MLK's Daughter Hits Back at Kevin McCarthy's Attack on Critical Race Theory

The daughter of Martin Luther King Jr. has hit back at House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy after he invoked the words of the late civil rights activist while decrying critical race theory.

McCarthy tweeted a clip from his appearance on The Rubin Report on Monday, where he referenced a line in King's famous "I Have A Dream" speech.

"Critical Race Theory goes against everything Martin Luther King Jr. taught us—to not judge others by the color of their skin," McCarthy wrote alongside the clip from the show. "The Left is trying to take America backward."

But Dr. Bernice King responded to the tweet, advising the Republican leader to study her father's teachings more closely.

"Rep. McCarthy, I encourage you to study my father's teachings & words well beyond the last lines of 'I Have A Dream,'" she wrote. "This nation has yet to firmly commit to the intensive, multi-faceted work of eradicating racism against Black people. You should help with that."

Rep. McCarthy, I encourage you to study my father’s teachings & words well beyond the last lines of ‘I Have A Dream.’ This nation has yet to firmly commit to the intensive, multi-faceted work of eradicating racism against Black people. You should help with that. Please read this: pic.twitter.com/mhiLvvNdxM

— Be A King (@BerniceKing) July 13, 2021

Bernice King also included an image of her father's book, Where Do We Go from Here: Chaos or Community? and urged McCarthy to "please read this."

"In this book, written after 'I Have A Dream,' my father writes about racism in detail," she wrote in another tweet. "He shares about "white backlash" and the need for white people to commit to ending racism. Today, this would be called dangerous. It was called dangerous then. My father was assassinated."

In this book, written after ‘I Have A Dream,’ my father writes about racism in detail. He shares about “white backlash” and the need for white people to commit to ending racism.

Today, this would be called dangerous.
It was called dangerous then.

My father was assassinated. pic.twitter.com/Mip495lXCV

— Be A King (@BerniceKing) July 13, 2021

When my father shared his dream that we, his four children, would one day not be judged by the color of our skin, but by the content of our character, he was beckoning people to end racism, not deny its existence.

How can people who suppress voters deny racism exists? pic.twitter.com/NN8XI6oOl9

— Be A King (@BerniceKing) July 13, 2021

She added that when her father "shared his dream that we, his four children, would one day not be judged by the color of our skin, but by the content of our character, he was beckoning people to end racism, not deny its existence."

In another tweet, she added: "If only people would invoke my father to: Eradicate racism, militarism & poverty. Ensure just, equitable housing & lending practices. Provide livable wages. End healthcare disparities. Prevent voter suppression. Work for true peace, which includes justice."

Critical race theory, or CRT, has been a political flashpoint over the past few months. The theory provides an academic framework for understanding U.S. history through the lens of racism, and argues that racism is embedded in U.S. laws and institutions.

But conservatives have railed against it, viewing it as divisive and an effort to rewrite U.S. history.

So far, 26 states have considered legislation or taken other steps to limit how race and racism can be taught in classrooms, according to an analysis by Education Week. Ten Republican-led states have enacted bans, either through legislation or other actions.

If only people would invoke my father to:

Eradicate racism, militarism & poverty

Ensure just, equitable housing & lending practices

Provide livable wages

End healthcare disparities

Prevent voter suppression

Work for true peace, which includes justice. pic.twitter.com/3nibEkj34b

— Be A King (@BerniceKing) July 13, 2021

In remarks on the floor in June, McCarthy likened critical race theory to racist Jim Crow laws while speaking in support of legislation to remove Confederate statues from the U.S. Capitol.

Democrats were "replacing the racism of the past with the racism of the critical race theory," McCarthy said. "They continue to look at race as the primary means of judging a person's character."

He added: "America must reject critical race theory for the simple reason state-sponsored racism is wrong and always will be. It was wrong when it was segregated lunch counters of Jim Crow. And it was wrong when it was segregated classrooms of critical race theory."

McCarthy's office and Bernice King have been contacted for additional comment.

Dr Bernice King
Dr. Bernice King attends 2020 Salute to Greatness Awards Gala at Hyatt Regency Atlanta on January 18, 2020 in Atlanta, Georgia. Paras Griffin/Getty Images