erik lundegaard

Thursday August 06, 2020

'He Didn't Come to My Inauguration'

These are the last questions Axios' Jonathan Swan asked Donald Trump in his devastating interview the other day. I have to include them because it's about my man John Lewis. Keep in mind: We're talking about an American hero here. 

Swan: John Lewis is lying in state in the U.S. Capitol. How do you think history will remember John Lewis?

Trump: I don't know. I really don't know. I don't know. I don't know John Lewis. He chose not to come to my inauguration. He chose... I never met John Lewis, actually, I don't believe. 

Swan: Do you find him impressive?

Trump: I can't say one or the other. I find a lot of people impressive. I find many people not impressive. But no, but I didn't go-

Swan: Do you find his story impressive?

Trump: He didn't come to my inauguration. He didn't come to my State of the Union speeches, and that's okay. That's his right. And again, nobody has done more for Black Americans than I have.

Swan: I understand.

Trump: He should've come. I think he made a big mistake by not showing up.

Swan: But taking your relationship with him out of it, do you find his story impressive? What he's done for this country?

Trump: He was a person that devoted a lot of energy and a lot of heart to civil rights, but there were many others also.

Swan: There's a petition to rename the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, Alabama as the John Lewis Bridge. Would you support that idea?

Trump: I would have no objection to it if they've like to do it.

Swan: Yeah? It's a good idea?

Trump: Would have no objection to it whatsoever.

A few points worth reiterating:

  1. What does Trump know about John Lewis' achievements? What specifically? In his first response, he says “I don't know” four times and three different ways.
  2. All he knows is the personal: “He didn't come to my inauguration. He didn't come to my State of the Union speeches.” 
  3. And in the same breath, in which he talks vaguely and dismissively about a man who put his life on the line again and again for civil rights and voting rights, he says, “Nobody has done more for Black Americans than I have.”

Civil rights hero? He didn't honor me. Me, who wouldn't rent to African Americans, took out a full page age calling for the death of the Central Park Five, and came to power via race-baiting? No one's done more for Black Americans.

What I wouldn't give to make this solipsistic horror show see the light for just 60 seconds. 

Posted at 12:03 PM on Thursday August 06, 2020 in category Politics  
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Twitter: @ErikLundegaard