Bernice King—the daughter of the late civil rights activist Martin Luther King Jr.—called out far-right radio show host Ben Shapiro after he complained every year on the federal holiday that bears King's name, the left-wing releases "a bevy of thinkpieces on how the only way to achieve MLK's dream is to embrace group redistributionism and racial discrimination."
Shapiro added while King "may have made such arguments in 1968," the year he was assassinated, "that simply isn't the dream or the pathway we celebrate him for."
You can see Shapiro's tweet below.
Shapiro's tweet quickly caught the attention of attorney Bernice King, the youngest daughter of the late King and his wife, fellow civil rights activist Coretta Scott King.
Bernice King directed Shapiro to listen to a speech she gave commemorating Martin Luther King Jr. Day, which celebrates her father's accomplishments as the chief spokesperson for nonviolent activism in the Civil Rights Movement, which protested racial discrimination in federal, state and local law.
The speech, titled "The Inconvenient King," elaborates on King's legacy and political positions, which were unfailingly opposed to poverty, fervently anticapitalist, and prompted his critics to accuse him of supporting communism, which led King to espouse his support for social democracy and democratic socialism in private.
Bernice King said Shapiro should actually "study [her] father," calling his tweet "part lies [and] part propaganda."
"What I don't understand is why you tweeted about Daddy at all."
You can see Bernice King's tweet below.
Many applauded Bernice King for speaking out and joined her in criticizing Shapiro.
King participated in and led marches for the right to vote, desegregation, labor rights and other civil rights.
His actions—particularly as the first president of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC)—achieved pivotal legislative gains in the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Voting Rights Act of 1965 and the Fair Housing Act of 1968.
Martin Luther King Jr. Day was established as a holiday in cities and states throughout the United States beginning in 1971; the federal holiday was first observed in 1986 through legislation signed by Republican President Ronald Reagan.
Many Republicans today claim to celebrate King's legacy despite supporting efforts to block voting rights and prevent children from learning about the history of racism and White supremacy in the United States.
Earlier, Texas Republican Governor Greg Abbott was criticized for commemorating King's legacy despite backing his party's passage of a bill that allows public schools to exclude the Civil Rights movement, women’s suffrage and the history of Indigenous peoples in history courses.