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When it Comes To Honoring Martin Luther King, Maybe Trump Should Skip It


When it Comes To Honoring Martin Luther King, Maybe Trump Should Skip It

Leonard Pitts Jr.

I am not looking forward to April 4.

In fact, I’ve been dreading it for months. April 4 is, of course, the 50th anniversary of the day Martin Luther King was murdered in Memphis. As such, it is one of those days when a president is called upon for wise words of summation and honor.

Unfortunately, the president to whom that task now falls is Donald Trump.

The churning in my stomach at the remembrance of that fact is a visceral reminder of just how much President Obama spoiled us all. Particularly African Americans.


Thank you for that moment of sanity The idea that the most meaningful thing Trump could do on April 4 is just occupy himself with his toys and leave us out of it would be fine with me.


After recently watching the movie Lincoln, about the passage, in 1865, of the 13th Amendment, I could not help but reflect on this very point . . . that there is still so much to do, so far to go, beyond the 50 year legacy of Dr. King . . . beyond the 153 year history of a promise unkept.


Respectfully, Mr. Pitts, passages like this make me uncomfortable, and it’s exceedingly delicate to explain why. In an unrelated piece (about that movie) Margaret Kimberley’s words are so pertinent that I’d beg you to consider this as a response:

But the lack of political education amongst ourselves is the bigger issue here. Without that the desire for justice and inclusion can be reduced to seeing people who look like us. We may ignore a problematic political message in a film or even worse support a president who destroyed the advanced African nation of Libya. That real life villain was a black face in a high place too.


MLK would have judged Obama by the content of his character, not by the color of his skin. Had he been alive during Obama’s terms, he would have been out front protesting the militarism, torture, domestic spying, and catering to the wealthy to the neglect of the poor. And while the police were cracking skulls at his protests, Obama would have been quietly slipping out the side door or running off to be in some other country until the dust settled.


I think that Trump is in for a great deal of “Stormy Weather” and rightly so.

Anything Trump says on April 4th will definitely be scripted. Never from the heart.