- 01/16/2017 by Linda Perry (WBAI News)
Rep John Lewis on twitter posted photos of MLK. The caption for this one; He went to jail for us #GoodTrouble
MLK Celebrations are taking place throughout the nation. In Brooklyn, King's legacy was celebrated at BAM with Master of Ceremonies Eric Adams and Opal Tometi, one of the founders of #BlackLivesMatter. School children in Harlem marched carrying signs which say, "I Have A Dream." In Atlanta, a commemoration at the Ebenezer Baptist Church was headlined by Bernie Sanders.
Elected officials sent out tributes and praised Dr. King. According to New York City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito, "It is up to all of us to continue to reject the normalization of prejudice and discrimination."
Civil Rights Icon, Georgia Representative John Lewis posted, "Our nation has at times created & enforced unjust laws. It is up to people of conscience to expose such injustice through nonviolent means.
Celebrating Dr. King's legacy, Lewis @repjohnlewis. tweeted a series of photos of Dr.King with the hashtag #goodtrouble
"We honor Dr. King’s legacy through service to our community and adherence to the philosophy & discipline of nonviolence #MLKDay #goodtrouble
He gave his life for us.
He went to jail for us. #goodtrouble
He protested for us. #goodtrouble
He marched for us. #goodtrouble
John Lewis @repjohnlewis
Dr. King taught us to recognize the dignity and worth of every human being. He was the moral compass of our nation. #IHaveADream
and Lewis says Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was my friend, my mentor; he was like a big brother.
With Donald Trump's inauguration days away, Lewis asserted that Trump's presidency is not legitimate. Friday on NBC Lewis said, “I don’t see this president-elect as a legitimate president." He said, "I don't plan to attend the inauguration."
Trump lashed back with another public twitter battle. “Congressman John Lewis should spend more time on fixing and helping his district, which is in horrible shape and falling apart (not to mention crime infested) rather than falsely complaining about the election results. All talk, talk, talk — no action or results. Sad!”
While Trump lieutenants came out in defense of Trump and Mike Pence encouraged Lewis to attend the inauguration, outrage over Trump's attack on Lewis ensued. Op-ed New York Times Columnist Charles Blow wrote, "Donald Trump doesn’t even deserve to stand in John Lewis’s shadow. The spectacular obscenity of Trump’s comment is incomparable and deeply repulsive." President of the NAACP, Dr. Cornell William Brooks tweeted, "By disrespecting @repjohnlewis, @realdonaldtrump dishonored Lewis' sacrifice & demeaned Americans & the rights, he nearly died 4. Apologize"
A Washington Post headline read, "In feud with John Lewis, Donald Trump attacked ‘one of the most respected people in America’" @NancyPelosi tweeted "let us remember that many have tried to silence @repjohnlewis over the years. All have failed." Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders "We all remember that Trump was one of the leaders of the so-called birther movement trying to de-legitimize the presidency of our first African-American President, Barack Obama, which is an outrage."
Meanwhile, today Trump tweeted "Celebrate Martin Luther King Day and all of the many wonderful things that he stood for. Honor him for being the great man that he was!"
This afternoon Martin Luther King's son, MLK III met with Donald Trump at Trump tower. Asked about what his father's message to Trump would have been, he said, “I think my father would be very concerned the fact that there are 50 or 60 million people living in poverty and somehow we have got to create the climate for all votes to be lifted. In America with a multi-trillion dollar economy, 20 trillion dollars almost, it’s insanity that we have poor people in this nation. That’s unacceptable and when we work together, we know we can roll up our sleeves. There’s nothing we as Americans can’t do." About the controversy between Lewis and Trump MLKIII said, "In the heat of emotion a lot of things get said on both sides. I am as John Lewis and many others a bridge builder.. that's what my father, my mother represented."
New York Representatives Nydia Velasquez, Adriano Espaillat, José Serrano, Yvette Clark and Jerrold Nadler won't be attending Donald Trump's inauguration. In a statement Nadler said, "We cannot normalize Donald Trump" and can't, in his words, "ignore such a threat to the institutions and values of our democracy."