The son of Martin Luther King Jr. criticized Vice President Mike Pence for twisting his father’s words in an attempt to sell the U.S.-Mexico border wall.
On Sunday, Pence quoted King during an appearance on CBS’ “Face The Nation” as he praised President Donald Trump for his latest attempt at ending the ongoing partial government shutdown.
“One of my favorite quotes from Dr. King was, ‘Now is the time to make the real promises of democracy.’ You think of how he changed America,” Pence told host Margaret Brennan. “He inspired us to change through legislative process to become a more perfect union. That’s exactly what President Trump is calling on the Congress to do: Come to the table in a spirit of good faith. We’ll secure our border, we’ll reopen our government.”
King’s son denounced the vice president’s comparison as he spoke at a National Action Network MLK Breakfast Monday. CNN reports that Rev. Al Sharpton had mentioned Pence’s comments before introducing the younger King.
“Whenever I get to this period, it always is reflective. This year is probably more reflective than ever because I wonder what my father would be thinking and ask[ing], especially since we have an administration, administrators ― and Rev. said the vice president, I forget exactly what you said Rev. ― but the vice president attempted to compare the president to Martin Luther King Jr.,” he said.
“Now, Martin Luther King Jr. was a bridge builder, not a wall builder. Martin Luther King Jr. would say love, not hate, will make America great.”
During a visit to East and West Berlin in 1964, the slain civil rights leader made it clear that was not a proponent of using walls to divide people.
“It is indeed an honor to be in this city, which stands as a symbol of the divisions of men on the face of the earth,” King Jr. said in a speech to more than 20,000 people. “For here on either side of the wall are God’s children, and no man-made barrier can obliterate that fact.”