ATLANTA — As the nation paid tribute to the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., some of his relatives sharply criticized President Trump on Monday over his outlook on race and its effect on the country nearly half a century after Dr. King’s death.
“Our collective voice in this hour must always be louder than the voice of one who may speak sometimes representing these United States, whose words sometimes do not reflect that legacy of my father,” the Rev. Bernice King, Dr. King’s youngest child, said at Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta.
Addressing the congregation where her father was a co-pastor between 1960 and 1968, Ms. King added, “We cannot allow the nations of the world to embrace the words that come from our president as a reflection of the true spirit of America.”
Ms. King’s remarks, during a crowded, upbeat event in Dr. King’s honor, came days after Mr. Trump was accused in a meeting about immigration of using crude words to describe Haiti and African countries and of suggesting that the United States should admit more people from places like Norway.
Mr. Trump, speaking to reporters on Sunday night in Florida, denied making any inflammatory remarks and flatly declared: “I’m not a racist. I am the least racist person that you have ever interviewed, that I can tell you.”