Donald Trump has once again drawn the ire of African-American community.
With his depressingly underwhelming inauguration ceremony just around the corner, the president-elect has embroiled himself in yet another race-related controversy, this time by attacking a prominent civil rights hero.
Georgia Rep. John Lewis, who played a historic role in the movement to end segregation in the United States, recently questioned the legitimacy of Trump’s election in the light of alleged Russian involvement and declared he would not attend the ceremony on Jan. 20 — which will mark the first time he would miss the event since 1986.
The former reality TV star, in turn, decided to criticize the African-American icon the only way he knows:
Congressman John Lewis should finally focus on the burning and crime infested inner-cities of the U.S. I can use all the help I can get!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 15, 2017
Following the Twitter feud, which sparked a lot of controversy on social media, the incoming commander-in-chief also canceled a visit to the new Smithsonian Museum of African American History and Culture on Martin Luther King Jr. Day.
Trump also does not seem to have any other plans to observe the MLK Day, traditionally observed by both Democrats and Republicans alike.
Senior Trump officials said, “The visit was removed from his calendar due to scheduling issues and was not fully planned out.”
Now, it could be true, but since Trump is notorious for his childlike temper tantrums and the said museum features Lewis, who introduced legislation to create the museum in 1988, the alleged “scheduling issues” are suspect at best.
Soon after the news broke, around two dozen Democrats (out of 194 Democrats in the House), refused to attend Trump’s inauguration.
African Americans across the country have reacted to Trump’s remarks with fury.
At a time when he should be trying to bring the country together, the president-elect has successfully managed to alienate a community that was already wary of him.
During his divisive presidential campaign, then-Republican frontrunner frequently insulted the African Americans, calling them “thugs,” referring to their houses as “hell” and parroted other grossly incorrect stereotypes imposed on the group.
“You’re living in poverty. Your schools are no good. You have no jobs; 58 percent of your youth is unemployed. What the hell do you have to lose?” he said during a rally in Michigan in an attempt to court black voters.
In other instances, Trump supporters assaulted black attendees and Trump's team removed a group of black students from a campaign event even though they hadn’t done anything.
Now that he will become the 45th president of the United States, his racist rhetoric is more troubling than ever.
“I don’t think we have ever had a president so publicly condescending to what black politics means,” Mark Anthony Neal, an African and African-American studies professor at Duke University, told The New York Times. “He doesn’t care that people think the civil rights movement was important. He doesn’t feel the need to perform some sort of belief that it is important.”
The reaction on Twitter pretty much sums it all up:
@realDonaldTrump Stop disrespecting that man. You wonder why black America doesn't connect with you? You're attacking an MLK associate...— Sharika Soal (@LadyThriller69) January 15, 2017
@realDonaldTrump it's really odd that the image of John Lewis conjures up thoughts of "burning cities" for you. Why is that?— Isaac Saul (@Ike_Saul) January 15, 2017
@realDonaldTrump John Lewis risked his life fighting discrimination and the KKK. You are a bigot who was endorsed by the KKK.— Miranda Yaver (@mirandayaver) January 15, 2017
@realDonaldTrump you lost today, buddy. America loves John Lewis a lot more than you. Just put your phone down and call it a night...— Michael Skolnik (@MichaelSkolnik) January 15, 2017
Incidents of racist and xenophobic harassment witnessed a dramatic uptick in the days following Donald Trump’s surprise election victory in November 2016.
Thumbnail/Banner Credits: Reuters