On a day which honors his father, Martin Luther King III said he had a “very constructive” meeting with President-elect Donald Trump on Monday at Trump Tower in New York.
The meeting took place four days before Trump will be sworn-in as the nation’s 45th president, and amid a dispute with another famous civil rights figure, Rep. John Lewis, D-Ga.
From Western Journalism
Trump criticized Lewis over the weekend, calling the congressman “all talk” and “no action” after Lewis said the president-elect was not “legitimate.”
“Well, first of all I think that in the heat of emotion a lot of things get said on both sides. And I think that at some point — I am, as John Lewis and many others, a bridge builder,” King told reporters in the lobby of Trump Tower. “And at some point, this nation, we’ve got to move forward.”
When asked if Trump was correct with his criticism, King disagreed, saying, “Absolutely I would say John Lewis has demonstrated that he’s action.”
If his father, civil rights icon Martin Luther King Jr., was alive today, King claimed that he would talk with Trump about ways to tackle poverty.
“I think my father would be very concerned about the fact that there are 50 or 60 million people living poverty and somehow we’ve got to create the climate for all boats to be lifted,” he said.
One of King’s primary goals is to fix the voting system in America. In an op-ed published in The Washington Post last week, he noted that Trump won in states such as Pennsylvania, Michigan and Wisconsin, where minority turnout declined and claimed stricter voter identification requirements may have deterred some minorities from voting.
“In each of these states, Clinton saw a significant decline in minority vote totals of 10 percent or more. And in each of these states — along with swing states North Carolina and Florida — that difference in turnout may be attributed to legislative efforts to make it harder to vote,” King wrote.
“While we can’t know how those affected would have voted, we can agree that every citizen should have the unfettered opportunity to vote,” he added. “Indeed, my concern is not how people vote, but simply that they vote.”
When asked if he thought the president-elect was going to fulfill his promises to heal the country, King noted that he “will continue to evaluate that” and “consistently engage” with public pressure.
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