Trump celebrated Martin Luther King weekend by insulting a civil rights icon

Trump celebrated Martin Luther King weekend by insulting a civil rights icon
Picture: Rick Diamond and Spencer Platt /Getty

Martin Luther King Day marks the civil rights activist’s birthday, and is observed as a celebration of all he has achieved for equality and race relations in the US.

Donald Trump kicked off weekend celebrations with a series of characteristic tweets, in which he criticised Republican, civil rights activist and a representative for Georgia's 5th congressional district, John Lewis.

Lewis is renowned for his exhaustive efforts alongside Martin Luther King during the civil rights movement in America.

In 1960, he was chairman of the student nonviolent coordinating committee, and in 1965, he suffered a skull fracture and "almost died" following an assault by a “state trooper" during a demonstration in Selma.

Trump’s comments garnered much criticism, and people pointed out that Lewis was not, in fact "all talk talk talk":

In fact, the republican has been arrested 45 times for various forms of civil disobedience, including nonviolent protests, staging sit-ins, and using 'white only' facilities during segregation in the US.

Others pointed out that Trump's assertion of an increase in crime is inaccurate:

Violent crime in the US is on the increase - a national, not a state trend - however general crime in Atlanta is down since 2009.

And people pointed out that his tweets were in bad taste:

Trump's comments came in response to Lewis's on NBC News, where he said he didn’t “see this President-elect as a legitimate president”.

President of the the National Association for the Advancement of Coloured People (NAACP), Cornell Williams Brooks, is calling on the President-elect to apologise for his comments, which “demeaned Americans”.

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