ATLANTA (AP) — The Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.’s youngest daughter mentioned she’s afraid American society is unraveling, telling a Christian radio community on Thursday that “I don’t know what’s going to occur in the end to democracy.”
However Dr. Bernice King additionally mentioned she is decided to be a part of the answer, working to rework minds and assist unite a divided nation.
“There are a selection of bridge builders on the market, I’m certainly one of them, and we’re decided to make sure that we don’t lose our humanity,” King mentioned.
Bernice King joined former U.N. Ambassador, congressman and Atlanta Mayor Andrew Younger and several other different panelists in a webinar hosted by the Alliance for Christian Media concerning the legacy of Dr. C.T. Vivian, a civil rights strategist and mentor to many extra outstanding figures of the motion. Vivian died final July on the age of 95, hours earlier than the dying of Rep. John Lewis, at 80.
Bernice King’s father gad known as Vivian “the best preacher who ever lived,” a fierce and influential advocate for social justice. Panelists additionally described Vivian’s optimism and humility, and his want to see the perfect in different individuals, even when it was a racist Alabama sheriff who prevented Black individuals from registering to vote.
However when requested what recommendation Vivian would have given to Black Lives Matter protesters at the moment, Bernice King was blunt: “Respect the facility of technique.”
“We aren’t stopping to strategize, manage, mobilize and put collectively a technique,” she mentioned. King and Vivian knew that “the facility of nonviolence is probably the most potent weapon that any people who find themselves oppressed can use,” however in addition they realized that folks needed to see success to consider in it.
“Daddy understood that folks had been actually drained and incensed at what was occurring, however we weren’t getting any victories,” she mentioned. “He dropped at this motion a technique of nonviolence that introduced individuals to victories,” first with the boycott that ended segregation on metropolis buses in Montgomery, Alabama, after which in different fastidiously deliberate acts of civil disobedience throughout the South.
“What we want now’s some victories,” she mentioned, pointing to the conviction of Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin within the homicide of George Floyd. “It was a small piece. We want extra victories.”
Younger, 89, additionally shared his fears, saying “I’m in all probability extra involved proper now than I’ve ever been earlier than in all my life.”
“I’ve by no means had such nervousness about Congress, or the presidency or the Supreme Courtroom. Even in the course of the motion, we thought we might belief John Kennedy. We knew Lyndon Johnson was a Southerner who understood race,” Younger mentioned. “There was all the time a really lifelike strategy to social change, and we had been all the time optimistic.”
Now, Younger mentioned, he prays that America’s democracy will overcome its challenges.
“I believe we’re all deeply involved; I’m very troubled myself, however not with out hope,” Bernice King interjected. “It is a part of the method of change and transformation, that friction is all the time going to occur. However there’s all the time a important mass that finally emerges.”
“There’s a God on this universe — that is what pulled the motion collectively — and it’s the identical God that C.T. Vivian, John Lewis and all the remaining believed in,” she mentioned. “They believed that if we persist, if we’re hopeful, if we do the required work,” we’ll succeed.
King additionally referred to her late mom in an effort to lighten the dialog, saying “Coretta Scott King informed me the darkest hour is simply earlier than the daybreak. The one factor I want I might requested her is, simply how darkish is it going to should get?”
Different audio system included C.T. Vivian’s son Al and Steve Fiffer, who wrote Vivian’s posthumously printed memoir, “It is within the Motion.” CNN anchor Don Lemon moderated the panel.