The adult children of Martin Luther King Jr. struck back at Mitch McConnell after the latter had invoked their father’s name in his victory speech on election night.
The majority leader in the Senate defeated his Democratic opponent Amy McGrath and won a seventh term in office in Kentucky on November 3. In comments following his victory, 78-year-old McConnell recalled how his participation in the late civil rights activist’s “I Have A Dream” speech in August 1963 inspired him to do “great things” for this country.
“When I attended Dr. Martin Luther King’s “March on Washington” speech as an intern in 1963, I dreamed of doing great things to help my state and our country,” McConnell said.
“I never thought that the Kentuckians would make me the longest-serving senator in the history of our state. McConnell has served in the US Senate since 1985.
But my father’s dream was to create the #BelovedCommunity, partly by eradicating #racism, #militarism and #poverty. Certainly not by denying health care to people or by separating brown immigrant children from their parents. #TripleEvils #Big Things #BeLove https://t.co/yyhUsL13Qd
– Be a King (@BerniceKing) November 4, 2020
“Mitch McConnell has had the opportunity for months to bring police reform and electoral legislation to the Senate,” King’s son, Martin Luther King III, told Washington Newsday.
“If he were truly inspired by my father, he would join the fight to eradicate racism through policies aimed at creating peace, justice and equality.
He was referring to a bill passed by the House of Representatives that McConnell has not yet picked up in the Senate and which would restore essential parts of the 1965 Voting Rights Act that was eviscerated by the U.S. Supreme Court in 2013.
McConnell caused an outcry after paying tribute to Congressman John Lewis after his death in the summer, while this legislation is still pending.
Both King and Lewis played a major role in passing the Voting Rights Act, which banned discriminatory voting practices.
King’s daughter, Bernice King, also posted a reprimand on Twitter, noting that McConnell’s actions in office barely matched her father’s vision.
Thank you, Colorado! #ElectionNight https://t.co/XBy9rhCDNe
– Pastor Dr. Chuck Currie (@RevChuckCurrie) November 4, 2020
This man should be forbidden by law to ever speak the name Dr. King. https://t.co/tQ6jkEDby8
– JOY CHOICE & MASK ON! Reid 😉 (@JoyAnnReid) November 4, 2020
“But my father’s dream was to create the #Beloved Community, partly by eradicating #racism, #militarism and #poverty,” she wrote, “certainly not by denying health care to people or by separating brown immigrant children from their parents.
Others also criticized McConnell for mentioning the King’s name in his victory speech.
“This man should be forbidden by law to ever speak the name of Dr. King,” twittered Joy Reid of MSNBC.
“Mitch McConnell heard the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. speak and dreamed of undermining the Voting Rights Act and suppressing the vote,” added Reverend Dr. Chuck Currie. “Easy, he’s the worst.”
McConnell’s office was contacted for a comment….