Four Democrat lawmakers are boycotting President Trump’s first State of the Union address. Reps. Maxine Waters (D-Calif.), John Lewis (D-Ga.), Earl Blumenauer (D-Ore.), and Frederica Wilson (D-Fla.) will not be attending in protest over the president’s alleged, disparaging comments about Haiti and African countries last week, according to The Hill.
On Martin Luther King Jr. Day, the civil rights leaders’ niece Alveda King was asked for her opinion on the boycott during an interview with Fox & Friends Monday. Alveda had praise for Lewis for how he “fought so valiantly” against racial segregation in the past but suggested he listen to the words of her uncle now.
“This is Martin Luther King Jr.’s words, and I want to remind Congressman Lewis of what we have been fighting for so long. My uncle said, ‘I am convinced that men hate each other because they don’t know each other. And they don’t know each other because they don’t communicate with each other. And they don’t communicate with each other because they are separated from each other,’” Alveda said.
“So by protesting and staying away [from Trump’s speech], although a protest has its place — there’s a time and season for everything, protest as well — and yet there’s a time for prayer and unity,” MLK’s niece explained. “So by staying away from the president, not following King in [the] non-violent steps Congressman King has perfected so well, I would just like to see conversation along with the pain and agony the congressman is expressing.”
Asked about accusations of racism lobbed at Trump, Alveda replied, “I do not believe that President Donald John Trump is a racist. I mean, look at everything. The economy is up, jobs are up in the black community, there’s great promise to get a lot of people who have been unfairly incarcerated out. There’s so many economy opportunities, opportunities for babies in the womb.”
She continued, “The president is working for America period as he’s draining the swamp, and African Americans are benefiting. Our jobs are going up, our unemployment is going down, companies are saying they’re going to raise their own minimum wage and do bonuses because of the tax cuts.”
Alveda added that she thinks Trump needs to promote those accomplishments more, but she knows he’ll be criticized for tooting his own horn. She suggested that Trump supporters use social media to let everyone know when they get a new job in Trump’s economy.
Asked what message she thinks MLK has for today’s young people, his niece responded, “Martin Luther King Jr. believed that we are one human race, one blood, God made all people. Martin Luther King Jr. believed that we could learn together as brothers as sisters and not perish as fools. Martin Luther King Jr. believed and taught us that we can love each other. Love never fails. So we can begin to communicate, talk with each other, and not hate each other and be so angry. And just stand face-to-face and be transparent and tell the truth.”
“And as we continue to do that, we’re going to have a better America,” she concluded. “And I believe, young people, you can do this. I believe that you can.”
Watch her full five-minute interview below:
The president’s State of the Union address is scheduled for Tuesday, Jan. 30.
What do you think of her words? In related news, Trump’s ex-wife Ivana has weighed in on whether or not she thinks the president is a racist.