The “Say What You Will About America” ad highlights American exceptionalism with voiceovers and black and white photos of notable moments and icons from the first half of the 20th century. The mood of the video then darkens, displaying images of vandalism and the burning of American flags. Photos of Robinson and King are featured in the video.
Robinson’s daughter Sharon — an author and educator — took issue with the advertisement and called Trump out for using her father’s image.
King’s daughter Bernice, who was also displeased by her father’s appearance in the ad, later hopped on social media to ask that MLK’s image be taken out of the campaign as well. She said the president and his actions conflict with her father’s fight and its overall purpose.
“I find President Trump’s use of my father’s image in his political ad beyond insulting and not reflective of #MLK’s commitment to creating the #BelovedCommunity. My father should not be used in ways strongly misaligned with his vision and value,” she said, adding the ”I Have a Dream” orator “was working for an America with leaders who have answered the call to conscience and compassionate action.”
Bernice, the CEO of Martin Luther King Jr. Center for Nonviolent Social Change, expressed that the nation “demands great leaders” that are “in love with justice” and “humanity.” “America needs this type of leader NOW,” she concluded, encouraging her followers to cast their ballots with a #VoteAmerica hashtag.
Check out the aforementioned tweets below.
Jackie Robinson’s family strongly objects to the use of Jackie Robinson’s image in a Donald Trump @JRFoundation The Trump campaign is in opposition to all that Jackie Robinson stood for and believed in. We’re insulted and demand that his image be removed! @realDonaldTrump— Sharon Robinson (@sharonarobinson) October 8, 2020
I find President Trump’s use of my father’s image in his political ad beyond insulting and not reflective of #MLK’s commitment to creating the #BelovedCommunity. My father should not be used in ways strongly misaligned with his vision and values, @realDonaldTrump. (1/3) pic.twitter.com/7AwySnFFOw— Be A King (@BerniceKing) October 7, 2020
“...Leaders who can subject their particular egos to the pressing urgencies of the great cause of freedom…a time like this demands great leaders.”— Be A King (@BerniceKing) October 7, 2020
America needs this type of leader NOW. #VoteAmerica #SkeeWee #BreonnaTaylor #BelovedCommunity #FierceUrgencyOfNow (3/3)