Donald Trump’s recent criticism of revered Rep. John Lewis has drawn the ire of many who accuse the president-elect of being insensitive to the black community.
In response to Lewis’s assertion that Trump is not a legitimate president because of Russian interference in the election process, Trump fired back Saturday, tweeting that the 76-year-old Georgia congressman and civil rights icon should “spend more time on fixing helping his district, which is in horrible shape and falling apart (not to mention crime infested) rather than falsely complaining about the election results. All talk, talk, talk – no action or results. Sad!”
Trump’s reaction predictably caused an uproar, particularly within the African-American community, where Lewis’s status as a civil rights icon is virtually unassailable.
“I don’t think we have ever had a president so publicly condescending to what black politics means,” Mark Neal, an African and African-American studies professor at Duke University, told The New York Times.
Neal labeled Trump’s thoughts as “raw, unsophisticated, ignorant and uninformed,” adding that while other presidents such as Ronald Reagan and Bill Clinton may have imposed policies that hurt black communities, they were more sensitive to issues of race.
“[Trump] doesn’t care that people think the civil rights movement was important,” Neal told The Times. “He doesn’t feel the need to perform some sort of belief that it is important.”