September 16, 2019 | 65° F

EDITORIAL: Trump’s rocky road to inauguration

President-elect’s comments to civil rights leader are raising tensions


There had already been a mélange of different sentiments surrounding the fast-approaching Presidential Inauguration. But as President-elect Donald J. Trump and civil rights leader John Lewis faced an indirect dispute, the atmosphere of pre-Inaugural America has been even more muddled.

On the final Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day of the administration of President Barack Obama, the first and only black president of the United States, Trump has relayed insulting comments to Rep. John Lewis (D-Ga.). Lewis, a recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2011, spoke with journalist Chuck Todd in “Meet the Press” to share the fact that he does not regard Trump as “a legitimate president.” This jab at Trump’s nearing presidency was prompted by recent allegations by the C.I.A. that his nomination was due to Russian intelligence hacking attacks. Trump, who is known for his unfiltered comments on Twitter, revisited the social media app to assert that Lewis should focus his attention on “fixing and helping his district” along with the “burning and crime infested inner cities.”

Trump, calling Lewis out on his “crime infested” district, is implying that Atlanta needs help. But this is not necessarily the case. Crime and unemployment rates in Atlanta have dropped from last year and initiatives have been put in place for a gun violence task force.

This is why people have been outraged ever since the release of these comments.

Representatives from black communities have said that these attacks on Lewis, who is a respected member of the government and communities in general, is merely further evidence that Trump lacks the sentiments of sensitivity and understanding toward black communities. But it is not only black communities that are upset. An increasing number of Democratic lawmakers have decided to boycott the president-elect’s inauguration. Amongst this group are representatives from California, Minnesota, New York, Arizona, Michigan, Oregon, Missouri, Ohio, New Jersey, Illinois, Washington and even Wisconsin. These representatives instead plan to meet with one another and discuss strategies to oppose the Trump administration. These plans for the boycott are upsetting President-elect Trump’s supporters who claim that it is a sign of disrespect for the presidency. They feel as though Trump is being singled out. This is not true, though.

When Obama was to be inaugurated, a large number of Republicans were not shy about voicing their disappointment in his nomination. Amongst these people was Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), who did not attend Obama’s inauguration.

Trump supporters also point out the fact that this type of disrespect was not displayed during other controversial presidencies, such as those of Democrat Bill Clinton and Republican Ronald Reagan. However, black communities have explained that although these presidents enforced certain policies that resulted in inexcusable negative effects toward people in black communities, they at least showed sensitivity toward the subject.

With Trump’s inauguration only a few days away, his opponents need to realize that he will, in fact, be our president. But accepting his presidency does not mean they cannot oppose it. In fact, as many of those boycotting his inauguration have said, if there is a lack of respect for the beliefs that are being put on display, there is no need to support them. This is what these representatives, as well as the people angered by Trump's attacks on Lewis, plan to do. Trump attempted to perhaps ease situations by meeting with Martin Luther King III in order to properly celebrate the national holiday effectively, but if Trump was really concerned about the way the black community perceived him, he would not have waited so long to blatantly denounce former Klu Klux Klan leader David Duke.

The Daily Targum's editorials represent the views of the majority of the 148th editorial board. Columns, cartoons and letters do not necessarily reflect the views of the Targum Publishing Company or its staff.

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