"Activism is inherently divisive," Ocasio-Cortez said.
"This is an insult to the American people that the president of the United States does not officially recognize or give any ceremony for Dr. King," Sharpton said at a breakfast to honor the civil rights leader.
"One of my favorite quotes from Dr. King was, 'Now is the time to make real the the promises of democracy,'" Pence said.
Martin Luther King Jr. wrote five books and delivered about 450 speeches a year.
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People around the country were marching, celebrating, protesting and volunteering in honor of the civil rights leader.