Today, on the 50th anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King’s assassination, Fox News trotted out his right-wing niece, Alveda King, to suggest that if he were alive today, King would be praying together with Donald Trump.
When it comes to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Fox & Friends can reliably count on Alveda King to sugar-coat for conservatives her uncle's civil rights activism. On today's anniversary of his death, Alveda King added the suggestion that Dr. King and Trump saw eye-to-eye on key issues.
Cohost Ainsley Earhardt began the segment: “50 years after his assassination, the message of Martin Luther King Jr. lives on.” After playing video from MLK’s speech, on the day before he was assassinated, she introduced MLK’s right-wing niece, Fox contributor, and Trump supporter, “Dr.” Alveda King. (Unlike her uncle, who received a doctorate in Systemic Theology from Boston University, Alveda’s “Dr.” degree is honorary.)
Earhardt asked King to speak about today’s White House proclamation commemorating the life of MLK. Not surprisingly, King extracted the section which coincided nicely with the Trump/GOP hatred of government: “It is not government that will achieve Dr. King’s ideals, but rather the people of this great country who will see to it that our nation represents all that is good and true, and embodies unity, peace, and justice.” She noted that the rest of the proclamation was about how Abraham Lincoln wanted us all to get along.
Earhardt provided the requisite Fox validation: “That’s beautiful, it’s not the government, it’s the people that can make a difference.” (Never mind that silly 1964 Civil Rights Act!) Of course, nobody mentioned that MLK firmly believed that the government had not lived up to its ideals of justice and said this: “Instead of honoring this sacred obligation, America has given the Negro people a bad check, a check which has come back marked ‘insufficient funds.’”
Earhardt asked Alveda if her uncle “would be happy with where our country is today.” Any thinking, sentient person would assume that MLK would be very angry about Donald Trump’s racism (which Alveda denies) and tolerance of racists. But Alveda speculated that her uncle would “pray for the president, pray with the president, if he had an opportunity, and to pray for this great nation.” As she did during her other whitewashes, she referenced an MLK quote about the need to live together – as opposed to MLK’s comment that “The evils of capitalism are as real as the evils of militarism and evils of racism.”
Not a word was said about the reason for King’s visit to Memphis, i.e. to support a sanitation workers’ strike. Instead, Alveda continued to blither about how MLK just wanted folks to love one another – a bit ironic considering how Alveda has used her Fox pulpit to attack Barack Obama, Black Lives Matter, Occupy Wall Street, Jesse Jackson, Al Sharpton and Maxine Waters. There was no mention of Dr. King’s social justice activism which, if he were alive today, might be focused on issues like police brutality, the inequities of the criminal justice system, and voter suppression. (I think it’s safe to day that he wouldn’t have been pleased with Trump’s description of African countries as “s***-holes.”)
In hitting on a popular Fox meme, that athletes who “take the knee,” are bad people, Alveda explained that when her uncle took a knee, it was in “prayer to God.” She continued, “So we’ve got to return to God, we have to have God among us and that is something, as a Christian preacher, Martin Luther King, Jr. would be saying today.”
She repeated that her uncle “would pray for the president, with the president, pray for and with America and that’s the message…one community, one blood, one race.”
Earhardt profusely thanked Alveda for the “sacrifice” of her family and asserted that “the country is a better place because of your family.”
Presumably, that includes MLK’s nine-year-old granddaughter, Yolanda King, who spoke at the March for our Lives – but nobody mentioned her.
So MLK’s legacy was all about love? It’s ironic – MLK was killed when he was supporting a sanitation workers’ strike and now, his niece, is sanitizing his legacy on Fox News.
In listening to this drivel, another MLK quote seems to be appropriate: “Shallow understanding from people of good will is more frustrating than absolute misunderstanding from people of ill will.”
Watch segregation-apologist Earhardt talk up Martin Luther King below, on the April 4, 2018 Fox & Friends.