Bernice King Had The Classiest Response To A Twitter User Who Mansplained Her Dad's Beliefs

"I believe your dad would be proud of you."

Bernice King Had The Classiest Response To A Twitter User Who Mansplained Her Dad's Beliefs

Bernice King knows how to navigate Twitter, and this weekend she demonstrated poise and class where most people would have reacted with anger.

It all started after King, the CEO of the King Center and daughter of civil rights icon Martin Luther King Jr., tweeted a picture of her father being arrested with the caption, "People didn't approve of the way my father protested injustice either; said he was causing trouble, called him an 'outside agitator.'"

King's tweet came as people all across the social platform (and the country) argued over whether it was un-American for NFL players to take a knee during the national anthem in protest of police violence. One of the top responses to King's tweet, though, came from a man named Robert who tried to explain her own father's legacy to her. 


As BuzzFeed News pointed out, the man was subsequently put through the ringer online for "mansplaining" to King about what her own dad stood for. But King took a different approach. Instead of attacking Robert, she thanked him for his service and tried to clarify her point.

King's decision to treat the man respectfully is reminiscent of former first lady Michelle Obama's now infamous promise: "when they go low, we go high." We've seen similar tactics employed by public figures such as Chelsea Clinton, who is frequently under attack on Twitter. 

But it's King's larger point that NFL players had hoped would come across in their protest: they're demonstrating against police brutality and racism, not the country itself or members of America's armed forces. 

She also reminded Robert and her other followers that Black activists have always been criticized for their methods of peaceful protest. Black Lives Matter is frequently criticized for blocking roads or traffic during protests. Former Senator Joe Walsh called Stevie Wonder "another ungrateful black millionaire" after he knelt on stage in protest.

King's tweet emphasized that even peaceful protests are going to make people uncomfortable sometimes, and that this particular protest had nothing to do with the flag or the military. It was about police brutality.

At least one Twitter user noticed. 

"Respect for being so kind in your reply," Aaron Pelly said in response to her tweet thanking Robert. "I'm having a hard time being charitable right now. I believe your dad would be proud of you."

Cover photo: Shutterstock / Joseph Sohm


Subscribe to our newsletter and get the latest news and exclusive updates.