Martin Luther King’s daughter hits back at Kari Lake for saying he would have been a Maga Republican

‘What you share here is false and dismissive of daddy’s seminal work and beliefs’

Alisha Rahaman Sarkar
Thursday 20 October 2022 13:49 BST
Republican candidate Kari Lake accuses Democrats of election denial

Bernice King, the daughter of Martin Luther King Jr, hit back at Kari Lake for suggesting that had the rights activist been alive today, he would have been a Maga Republican.

Ms Lake, the Republican governor hopeful for Arizona, said at a campaign event on Wednesday that Martin Luther King Jr would have been a so-called “America First Republican”, or a Maga acolyte, were he alive today.

After Ms Lake's bizarre comments drew people's ire on social media, Martin Luther King Jr's daughter tore into her for being dismissive of her father's "seminal work and beliefs", such as ending voter suppression and treating people, including immigrants, with dignity.

Ms King invited the Republican candidate to study more about her father using the King Centre Institute’s website.

"I also recommend you read these books by my father immediately if you are going to express what you believe he would think/support," she wrote on Twitter.

Ms Lake, a close ally of former president Donald Trump and one of the most prominent election deniers, said: “If MLK, Rev Martin Luther King Jr were alive today, if [former President John F Kennedy] were alive today, if our Founding Fathers were alive today, they’d be America First Republicans.”

She made the claim during a campaign event alongside Tulsi Gabbard, a former Democratic congresswoman who has made a name for herself since leaving Congress last week by embracing the “Maga” mantle.

Ms Gabbard said she became a Democrat, inspired by the party of Dr Martin Luther King and JFK, which she said was “by and for the people”. She added that the party no longer exists today.

“It’s a very different party,” she said, which was then followed by Ms Lake’s statement.

“Her intended audience, I am sure, eats this up. The rest of us are Just waiting for the inevitable debunking by MLK’s surviving family members,” wrote Matthew Zimmerman on Twitter.

Journalist Roland Martin pointed out that in reality, Martin Luther King Jr campaigned against Republican Arizona senator Barry Goldwater.

“You are truly an idiot,” he added.

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