supremacists. Breitbart, for its part, denies that it's an alt-right platform.
Bannon stepped down as Breitbart's executive chairman in early 2018, a job he returned to last year after departing from the Trump administration. Since then, he's nonetheless had frequent praise for the president and his agenda. But when it came to the legacy of one of America's foremost civil rights heroes ― and to the withering response offered up by Bernice King ― it seems like he bit off a bit more than he could chew.