Amid divisiveness, King's daughter calls for mutual understanding

Feb 1, 2017

Speaking Tuesday night at Niagara University, a daughter of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. called on America to build bridges, and not walls, to end national divisiveness.

Bernice King told an overflowing crowd at the Castellani Art Museum that the country is in trouble and change has to come. She says that doesn't mean giving in to the Trump Administration, but instead, organizing to support change of a different kind.

Credit WBFO's Mike Desmond

King, the CEO of the Martin Luther King Jr. Center for Nonviolent Social Change in Atlanta, gave the keynote address for Niagara's annual celebration of her father.

King said it is important to talk to the other side, to understand their point of view and to try to establish some central understandings, including her own cousin, who is a Trump supporter.
"I have conversations with her all the time because I want to understand why she voted the way she did," King said. "But I love her and I respect the fact that she made that choice and somewhat understand in her way of dealing why she voted that way. So I'm relating to her and hopefully through her we'll be be working on some issues."

At the same time, King said the public has to pay a lot more attention to what goes on in organized society.

Credit WBFO's Mike Desmond

"We need institutions, yes, but we give too much power to institutions and then we go about our business and we don't hold people who are leaders in those institutions accountable," she said. "We have to always hold accountable."

King suggested one reason Trump won the presidency was that Hillary Clinton's campaign did not understand the discontent in the nation.