Eddie Mair 4pm - 7pm
Martin Luther King III is 'filled with hope' as US welcomes President Biden
20 January 2021, 21:55
Global rights activist Martin Luther King III gives his instant reaction to President Biden's inauguration.
Joe Biden was sworn in as 46th President of the United States today and entered the White House for the first time.
Mr King told Iain that he "absolutely is" filled with hope: "I think that President Biden set the exact tone that was needed for the nation, where he focused on the concept of unity, but he focused on fighting racism in our nation.
"He also talked about that none of the things he wants to do can be achieved unless we are willing to roll up our sleeves and work in a united way."
Mr King continued that President Biden is someone who naturally "builds bridges": "For the first time in four years, we see what a Commander-in-Chief should have looked like. It sort of renews your hope in the institution of Government."
He commented that the new President's extending of the olive branch to all Americans, no matter what political stripe, is a "huge difference" to the environment Donald Trump created.
Iain asked whether Mr Trump's impeachment hearings should be "brought to a halt" in one of Mr Biden's first acts of President, to which Mr King said that is a decision for the House and Senate to make.
"We do live in a country of laws and if the President himself breaks the law he's not above the law. I don't think you just put bygones by the side of the road and say let bygones be bygones."
The son of Martin Luther King Jr branded Mr Trump "beyond criminal" for inciting the violent riots at Capitol Hill - especially after those who did not support the previous President "gave him his four years."
Iain asked Mr King how he felt after a woman of colour was sworn in as the Vice President to which he responded that it was "monumental", especially to his young daughter.
Mr King responded: "We've had 40 plus men who have been sworn in as Vice President and we've had forty plus men who were sworn in as President. Now for the first time in the history of this country we have a female who happens to be a black woman and a south east Asian woman.
"Finally in history a barrier has been broken."
He predicted that in his lifetime, especially after this groundbreaking appointment, there will be a female US president.