Week 1/16 Action 2: Make Donald Trump Pay for Insulting Civil Rights Icon Representative John Lewis

When somebody shows you who they are, believe them the first time.
— Maya Angelou

Trump kicked off MLK weekend by insulting Representative John Lewis of Georgia, a civil rights leader and icon. 

In 2010, when President Barack Obama awarded Representative Lewis the Presidential Medal of Freedom, he said:

“There’s a quote inscribed over a doorway in Nashville, where students first refused to leave lunch counters 51 years ago this February. And the quote said, “If not us, then who? If not now, then when?” It’s a question John Lewis has been asking his entire life. It’s what led him back to the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma after he had already been beaten within an inch of his life days before. It’s why, time and again, he faced down death so that all of us could share equally in the joys of life. It’s why all these years later, he is known as the Conscience of the United States Congress, still speaking his mind on issues of justice and equality. And generations from now, when parents teach their children what is meant by courage, the story of John Lewis will come to mind — an American who knew that change could not wait for some other person or some other time; whose life is a lesson in the fierce urgency of now.”

Now let’s compare that what the President-elect just tweeted about Representative Lewis:

Sad, indeed! This time, our elected officials must hold Trump accountable for his words. The good news is that a growing number are. Some members of Congress are putting action behind their words and refusing to attend the inauguration. Here is a running list. All-of-us must make sure that list keeps growing. The inauguration is this Friday, January 20th. We must show our respect for Congressman Lewis and appreciate the fierce urgency of now.

Here’s how:

1. First thing Tuesday (1/17) morning, call (or visit) your Senators and Representatives and ask them to: 1) make a public statement on their website asking Donald Trump to apologize to Representative Lewis; 2) boycott the Inauguration. Use this script.

2. Write your local paper. You can use this resource or this one to find your local paper and call out members of Congress who have not made a public statement against Trump’s insults. 

3. Use this form to let us know what they say. We will update our toolkit with this intel. Here is a current list of Representatives who are boycotting (no Senators...yet).