Earlier this week, Massachusetts Democrat Elizabeth Warren was silenced in the Senate by Mitch McConnell for reading a letter by the widow of Martin Luther King Jr. Written in 1986, Coretta Scott King’s letter criticised President Reagan's nomination of Jeff Sessions as a federal judge – the very same man President Donald Trump has nominated for attorney general.
After silencing Warren, McConnell said, “She was warned. She was given an explanation. Nevertheless, she persisted.”
His words outraged feminists all over the world, who took to Twitter using the hashtag #ShePersisted; sharing stories, quotes and images of badass women throughout history, they showed their support to Warren in their multitudes.
Now Martin Luther King Jr.’s daughter has taken to Facebook to list ways to defy Trump’s regime – and what she has to say is incredibly powerful.
Inspired by a viral post seen on Facebook earlier this week, Bernice King decided to add her own twist to the “wise advice” – and one of her tips suggests that we avoid using Trump’s name wherever possible.
“Use his name sparingly,” she writes, “so as not to detract from the issues.”
King adds: “I believe that everyone, regardless of their beliefs, deserves the dignity of being called by their name. However, this is a strategic tactic. While we are so focused on him we are prone to neglect the questionable policies that threaten freedom, justice and fairness advanced by the administration.”
King continues to remind the world that Trump is “not acting alone”, and that we should remember that he is just the face of a regime.
“When you post or talk about him, don't assign his actions to him, assign them to ‘The Republican Administration,’ or ‘The Republicans.,’” she says.
“This will have several effects: the Republican legislators will either have to take responsibility for their association with him or stand up for what some of them don't like; he will not get the focus of attention he craves; Republican representatives will become very concerned about their re-elections.”
Her tips also include focusing on policies, as opposed to Trump’s appearance or mental state, and supporting artists and the arts.
“Be careful not to spread fake news,” she adds, before reminding people to take care of themselves, stay hopeful, and avoid arguments with Trump supporters.
Once they’ve got you violent, then they know how to handle you. The only thing they don’t know how to handle is non-violence and humour
Above all else, she says, be sure to “keep your messages positive” and your demonstrations “peaceful”.
“Those who oppose peace and justice want the country to be angry and fearful because this is the soil from which their darkest policies will grow,” King explains. “[And], in the words of John Lennon, ‘When it gets down to having to use violence, then you are playing the system’s game. The establishment will irritate you - pull your beard, flick your face - to make you fight! Because once they’ve got you violent, then they know how to handle you. The only thing they don’t know how to handle is non-violence and humour.’”
See her full post below:
Four days before Trump’s inauguration, King addressed more than 2,000 people gathered at her father's Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta – and, again, her message was one of love, hope, and peace.
“At the end of the day, the Donald Trumps come and go,” she said, reminding the nation that they had to choose between “chaos and community”.
“We still have to find a way to create [what my father called] the beloved community,” she added.
Images: Rex Pictures