Trump breaks with tradition, critics protest on MLK Day
Sheetal Sukhija - Tuesday 16th January, 2018
Trump marked MLK Day activities at his Mar-a-Lago property in Florida
Martin Luther King Jr.'s children decried recent disparaging remarks by Trump
Protests between Haitian immigrants and Trump supporters broke out near Trump’s Florida resort
FLORIDA, U.S. - U.S. President Donald Trump marked Martin Luther King Jr. Day breaking with Presidential tradition, visiting his golf course and spending time at his Mar-a-Lago property in Florida.
On the other hand, Americans staged gatherings across the nation, with activists, residents and teachers honoring the late civil rights leader.
On Monday, Americans held protest rallies to mark what would have been Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.’s 89th birthday, ahead of the 50th anniversary of his assassination in Memphis, Tennessee.
However, the American President marked his first King holiday as president buffeted by allegations of being a ‘racist’ after allegations emerged that he had labelled certain immigrants as having arrived in the U.S. from “shithole” countries during a meeting with senators on immigration last week.
Trump was alleged to have used crude language to describe African countries and had questioned the need to allow more Haitians into the U.S.
He is also said to have asked why the country couldn't have more immigrants from nations like Norway.
Meanwhile, on Monday, King's eldest son, Martin Luther King III, criticized Trump in Washington, saying, "When a president insists that our nation needs more citizens from white states like Norway, I don't even think we need to spend any time even talking about what it says and what it is."
He added, "We got to find a way to work on this man's heart."
Last Friday, Trump urged Americans to observe the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday with acts of civic work and community service to honor the life of the civil rights legend.
However, on Monday, reports pointed out that Trump did not stick to his own words - and instead decided to spend the day golfing.
Reports cited Trump’s schedule and said no public events were listed there for the day.
So far, the White House hasn’t made any officials statement on Trump’s schedule or provide any details on how the President would spend his day.
In Florida, where the President was said to be through the day, hundreds of demonstrators, including many from the Haitian community, greeted Trump in West Palm Beach.
Protests broke out between Haitian immigrants and Trump supporters near the president's Florida resort.
They called for Trump to apologize for his controversial comments.
Byrnes Guillaume, organizer of the protest said, "Mr. Trump, we want him to know what he said was not who we are and he needs to apologize. It was unbecoming of a president."
Martin Luther King Jr.'s children and the pastor of an Atlanta church where he once preached decried the disparaging remarks made by Trump.
King's daughter, the Rev. Bernice King, addressed hundreds of people who packed the pews of the Ebenezer Baptist Church that they "cannot allow the nations of the world to embrace the words that come from our president as a reflection of the true spirit of America."
Bernice King said, “We are one people, one nation, one blood, one destiny. ... All of civilization and humanity originated from the soils of Africa. Our collective voice in this hour must always be louder than the one who sometimes does not reflect the legacy of my father."
Further, Church pastor, the Rev. Raphael Warnock took issue with Trump's campaign slogan to "Make America Great Again."
Warnock said he thinks America "is already great ... in large measure because of Africa and African people."
In some parts of the country, a smaller pro-Trump contingent waved American flags and campaign posters while yelling "Trump is making America great again."
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