Until his death last night at the age of 80, Congressman John Lewis (D-GA) was arguably the most famous of the dwindling number of founding members of the 1960s’ civil rights movement.
A veteran — and bloodied victim — of the Selma, Alabama march for racial equality and justice and a founder of the Student Non-violent Coordinating Committee, Lewis later became a potent political force in Democratic politics and the racial conscience of Congress.
While tributes to John Lewis flooded social media once news of his death from a months-long battle with stage-4 pancreatic cancer became public, Donald Trump was noticeably not among those offering condolences…until this afternoon.
Before Trump finally deigned to post the briefest of tweets about the death of one of his fiercest critics on race relations, he faced harsh criticism over his failure to respond to Lewis’ death and intense speculation as to the motivations behind his silence.
..The fact that no WH statement on the death of @repjohnlewis has yet been issued raises questions. Incompetence? Malevolence? Would Trump have responded differently than Ike, JFK and LBJ to the civil rights movement in the late 50s and early 60s?
— Glenn Kessler (@GlennKesslerWP) July 18, 2020
The negative response that was showered on Trump for his inability to transcend political differences even after the death of a well-respected opponent must have grown to the point that the president or one of his more politically-savvy staff finally was forced to issue as minimal a Twitter tribute as possible.
Saddened to hear the news of civil rights hero John Lewis passing. Melania and I send our prayers to he and his family.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 18, 2020
Obviously, Trump was not so saddened that he couldn’t have fit in a full round of golf this morning before getting around to posting his condolences.
The responses to his tweet demonstrate that, for many people, the president’s post was too little, too late to get any compassion credits deposited in his account.
But would an aide have gotten the grammar so wrong?
— Willy M (@DynamoWilly) July 18, 2020
John Lewis fought for the children who you tear from their parents at the border. He fought for people like George Floyd. He fought against the injustice that you and your administration has caused.
— Mrs. Krassenstein (@HKrassenstein) July 18, 2020
No one expected him to offer any meaningful or unifying words to honor Lewis, but he found the way to say absolutely nothing and still say something. It’s remarkable how bad he is at being president.
— Chris (@TheTweetinChris) July 18, 2020
You're endorsed by the KKK.
You're the greatest perpetuator of white supremacy we have.
You're the antithesis of Rep. Lewis.
He was the human being you're incapable of ever being.
We'll honor him by voting you and your cadre of racists into oblivion.https://t.co/0kzOtqL5xA
— John Pavlovitz (@johnpavlovitz) July 18, 2020
keep John Lewis's name out of your mouth
— Jeff Tiedrich (@itsJeffTiedrich) July 18, 2020
Trump is a coward, he is a racist from his heart. He only tweeted this tweet because someone took his phone and forced him to Tweet this
— Pantomath (@pantomath__) July 18, 2020
Nah, he probably had to poop
— radical leftist betty (@scarybetty) July 18, 2020
As A usual, too little, too late. Your #EmptyPlatitudes mean nothing.
— Just Tess (@irishanjel) July 18, 2020
Couldn't even spell correctly in this tweet, couldn't take the time.
— Patricia Sevier (@grandmoo1970) July 18, 2020
— Pantomath (@pantomath__) July 18, 2020
And I'm hoping Trump will be remembered also as a convicted felon. Time will tell. pic.twitter.com/UifSA3MB8i
— Sharon (@SharonB94592344) July 18, 2020
The outraged comments go on and on with fewer than normal Trump supporters willing to jump into the social media fray to defend the president’s delayed nod to Lewis’ mourning family.
Trump’s pitiful and petulant behavior only proves that not only is he the worst president that this country has ever had, he is also one of the worst human beings to ever walk the face of this planet.
As his own niece, Mary Trump, describes him: Donald Trump is a “psychologically deeply damaged man” who will “not get better.”
America will get better…the minute we jettison this parcel of damaged goods from office.
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Vinnie Longobardo is a 35-year veteran of the TV, mobile & internet industries, specializing in start-ups and the international media business. His passions are politics, music and art.