Thousands across the country are re-familiarizing themselves with the legacy and words of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. on Monday (Jan. 16). The pivotal activist was assassinated in 1968, but left behind the blueprint to enact change, and instilled his core values not only within those who admired his courage and sought to carry out his dream, but he made sure his children still pumped life into his legacy.
King’s oldest son, Martin Luther King III, sought to keep his father’s spirit alive by serving as a “bridge builder” during a meeting with Donald Trump in NYC, ABC News reports. Seeking to establish a working relationship with the president-elect, King shared with reporters that the meeting entailed a discussion of a “broken voting system,” and shared a statement on what his father’s message would be to Trump today.
“I think my father would be very concerned about the fact that there are 50 or 60 million people living in poverty, and somehow we have to create the climate for all those to be lifted,” he said. “In America with a multi-trillion dollar economy, 20 trillion dollars almost, it’s insanity that we have poor people in this nation. That’s unacceptable, and when we work together we know we can roll up our sleeves. There’s nothing that we as Americans can’t do.”
The meeting arrives a couple of days after Trump tweeted controversial comments on Rep. John Lewis, who worked closely alongside Dr. King throughout the course of the Civil Rights Movement. The remarks came after Lewis revealed that he declined to attend the upcoming inauguration because he doesn’t regard Trump as a “legitimate president.”
A reporter questioned King’s son on the aforementioned matter, to which he said unity is the only solution to bridging the gap. “First of all I think that in the heat of emotion, a lot of things get said on both sides. I think that at some point I am, as John Lewis and many others are, a bridge builder,” he said. “The goal is to bring America together and Americans. We are a great nation, but we must become a greater nation. What my father represented, my mother represented through her life, what I hope that I’m trying to do is always bring people together.”