President, known proponent of racist birther conspiracy, ‘honors’ MLK Day – ThinkProgress

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President Donald Trump — who constructed his political profession on the false declare that the nation’s first African-American president was born in Kenya and launched his presidential marketing campaign by smearing immigrants — marked Martin Luther King Jr. Day with a two-minute go to to the civil-rights icon’s memorial.

Trump on Monday was joined by Vice President Mike Pence and David Bernhardt, appearing secretary of the Inside, as he laid a wreath on the Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial on the Nationwide Mall in Washington, D.C. Your entire journey, together with the motorcade, took about fifteen minutes.

The unscheduled go to got here after a tweet earlier that day, wherein Trump wrote, “At present we have fun Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. for standing up for the self-evident reality Individuals maintain so expensive, that it doesn’t matter what the colour of our pores and skin or the place of our delivery, we’re all created equal by God.”

Reacting to Trump’s tweet, Gary Orfield, co-director of The Civil Rights Venture on the College of California, Los Angeles, instructed ThinkProgress: “Trump usually tries to spin actuality, however his tweet suggesting he affirms the beliefs of Martin Luther King is really unimaginable.

“He was elected in a racist marketing campaign,” Orfield stated, “and his administration has attacked civil rights in appointments, in regulation adjustments, in attacking affirmative motion, in creating unspeakable circumstances for refugee households, and turning the Supreme Courtroom to the laborious proper.

Orfield stated Trump’s statements and insurance policies “have unleashed the demons of racial hate and inspired white nationalists.”

“I used to be within the authentic March on Washington,” he stated. “Those that imagine in Dr. King’s imaginative and prescient of the ‘beloved group’ ought to be marching now as a result of this administration is essentially the most hostile we’ve skilled in a century.”

After years of advocating for his racist “birther” conspiracy, Trump introduced his presidential candidacy in 2015 by declaring that Mexico was not “sending its greatest” to immigrate to the U.S.

“They’re sending folks that have a number of issues, and so they’re bringing these issues with us. They’re bringing medication. They’re bringing crime. They’re rapists,” he stated on the time. “Some, I assume, are good folks.”

All through each his marketing campaign and his presidency, Trump has repeatedly doubled down on racist and anti-immigrant statements.

He repeatedly berated U.S. District Decide Gonzalo Curiel, who presided over two lawsuits into the failed Trump College, and claimed he was biased as a consequence of his ethnicity. “I feel it has to do with, maybe, the truth that I’m very, very robust on the border — very, very robust on the border,” Trump instructed Fox Information in February 2017. “He has been extraordinarily hostile to me. Now, he’s Hispanic, I imagine.”

Throughout his marketing campaign, Trump marketed himself to African-American voters by asking, “What do it’s important to lose?” As president, he declared that there have been some “very high quality folks” among the many white nationalist protesters on the Unite the Proper rally in Charlottesville, and referred to Haiti, El Salvador and several other African nations as “shithole nations.”

In his protection of the border wall — a key marketing campaign promise — Trump has repeatedly derided immigrants. Previous to the 2018 midterm elections, he released an ad claiming that convicted cop-killer Luis Bracamontes had illegally entered the nation below the Democrats’ watch, when in actuality he had entered in 2002 when George W. Bush was president.

His repeated deal with how “unlawful immigrants” are committing extra crimes can also be false. The libertarian Cato Institute has discovered that immigrants commit crime at a disproportionately decrease fee than naturalized residents.

In the meantime, the partial authorities shutdown — now the longest in U.S. historical past — has disproportionately impacted African Individuals. Because the Guardian famous, African Individuals make up 12 % of the U.S. inhabitants, however 18 % of the federal workforce. The shutdown can also be centered round a border wall, which, as ThinkProgress has beforehand famous, would do little to fight smuggling and solely function purple meat to Trump’s base.

“Donald Trump’s actions are shattering the ‘beloved group’ that Dr. King dreamed for our nation. If Trump and his administration really needed to honor the legacy of Martin Luther King Jr., they’d cease their ongoing assault on our civil and human rights,” Vanita Gupta, president and chief government of The Management Convention on Civil and Human Rights, instructed ThinkProgress.

The irony, nevertheless, of presiding over all of this whereas concurrently making an attempt to honor King was apparently misplaced on each Trump and Pence. In an interview with Fox Information Sunday, Pence went as far as to liken Trump to King.

“[This] weekend we’re remembering the life and the work of Reverend Martin Luther King Jr.,” Pence stated. “He impressed us to alter via the legislative course of, to turn into a extra good union…that’s precisely what President Trump is asking on the Congress to do, come to the desk in a spirit of excellent religion.”

The NAACP labeled the interview “an insult to Dr. King’s legacy.”

King’s son, Martin Luther King III, hit again.

“The vice chairman tried to match the president to Martin Luther King, Jr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was a bridge builder, not a wall builder,” his son stated. “Martin Luther King, Jr. would say, ‘Love, not hate, will make America nice.’”

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