By Our Correspondent
U.S. President-elect Donald Trump and African American civil rights activists on Monday, commemorated the civil rights icon, Dr Martin Luther King Jr. for his contributions to civil and labour rights in America.
Trump, who had come under fire from both Republicans and Democrats for his attack on Democratic Rep. John Lewis, took to twitter to hail King for “the many wonderful things that he stood for “
“Celebrate Martin Luther King Day and all of the many wonderful things that he stood for. Honour him for being the great man that he was!” Trump tweeted on the 2017 Martin Luther King Day.
Lewis, who took to twitter before addressing a group of civil rights movement, paid tribute to the late King, touched on a number of important achievements by the civil rights leader and touched on ‘I Have a Dream’ speech, which Lewis also spoke at during the 1963 March on Washington.
“Dr King taught us to recognise the dignity and worth of every human being. He was the moral compass of our nation. #IHaveADream,” Lewis tweeted on Martin Luther King Jr. Day.
Lewis also shared a series of historic images of King’s civil rights activism including King marching, getting arrested, and sitting with other activists during The Freedom Ride, a nonviolent protest to integrate interstate bus lines.
“Dr Martin Luther King, Jr. was my friend, my mentor; he was like a big brother. He marched for us. #goodtrouble. He protested for us. #goodtrouble. He went to jail for us. #goodtrouble. He gave his life for us.
“We honor Dr King’s legacy through service to our community and adherence to the philosophy & discipline of nonviolence #MLKDay #goodtrouble. Our nation has at times created & enforced unjust laws. It is up to people of conscience to expose such injustice through nonviolent means,” Lewis tweeted.
Addressing a breakfast in honour of King, Lewis challenged Black Americans to use their franchise to speak up against oppression.
“Register to vote. Your vote is precious, almost sacred. Dream dreams and never give up on your dreams. Never hate. Hate is too much a burden to bear. The way of love is a better way. The way of peace is a better way. Speak up, don’t keep quiet. Keep on fighting for your rights,” Lewis said, among others.
King’s Day is an American federal holiday marking the birthday of Martin Luther King Jr.
It is observed on the third Monday of January each year, which is around King’s birthday on January 15.
King was the chief spokesman for nonviolent activism in the Civil Rights Movement, which successfully protested racial discrimination in federal and state law.
The epic march from Selma to Montgomery culminated in President Johnson signing the Voting Rights Act of 1965, one of the most significant victories for the civil rights movement.
The Lewis-Trump fracas started Saturday, when Lewis told NBC’s “Meet the Press” that he didn’t see Trump as a legitimate president and wouldn’t be attending the inauguration for the first time in 30 years.
Trump struck back on Twitter, saying that Lewis needed to focus on his congressional district in Georgia, “which is in horrible shape and falling apart (not to mention crime infested) rather than falsely complaining about the election results.”
Trump added that Lewis is “All talk, talk, talk — no action or results”.
According to reports, during a Black History Month celebration in February 2008, then President George W. Bush spoke of the march from Selma to Montgomery, and of Lewis.
“Congressman John Lewis earned his place in history long before winning a seat in the United States Capitol. More than 40 years later, John Lewis continues to inspire us — and we’re blessed to have him here today,” Bush said.
The confrontation on Bloody Sunday left him with a skull fracture.
Lewis has frequently taken politicians, both Republicans and Democrats, to the city for a personal lesson in civil rights history.
Among the invitees were President Barack Obama and former presidents George W. Bush and Bill Clinton.
Lewis said on “Meet the Press” that he would not extend an invitation to Trump, according to reports.
Trump, civil rights group honour Martin Luther King Jr
By Our Correspondent