The Administration

Trump should’ve Googled John Lewis before he Tweeted


In a photograph from his youth, President-elect Donald J. Trump poses in the dress uniform of a New York Military Academy cadet. He’s posed next to his father, real estate mogul Fred C. Trump, and his mother, the Scottish immigrant/social climber, Mary Anne MacLeod Trump.

He graduated from NYMA in 1964, and with all due respect to the class of ’17, at the time his school had the reputation as little more than a holding pen for rich, disaffected young men who’d reach a level of incompetence unwelcome at other institutions.

During that same time, John Lewis, the son of the sharecropper Eddie Lewis, and Willie Mae Carter Lewis, was running the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee, and he was a keynote speaker at the 1963 March On Washington, the gathering where the Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. gave his “I Have A Dream Speech.”

In an excruciating photo, taken about the time Trump was more focused on female conquest and winning squash matches than his studies during his years at Fordham University, John Lewis is on the ground, his hands covering his head as he’d been trained, while an Alabama state trooper beats him with a baton. Lewis, who would be arrested more than 40 times for his civil rights work, came away from that encounter with a fractured skull.

Meanwhile, Trump transferred to Wharton School of Finance and Commerce, and racked up five draft deferments — four for college, and one for bone spurs in his heels. He entered his father’s real estate business, where in 1973, the Department of Justice sued Trump and his company for alleged racial discrimination at their housing developments.

Trump and family settled, without admitting guilt, but only after Trump tried to counter-sue for $100 million.

{mosads}During that time, Lewis was director of the Voter Education Project, which coordinated the voter registration work of five different organizations, including the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, the NAACP, and the National Urban League. In 1987, John Lewis was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives from Georgia’s Fifth district. In 1998, he published, “Walking With the Wind: A Memoir of a Movement.” It won the Robert F. Kennedy Book Award. He followed it with a much-acclaimed series of graphic novels titled, “March.”

In 1987, Trump published “Art of the Deal,” followed by “The Art of the Comeback,” “How to Get Rich,” and “Think Like a Billionaire,” though we don’t actually know if Trump is a billionaire as he won’t release his income taxes.

In 2005, Trump was recorded bragging that he could grab women by their genitals. 

Around that time, Rep. Lewis told an Oregon crowd of 30,000 protesting the war in Iraq: “People around the world will not be inspired by our missiles and our guns; they will be inspired by our ideas.”

In 2011, Trump began floating the (false) rumor that Pres. Barack Obama was not born in the U.S. That same year, Lewis was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

On Jan. 13, when Lewis said on “Meet the Press” that, while he believed in forgiveness and trying to work with people, he didn’t consider Trump a “legitimate” president. He also said he would not attend Trump’s inauguration.

On Jan. 14, Trump took to Twitter and suggested that Lewis should pay attention to his Georgia district, which is, said Trump, “in horrible shape and falling apart (not to mention crime infested. He also said that Lewis is “All talk, talk, talk — no action or results,” and ended with his signature dismissal, “Sad!”

This is the moment when I want to invoke the words of millennials in respect to Trump’s Tweets: “Donald, delete your account.”

But I won’t. I will ask President-elect Trump to Google a name before he starts slinging insults and grow a thicker skin.

Millions of American appreciate Lewis heroism. And we are hunkering down to make your next months in the Oval Office as uncomfortable as we possibly can. 

You’ve been warned.

Susan Campbell is a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist, author and distinguished lecturer in journalism at the University of New Haven. She is the author of Dating Jesus: Fundamentalism, Feminism and the American Girl and the upcoming Searching for The American Dream in Frog Hollow. Her work has appeared in The Guardian. Follow her @campbellsl

The views expressed by Contributors are their own and are not the views of The Hill.





Tags Barack Obama Chuck Todd civil rights Fordham John Lewis Meet the Press Penn Selma SNCC Trump
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