Charleston Republicans honor MLK's niece Alveda King this week, here's our Q&A with her on the issues

"I do not try to live up to the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr."


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Alveda King - PROVIDED
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Alveda King, a pro-life activist and the niece of the late Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., will deliver the keynote speech at a Black History Month banquet in Charleston on Wednesday night.

The event, hosted by the Citadel Republican Society and the Charleston County Republican Party, will honor black leaders in the Charleston area. Among the honorees are former Charleston Chronicle publisher Jim French, Charleston County Sheriff's Office chief deputy sheriff Eric Watson, businesswoman Chardale R. Murray; North Charleston police chief Reggie Burgess; local interviewer Quintin Washington, and Charleston interim police chief Jerome Taylor.

The evening comes a month after Citadel president Lt. Gen. John W. Rosa denounced "abhorrent racist statements" made by a student on Snapchat, and less than two weeks after Bobby Miller resigned from a post with the Charleston County Republican Party when alleged Facebook posts surfaced featuring Miller calling President Obama a "Muslim bastard" and the N-word.

In honor of King's upcoming speech, we spoke to her about her often-controversial views, what motivates her, and how she reconciles some of her views with those of her legendary uncle.

CP: What will you be speaking about at the ceremony?

King: This is a message that we are living in a time of opportunity, and things are getting better in America. I am a Fredrick Douglass Republican and that means that I support the abolitionists and the freedom fighters, and of course, that includes the individuals in the womb today.

CP: What are your thoughts on the S.C. Personhood Act? It recently got the approval of a panel in the S.C. Senate.

King: Well, it’s true that once we acknowledge the baby in the womb is a person, then, of course, abortion would have to be abolished. My uncle said, 'When we truly believe in the sacredness of human personality ... we won’t kill anybody.' I believe when we acknowledge life from the womb to the tomb, then we are all human beings and we have to regard each other as such.

CP: So you support it?

King: I certainly do.

CP: You're coming to South Carolina amidst a flurry of really intense bills. I don't know if you've heard of it, but there's one proposing to change the definition of gay marriages to "parody marriages," and basically making gay marriage illegal again. Do you agree with that?

King: I just really believe that marriage between a man and a woman — devoted, loving — is the best environment for birthing children and raising children. As one who raised children outside of marriage, it was very very difficult. Also generally, two men can’t procreate and two women can’t procreate, so that also changes the model quite a bit. It’s something — the issue of human sexuality should not divide people. Sex is not love. Every human being doesn’t have to have sex. Sex and love are not the same thing.

CP: What does that mean? You don't think same-sex couples can inherently love each other?

King: I’m just saying same-sex people, as in having a sexual union between two men or two ladies, that’s sex, it’s not love. It’s not even the greatest expression of love. Human sexuality has a distinct scientific and spiritual purpose within procreation. Love is so much more than sex. I’m saying adultery isn’t a good model. Three or four people isn’t a good model. I’m just saying, all of these different type of things, love can be expressed outside of sex.

CP: So you would agree with the premise of the "parody marriage" bill? Are you personally against same-sex marriage?

King: I don’t think that can be legislated. Morality cannot be legislated, in my opinion. I don’t think the best solution is to make a law. I don’t think the law should be in people’s bedrooms. The primary purpose of sexuality, physically and spiritually, is procreation. I can’t understand a reason for same-sex marriage, because if it's to express love, I get that, but the sexuality piece would still bother me. With marriage comes the union between a man and a woman to procreate. I think anybody in love should be in love. As one who has been divorced three times, I think I personally missed the boat myself. I never experienced the kind of marriage that I believe God intended. I have six living children, two aborted and one miscarried.

: Do you believe your uncle, Dr. King, would have agreed with your assessment on gay marriage?

King: What he said, if you go back to his advice column, he advised that he would not have sex outside of marriage period. He talks about matrimony from his perspective of being between a man and a woman. He was a human being himself. He had missteps like anybody does. Regardless of what human beings do, there is a spiritual purpose [to marriage].

CP: You said before that you weren't always so staunchly anti-abortion. What changed your mind?

King: I was born-again in 1983. And at the time, I was on my second marriage and I was just living in a different way than I did today. I realized I hadn’t accepted Jesus Christ as my lord and savior. I confessed all my sins and began to live for God. Many things I did in my life before that — the abortions, the excessive drinking, some new age crap which is practiced in new age explorations and things — I realized that that isn’t for me, so I accepted Jesus Christ as my lord and savior and I began to examine myself, so that’s why I’m not judgmental of people.

CP: You voted for President Trump. Do you still feel like he's doing a good job?

King: What I especially like about the Trump administration, President Trump keeps his promises. He said when he was elected [that] he was going to work on abortion, defunding Planned Parenthood, and things like that. He said he was going to bring jobs back from overseas, he said he would lower the taxes. I totally agree with that. I’m hearing people who would benefit from that. I know he’s working in a program for people who have been incarcerated. He’s not color blind, but he says, you know, we all bleed red. He doesn’t appear to be a judgmental person at all, either.

CP: You don't think the "shit hole countries" comment was judgmental, maybe even racist?

King: What he was saying — he wasn’t talking about the people in these countries. He was talking about the conditions in those countries. You can’t have that [migration] when you have dictators where people are suffering and they all want to move to America. I know he’s not a racist. He’s demonstrated too many times that he’s not a racist. Definitely not a racist.

CP: What do you think Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. would have thought of Trump?

King: I just don’t know. He would pray for him like he prayed for everybody. I pray for everybody, no matter what their walk is in life. Without a judgmental eye. And as one who has done so many things in their life and been forgiven, I cannot judge another person for doing that. And I believe my uncle would do that.

CP: You often come under fire for holding views that many think are antithetical to those of Dr. King, or even to those of your father, A.D. King. What do you say to that?

King: I do not try to live up to the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. I try to live up to the legacy of the God that Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. served, and I’m doing the best that I can.

Tickets to Wednesday's "First Annual Black History Month Celebration" at the Holliday Alumni Center run from $65 for one ticket to $250 for two people and a photo op with Ms. King.


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