MLK's niece on viral hoodie image: 'Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. would not wear a hoodie'

Liz Goodwin
Senior National Affairs Reporter
This image of Martin Luther King Jr. wearing a hoodie, which appears to be created by artist Nikkolas Smith, has gone viral.

The niece of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. says she is not a fan of the viral image of her uncle wearing a hoodie in support of Trayvon Martin. The image, created by artist Nikkolas Smith and spread widely by activist Van Jones on Twitter, shows a contemplative King wearing the garment, which has become a symbol of support for the slain 17-year-old.

“I can almost promise you Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. would not wear a hoodie,” said Alveda King on the Andrea Tantaros radio show Tuesday when asked about the image. Alveda King is a former state representative in Georgia and a right-wing anti-abortion activist and minister.

King said she and two of her cousins are calling on Americans not to “fight or debate” about the case, which she thinks did not raise any significant racial issues. The 29-year-old neighborhood watchman who shot the unarmed Martin, George Zimmerman, was acquitted of all charges against him on Saturday. Zimmerman is half Hispanic, Martin was black. “You've got two grieving and hurting families,” King said, before quoting her uncle. “We all need to live together as brothers.”

Tantaros asked King if she had seen the hoodie photo. “What do you think of this image? And what would your uncle think?” she asked.

“Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. would very likely not wear a hoodie,” she said. “I can assure you he would not wear sagging pants. I don't even think I’ve ever even seen his sons with sagging pants.” King then said the verdict had been reached and that Americans must accept it, before adding again, seemingly agitated, “I can almost promise you Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. would not wear a hoodie.“