Steve Bannon claimed MLK would be proud of Trump. King's daughter shut him down.

Steve Bannon said that Martin Luther King Jr. “would be proud” of Donald Trump. Umm, what?

In predictable, reality-bending fashion, Trump’s former strategist and adviser Steve Bannon made a bold claim about how King would feel about Trump’s performance thus far in his presidency. Speaking to BBC Newsnight’s Emily Maitlis, he said, “If you look at the policies of Donald Trump, anybody ... Martin Luther King would be proud of him, of what he’s done for the black and Hispanic community for jobs.”

Maitlis clarified — somehow with a straight face — “You think Martin Luther King would be proud of Donald Trump as president?”


Bafflingly, Bannon charged straight ahead:

“You don’t think Martin Luther King would be proud? Look at the unemployment we had in the black community five years ago. You don’t think Martin Luther King would sit there and go ‘Yes, you’re putting young black men and women to work. There’s the lowest unemployment we’ve had in history. And wages are starting to rise among the working class. And you’ve finally stopped the illegal alien labor forces coming in and competing with them every day, and destroying the schools and destroying the healthcare.’ Absolutely.”

Mmm 'kay.

Before we get to what King’s daughter had to say about that, let’s quickly review those unemployment numbers.

Indeed, the black unemployment rate is the lowest it’s ever been. But that rate has been dropping steadily since the middle of Obama’s term as president. Bannon specifies the change in the rate from five years ago, but neglects to acknowledge that the vast majority of that drop happened under Obama.

Here's the government's own Bureau of Labor Statistics chart for black unemployment since 2008:

Black unemployment rate in the U.S. Graph via Bureau of Labor Statistics.

The same goes for Hispanic unemployment. Yes, it's the lowest it's been in 25 years, but it's also been steadily dropping since 2011:

Hispanic or Latino unemployment rate in the U.S. Graph via Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Trump’s policies have not created some kind of dramatic turnaround in unemployment — the trend is simply continuing. There have been no miracles performed here, unless you consider riding on someone’s economic coattails a miracle.

Now, on to King's response.

Martin Luther King Jr.'s daughter Bernice shut Bannon down — real quick.

Bernice King, Martin Luther King Jr.'s youngest child, reacted to Bannon's interview, and let's just say she's not having it.

Bernice King shared this image on Twitter the morning after Bannon's interview. I imagine that's exactly the face she made when she saw it. Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images.

"#SteveBannon has dangerously and erroneously co-opted my father's name, work and words," King wrote on Twitter. "Bannon's assertion that my father, #MLK would be proud of Donald Trump wholly ignores Daddy's commitment to people of all races, nationalities, etc. being treated with dignity and respect."

She then explained how her "father's concerns were not sectional, but global."

Screenshot via Bernice King/Twitter.

Setting the record straight on what her father actually would and wouldn't do, King wrote, "Further, he would not refer to people as 'illegal aliens.' The term is degrading and does not reflect his belief that we are all a part of the human family." She added that he'd never pit one group against another.

Screenshot via Bernice King/Twitter.

But she wasn't done. She called Bannon's comments "empty calories," and explained how her father would be "extremely disturbed" by the current political climate that emboldens people to "easily express and demonstrate cruelty, predominantly toward people of color and immigrants."

Screenshot via Bernice King/Twitter.

King capped off her commentary with how her father would actually view those unemployment numbers:

Screenshot via Bernice King/Twitter.

Well, there you have it, Mr. Bannon.

People of all political stripes try to mold Martin Luther King Jr. to fit their agenda. It's a problem.

While usually more subtle and less blatantly ridiculous than Bannon's assertions, people often choose small pieces of King's message to suit their narrative. But such simplification dishonors the man and his accomplishments. At the core, King was a radical humanitarian. He championed not only the black American, but the poor person, the immigrant, and every human being experiencing oppression and injustice.

Thank goodness for Bernice King's perspective in the age of cherry-picking MLK quotes and whitewashing his legacy. We need to keep defending truth and shut down those who try to bend reality to justify prejudice and fear-mongering.

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All photos courtesy of Marie-Claire and David Archbold

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This sweet story is brought to you by Sumo Citrus®. This oversized mandarin is celebrated for its incredible taste and distinct looks. Sumo Citrus is super-sweet, enormous, easy-to-peel, seedless, and juicy without the mess. Fans of the fruit are obsessive, stocking up from January to April when Sumo Citrus is in stores. To learn more, visit sumocitrus.com and @sumocitrus.

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All photos courtesy of Marie-Claire and David Archbold

However, their relationship became even sweeter when they adopted James: a little boy with a huge heart.

In the United States alone, there are roughly 122,000 children awaiting adoption according to the latest report from the U.S Department of Health and Human Services. While the goal is always for a child to be parented by and stay with their biological family, that is not always a possibility. This is where adoption offers hope—not only does it create new families, it gives birth parents an avenue through which to see their child flourish when they are not able to parent. For the right families, it's a beautiful thing.

The Archbolds knew early on that adoption was an option for them. David has three daughters from a previous marriage, but knowing their family was not yet complete, the couple embarked on a two-year journey to find their match. When the adoption agency called and told them about James, they were elated. From the moment they met him, the Archbolds knew he was meant to be part of their family. David locked eyes with the brown-eyed baby and they stared at each other in quiet wonder for such a long time that the whole room fell silent. "He still looks at me like that," said David.

The connection was mutual and instantaneous—love at first sight. The Archbolds knew that James was meant to be a part of their family. However, they faced significant challenges requiring an even deeper level of commitment due to James' medical condition.

James was born with congenital hyperinsulinism, a rare condition that causes his body to overproduce insulin, and within 2 months of his birth, he had to have surgery to remove 90% of his pancreas. There was a steep learning curve for the Archbolds, but they were already in love, and knew they were committed to the ongoing care that'd be required of bringing James into their lives. After lots of research and encouragement from James' medical team, they finally brought their son home.

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This sweet story is brought to you by Sumo Citrus®. This oversized mandarin is celebrated for its incredible taste and distinct looks. Sumo Citrus is super-sweet, enormous, easy-to-peel, seedless, and juicy without the mess. Fans of the fruit are obsessive, stocking up from January to April when Sumo Citrus is in stores. To learn more, visit sumocitrus.com and @sumocitrus.

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