Twitter Just Skewered the Man Who Tried to ‘Mansplain’ Martin Luther King Jr. to Luther’s Own Daughter

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As more people join the #TakeAKnee movement, it’s impossible not to draw a line connecting the protests of today to those in the past. Very few people are as qualified to compare the two than Bernice A. King, the daughter of world-renowned civil rights activist, Martin Luther King Jr.

However, when she tried to tell the world about her father’s protests and the way he was perceived by others, the Internet responded as it is all too often wont to do: A Mansplainer came to the “rescue” and told her all about how wrong she was… about her own father.

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She’s also an active Twitter user. She uses the platform as a place to share her father’s legacy and continue the King family tradition of advocating for civil rights for all people.

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She has pointed out that although Martin Luther King Jr.’s own protests took place decades ago, the issues of racism and the corrupt systems that inspired them are still prevalent today.

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Just as a reminder: Colin Kaepernick started his protest against police brutality and racial injustice while Obama was in office. But that hasn’t stopped Trump from making them about himself by commenting on the peaceful protests and calling those who participate in them a “son of a bitch.”

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It’s similar to the way many are speaking about the protestors in the #TakeAKnee movement. Although their protest is silent and nonviolent, the rhetoric used against them is extreme. They’re accused of disrespecting the flag and being unpatriotic.

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She says that many who turn to Martin Luther King Jr.’s words to discourage others from protesting would actually have hated him in real life. It was at this point that a man turned up on Twitter with the most inappropriate response…

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What would we do without mansplainers? Answer: live our lives in peace. Maybe he didn’t realize he was talking to MLK’s daughter, but his tweet was pretty uncalled for, regardless.  

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It’s one thing to give your opinion when no one asked for it. But to act as though you knew a man better than his own daughter? That’s pretty darn bold.

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Not only was he mansplaining; he was also whitesplaining — condescendingly explaining something to a person of color while assuming they don’t understand it themselves. It gets even more egregious.

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Luckily, there were plenty of people ready to point out that taking a knee is, in fact, about as peaceful as a protest could possibly get. Are you really going to tell someone they’re kneeling too loudly?

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While everyone rushing to King’s defense was great, her response to the mansplainer was by far the best part of the entire exchange…

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We could all learn something from King. Her father would undoubtedly be proud of her.

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She explained that the loss didn’t make her sad, however. She realizes that some people are happy to take her father’s words out of context without taking the trouble to learn about how he was actually viewed in his time.

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We don’t get to erase the inconvenient parts of history so that it better suits our own narrative. In a perfect world, we’ll all move beyond the need for protests against racial discrimination and police brutality and there won’t be a need to protest. But if there is, let’s hope the next generation remembers how Colin Kaepernick and his fellow protestors are being viewed today, and strive to do better tomorrow.  

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