Black leaders are condemning former civil rights leader Rep. John Lewis (D-Ga.) for saying the 45th President of the United States Donald Trump is not a “legitimate president” in his eyes.
Not taking the insult Lewis orated during his Sunday interview with Meet the Press lightly, Trump quickly took to Twitter in retaliation – only to incur a backlash from critics for disrespectfully fighting back against the “civil rights icon” on Martin Luther King Day weekend.
Clearly in the wrong
However, not all black leaders rallied behind Lewis as a champion of civil rights, as Brotherhood Organization of a New Destiny (BOND) Founder Jesse Peterson saw no merit in Lewis’ denunciation of Trump.
“Lewis is not a hero, and he’s not an icon,” Peterson insisted to WND. “He participated in the civil rights movement 50 years ago; since that time, he has not done anything good for the country – and especially for black Americans. And even if he was a hero in his time, if he does or says something wrong, and he’s in a position of authority, he should be chastised or corrected for what he’s done. He’s not above correction.”
The prominent columnist and radio host asserts that the black representative from Georgia made a mistake by disputing Trump’s validity as president – contending that Lewis and other Democrats hurling insults at the new White House resident are staging desperate attempts to retain political clout and posture.
“That is an attempt to hold the country back, to prevent Donald Trump from being effective and to keep America under the control of the liberals,” expressed Peterson, who authored The Antidote: Healing America from the Poison of Hate, Blame, and Victimhood. “It’s all about that. The Democratic Party wants to maintain control of the people of this country, and that’s why they cannot accept losing. They can’t accept that because it’s hard for them to accept that Americans no longer believe in their line and agree with them.”
Siding with Peterson on Trump’s side is Americans for Israel Founder Ben Kinchlow, who, as an African American, says that Lewis is far from being above reproach.
“In fact, his status as a so-called ‘civil-rights icon’ would be the basis for this criticism,” Kinchlow shared with WND. “Mr. Lewis should be at the front of those people supporting a man whose positions the Democrats vehemently disagree with. If memory serves, it was the Democrats who made his status as a civil rights leader necessary in the first place.”
Black and blue … Dems socking it to black Americans
The 700 Club co-host addressed the issue of how the Democratic Party has an abysmal track record when it comes to handling racial tensions – a contention he made in his book, Black Yellowdogs. He argues that many Americans have it all backwards, noting that throughout American history, it has been the Republican Party – not Democrats – who have championed African Americans.
Kinchlow pointed out how it was the Democratic Party that never permitted any federal anti-lynching measures to become law – whether by filibuster or committee. He then noted that the “Radical Republicans” were the ones who fought for the abolition of slavery and for the absolute equality of newly freed slaves during the post-Civil War period. In fact, it was Democratic President Andrew Johnson who consistently fought against any attempt by the Republicans to help freed slaves. Also mentioned was how white Republicans have often been targeted by the Ku Klux Klan for being [racially offensive term] lovers. It was further pointed out that the KKK emerged as the Democratic Party’s significant constituency group that has assisted it in electing mayors, judges, sheriffs and legislators who subsequently became members of the Klan.
A close look at laws in the book also points to the Republican Party – and not the Democrats – as being a friend to America’s black community.
“Furthermore, Republicans voted for the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965 at greater rates than Democrats did – in both the House and Senate,” WND reports. “House Republicans out-supported House Democrats on the Civil Rights Act 81 to 60 percent and on the Voting Rights Act 85 to 80 percent. Senate Republicans out-supported Democrats on the Civil Rights Act 82 to 60 percent and on the Voting Rights Act 97 to 74 percent. And America’s ‘first black president’ was not very friendly to blacks, either.”
In his book, Kinchlow recounted how in 1989, then-Gov. Bill Clinton (D-Ark.) was sued by the NAACP for violating the federal Voting Rights Act of 1965, as he was ordered by a three-judge panel to permit blacks to have greater voting strength by redrawing electoral districts.
Show appreciation, not contempt
After Lewis denigrated Trump, Gov. Paul LePage (R-Maine) suggested that the former civil rights leader brush up on his history so he can see and appreciate the many lengths the Republican Party has gone through to make life better for black people in America. Standing behind LePage’s statement, Kinchlow advised Lewis to be wary about discounting the numerous advances blacks have made in the U.S.
“As a so-called ‘civil rights leader,’ he should know that our country is founded on the right of an individual to participate in government, and that the Republicans are primarily responsible for all the civil rights blacks now enjoy,” Kinchlow insisted.
Speaking as someone who fought for civil rights himself as a young black man back in the 1950s and 1960s, Kinchlow argues that Lewis’ vow to not attend Trump’s inauguration today is extremely disrespectful and advised against it.
“Of all people, he should be specifically aware that the history of our nation includes a time when blacks would not have even been invited to attend an inauguration – much less refuse to do so,” Kinchlow castigated Lewis.
Even though Peterson refrained from calling Lewis’ pledge to not show up at Trump’s inauguration disrespectful, he said it would be the “honorable thing to do,” but doubted that he would have a change of heart. Peterson considers Lewis as a modern-day “race hustler,” as he referred to him in his book, where speaks on America’s current racial divide.
“Congressman Lewis is a great deceiver, and he is pretending to be representing what Martin Luther King was about,” Peterson warned. “But he’s not representing love and unity at all, because Dr. King was about uniting the country – uniting the races rather than dividing them – and Lewis has been, and is, intentionally dividing the races for his own personal gain of power and wealth.”