Bernice King, the CEO of the Martin Luther King Jr. Center for Nonviolent Social Change and the daughter of Martin Luther King Jr., this week blasted Arizona gubernatorial candidate Kari Lake (R) after she said that the former civil rights leader would have been an “American First” Republican.
“What you share here is false and dismissive of Daddy’s seminal work and beliefs,” King tweeted in response to a video of Lake’s remarks about her father.
Lake, an outspoken supporter of former President Trump, said at an event promoting her candidacy that Martin Luther King Jr., John F. Kennedy and the country’s Founding Fathers would all sign on to the America First agenda championed by the ex-president.
“I’m a true believer that if MLK, Reverend Martin Luther King Jr., were alive today, if JFK were alive today, if our Founding Fathers were alive today, they would be America First Republicans,” said Lake.
King elaborated on her dispute of Lake’s claim by listing issues on which her father would disagree with the current Republican Party, including “ending/preventing voter suppression” and “treating all, including immigrants, with dignity.”
She included a link to the King Center for Nonviolent Social Change’s website as a resource for Lake to learn about the late reverend.
King also referred readers to three books written by her father: “Why We Can’t Wait,” “‘In a Single Garment of Destiny:’ A Global Vision of Justice” and “Where Do We Go from Here: Chaos or Community?”
Author Keith Boykin, who published the video to which King responded, said that Lake was “claiming that MLK would support the party trying to kill the Voting Rights Act he fought to enact.”
Martin Luther King Jr. was a vocal supporter of the Voting Rights Act signed into law in 1965 by President Lyndon Johnson.
Democrats, including President Biden, have introduced more expansive voting laws in recent years in response to moves they say continue to cause Black voters to lack voting access.
The John R. Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act, which would make it more difficult for states to restrict voting, passed the House last year. The Freedom to Vote Act, introduced last year, would guarantee voting rights to convicted criminals unless those criminals are serving a felony sentence.
Lake has faced criticism from Democrats over her record on voting rights as well as her view that mass election fraud occurred in 2020 to influence Biden’s presidential victory.