Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis served as the guest speaker for Big Bethel AME Church’s MLK Day Celebration. Held on Jan. 14, it’s an annual event at Atlanta’s oldest Black American-led church.
Willis began her speech by revealing that her father, John C. Lloyd III, actually spent time with Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. “See, my father was one of the few Americans living who was actually able to meet and spend time with Dr. Martin Luther King,” Willis shard. “He told me, now you look around in every corner they have Dr. Martin Luther King’s picture. Anywhere you go. They are celebrating Dr. King. He said well that’s not how it was. My father revealed to me there were moments where Dr. King was sad. He was sad because people were cruel to him.”
Willis shed light on the hate she has received since taking on the challenge to indict Donald Trump and 18 others for their role in overturning the 2020 election in Georgia. Revealing that she continues to receive hate mail.
She also addressed the recent controversy surrounding special prosecutor Nathan Wade. The attorney for Trump co-defendant, Michael Roman, issued a motion to have Roman’s charges dismissed, citing that Willis’ alleged personal relationship with Wade should disqualify her from continuing to prosecute the case. The attorney claims that Willis signed off to pay Wade $654,000 since 2022 to serve as a special prosecutor. Wade is now being investigated by U.S. House Republicans.
Willis called out the accusation without mentioning Wade by name during her speech.
“Why are they so surprised that a diverse team can accomplish the extraordinary,” she said. “They attack this lawyer with impeccable credentials who had been a judge for more than two years. With a private practice for more than 20 years, representing businesses in civil litigation. Served as a prosecutor. A criminal defense lawyer. Special Assistant Attorney General. One Chief Justice Roberts been an award from the State Bar of Georgia. You know, they aren’t just giving those to Black men. The same Black man I hired was acceptable when a Republican in another town hired him and paid him twice the rate I paid him? Why is the white male Republican judge good enough, but the Black female Democrats not?”
She closed her speech by revealing how Dr. King faced backlash during his fight for civil rights, but it is now being celebrated nationwide.
“He was full of mistakes, pitfalls, pain and ugliness,” Willis said. “Despite all of that, he overcame those things. And he changed the entire world. We’re at a time in history where they want to throw away books and not talk about history. Some of y’all may have forgotten when Dr. King was alive, he was attacked for his stance on the Vietnam War. The FBI tried to discredit his legacy be revealing personal indiscretions. But now that same FBI will take a day off to celebrate Dr. King.”
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