Ted Cruz said Martin Luther King Jr. would be 'ashamed' of the NAACP's Florida travel warning. MLK's daughter, Bernice King, disagreed.

Bernice King and Ted Cruz.
Bernice King and Ted Cruz.Brynn Anderson/AP. J. Scott Applewhite/AP.
  • Sen. Ted Cruz invoked Martin Luther King Jr. while criticizing an NAACP travel advisory for Florida.

  • The NAACP said the state has become dangerous for BIPOC and LGBTQ people, which Cruz called "dishonest."

  • In response to Cruz, Bernice King said her father would have been "deeply concerned" about discrimination in Florida.

Bernice King is once again defending the legacy of her father, Martin Luther King Jr., against people who she says are misusing his name and legacy.

This time, Texas Sen. Ted Cruz invoked the iconic civil rights leader while criticizing a travel alert issued by the NAACP for the state of Florida. The civil rights organization recently warned the BIPOC and LGBTQ communities to avoid travel to Florida due to the state's "unrelenting attacks on fundamental freedoms."

"The travel advisory comes in direct response to Governor Ron DeSantis' aggressive attempts to erase Black history and to restrict diversity, equity, and inclusion programs in Florida schools," the organization said in a press release for the travel advisory, which calls Florida "openly hostile toward African Americans, people of color and LGBTQ+ individuals."

Cruz responded to the statement on Twitter, calling it "bizarre" and "utterly dishonest."

"In the 1950s & 1960s, the NAACP did extraordinary good helping lead the civil rights movement. Today, Dr. King would be ashamed of how profoundly they've lost their way," the junior Texas senator tweeted.

Within a few hours, Martin Luther King Jr.'s daughter, Bernice King, penned a response to Cruz.

"What my father would be deeply concerned about is the harmful, discriminatory legislation in Florida," King tweeted, along with a photo of her late father.


In a later tweet, King noted that many people "are getting #MLK wrong."

"He was a dreamer, but his dream was global, inclusive, and deeply rooted in love and commitment to eradicating what he called the Triple Evils," King tweeted, describing militarism, materialism, and racism, and linking to different speeches her father gave before his 1968 assassination.

Florida has restricted discussions of race, gender expression, and sexuality, with laws authorizing book bans, axing diversity programs, and restricting healthcare for the transgender community, among others.

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