Tory MP Ben Bradley is schooled on Martin Luther King Jr’s ‘I have a dream speech’ by the civil right campaigner’s DAUGHTER – after she accuses him of encouraging ‘complacency’ on racism
- Tory MP for Mansfield Ben Bradley, 30, referenced the civil rights campaigner’s most famous speech in a tweet on racism
- Dr King’s daughter, Dr Bernice King, said Bradley had misunderstood the speech
- Last week, Bradley was criticised after he asked, on International Men’s Day, ‘Why have a minister for women but not one for men?
- Ex Home Secretary Jacqui Smith was among those who slammed Bradley over the comments, tweeting men should ‘recognise institutional sexism’
A Conservative MP who quoted Martin Luther King Jr’s famous ‘I have a dream’ speech found himself being checked by the late preacher’s daughter.
In a now deleted thread, Tory MP for Mansfield Ben Bradley, referenced Dr King’s iconic 1963 speech to make a point on racism.
However, the famous civil rights campaigner’s daughter, Dr Bernice King, spotted the tweet and had her own thoughts on how her father’s words should be interpreted, saying Bradley had misunderstood them.
Last week the Conservative MP was pilloried online for questioning why there is a dedicated minister for women but not for men
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Tory MP for Mansfield Ben Bradley, 30, referenced the late civil rights campaigner Martin Luther King Jr’s most famous speech in a tweet on racism…but was checked by King’s daughter
Dr King’s daughter, Dr Bernice King, said Bradley had misunderstood the speech and urged him to not to encourage people to be ‘colorblind’
Dr Bernice King, pictured during the Martin Luther King, Jr. annual commemorative service in Atlanta in January 2020, urged people to listen to her father’s speech again
In his tweet, Bradley quoted part of the speech that said ‘I have a dream… will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the colour of their skin, but by the content of their character.’
He then added: ‘His [Dr King’s] point was than [sic] skin colour doesn’t matter. We’re equal. Now you want to define people by their physical characteristics?’
However, Dr Bernice King, 57, a practising minister, told Bradley he wasn’t interpreting her father’s words in the way she thought they should be read.
Dr King, CEO of Martin Luther King Jr. Center for Nonviolent Social Change, responded, saying: ‘My father’s point and central to his beliefs, teachings and activism (per his speeches/books) was this: “We cannot condone racism, but must eradicate it as one of the pervasive, systemic, overt and destructive Triple Evils, with militarism and poverty being the other two.”‘
She added that people shouldn’t use her father’s words to encourage being ‘colorblind’ and urged them to listen to it again, posting a link to YouTube.
Last week the Conservative MP was pilloried online for questioning why there is a dedicated minister for women but not for men.
Bradley spoke out while leading a debate in the House of Commons on the challenges faced by men and boys to mark International Men’s Day on Thursday.
He asked: ‘Why have a minister for women but not one for men? Why single out one characteristic for special mention?’.
Last week Mr Bradley was criticised on International Mens Day for asking ‘Why have a minister for women but not one for men?’ and ‘Can we ensure equality means just that rather than positive discrimination at the expense of certain groups?’
The MP, who last month suggested that Government cash for children on free school meals went to ‘crack dens and brothels’, was immediately criticised on Twitter, including by former Labour Home Secretary Jacqui Smith.
Underneath a video of Mr Bradley’s speech, she said the men she knows ‘recognise institutional sexism and patriarchy’ and want to tackle its ‘debilitating effect on women’.
She added that ‘they’re not sure you’re quite as committed to that as they are’ before signing off, ‘Best Jacqui’.
The former chief prosecutor of the North-West of England, Nazir Afzal, added that Bradley is the ‘kind of guy who questions why we have an International Women’s day when men have it 365 days a year’.
Other Britons were equally scathing. One wrote that they were ‘actually convinced Ben Bradley is a parody account and not really an elected MP.’
A second added, ‘why do we have a National Security and Intelligence Committee and not a National Danger and Idiot Committee?
‘Ben Bradley would be in his prime leading that committee.’
However, some were supportive of the MP’s comments. One said that having a dedicated minister for men would not ‘negate’ the work of the minister for women.