Children of the late civil rights icon, Dr Martin Luther King Jr. decried the disparaging remarks allegedly made by U.S. President Donald Trump against Africa.
The 2018 Martin Luther King Jr. Day was used to slam Trump at various protests tagged: ‘Rally against Trump’ in several cities in the U.S. on Monday, the official Federal holiday in the U.S. to honour King.
At gatherings across the nation, activists, residents and teachers honoured the late civil rights leader on what would have been his 89th birthday and ahead of the 50th anniversary of his assassination in Tennessee.
Trump allegedly used a vulgarity to describe African countries and questioned the need to allow more Haitians into the U.S. during a meeting with senators on immigration last week.
He also is said to have asked why the country could not have more immigrants from nations like Norway but Trump had said that was not the language he used.
King’s daughter, Rev. Bernice King, told hundreds of people who attended the Day at the Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta that civilisation originated from Africa.
“We cannot allow the nations of the world to embrace the words that come from our president as a reflection of the true spirit of America.
“We are one people, one nation, one blood, one destiny. All of civilisation and humanity originated from the soils of Africa.
“Our collective voice in this hour must always be louder than the one who sometimes does not reflect the legacy of my father,” she said.
In Washington, King’s eldest son, Martin Luther King III, also criticised Trump’s racist remarks.
“When a president insists that our nation needs more citizens from white states like Norway, I don’t even think we need to spend any time even talking about what it says and what it is.
“We got to find a way to work on this man’s heart,” King III, said.
The Pastor of the Church, Rev. Raphael Warnock, also took issue with Trump’s campaign slogan to “Make America Great Again”.
Warnock said he believed America “is already great in large measure because of Africa and African people”.
He urged people in the audience to speak out against such remarks about other countries, noting King’s own words that “silence is betrayal”.
Down the street from Trump’s Mar-a-Lago retreat in Palm Beach, Florida, Haitian protesters and their supporters shouted: “Our country is not a shithole”, referring to comments Trump reportedly made.
Trump, while signing the proclamation for King’s Day on Wednesday, praised him for dedicating his life to all Americans while also dedicating his weekly address to the nation, released on Monday, to King.
“Dr King’s dream is our dream, it is the American dream, it’s the promise stitched into the fabric of our nation, etched into the hearts of our people and written into the soul of humankind.
“It is the dream of a world where people are judged by who they are, not how they look or where they come from,” Trump has said.
King’s writings spoke of injustices against African-Americans, Native Americans and colonisation, among others.