Obama honors MLK Day: ‘He never gave in to violence, never waved a traitorous flag’


Former President Obama marked Martin Luther King Jr. Day in a tweet on Monday honoring the slain civil rights leader and calling on Americans to participate in acts of service.

“If anyone had a right to question whether our democracy was worth redeeming, it was Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.,” Obama wrote, sharing a picture of himself standing near King’s monument in Washington, D.C. “Because in the face of billy clubs and lynchings, poll taxes and literacy tests, he never gave in to violence, never waved a traitorous flag or gave up on our country.”

He shared a link to President-elect Joe Biden’s Inaugural Committee, which is hosting a national day of service as a key part of inauguration week.

“On #MLKDay, we celebrate his life but we’re also called to live out his values through service of our own,” Obama wrote.

Biden and his wife, incoming first lady Jill Biden, volunteered at a hunger relief organization in Philadelphia to mark MLK Day.

Biden’s inaugural committee organized more than 2,500 events across every U.S. state and territory as part of a national day of service. In years past, Obama, his family, and then-Vice President Biden participated in community volunteer events to highlight MLK Day.

President Trump and Vice President Pence are not scheduled to make any public appearances on Monday. The White House issued a proclamation marking Martin Luther King Jr. Day late last week.

Obama’s comments come nearly two weeks after a pro-Trump mob violently stormed the U.S. Capitol. 

The rioters toppled barricades, overwhelmed Capitol Police and caused mayhem throughout the building, smashing windows, stealing laptops and vandalizing offices. Four protesters died, as well as a Capitol Police officer.

One man who was seen in a viral photograph carrying the Confederate flag through the halls of Congress was arrested on Thursday

Former first lady Michelle Obama released a fiery condemnation of Trump and the rioters that also mentioned the “traitorous flag.” 

“Like all of you, I watched as a gang—organized, violent, and mad they’d lost an election—laid siege to the United States Capitol,” she said. “They set up gallows. They proudly waved the traitorous flag of the Confederacy through the halls. They desecrated the center of American government.”

She noted that “once authorities finally gained control of the situation, these rioters and gang members were led out of the building not in handcuffs, but free to carry on with their days.”

Tags acts of service Barack Obama Capitol siege Confederate flag Donald Trump Jill Biden Joe Biden Martin Luther King Jr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day Michelle Obama MLK

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