Donald Trump sparks anger by golfing instead of volunteering on Martin Luther King Jr Day
Donald Trump has rejected the legacy of former Presidents who volunteered on Martin Luther King Jr Day – going golfing instead.
Presidents Barack Obama, George W. Bush and Bill Clinton all commemorated the day, which celebrates King’s civil rights activism, by volunteering to help their local community.
Clinton helped in the renovation of a senior health centre and painted the walls of a high school in the capital.
Bush invited African-American clergy to the White House, went to religious services which honoured King, and also painted a high school.
On every MLK Day in his eight-year term, Obama and his family volunteered, working at everywhere from a soup kitchen to a family shelter.
What noble, understated good deed did Trump do on this national holiday, you may well ask.
He played golf.
For the third day in a row, the President hit a small ball around one of his own private courses, the Trump International Golf Club in West Palm Beach.
A White House spokeswoman said that Trump was not taking part in any public events related to MLK Day, but did not answer requests for comment about why this was the case, according to HuffPost.
King was tragically assassinated in 1968, one year before the Stonewall riots birthed the gay rights movement – so we will never know his true feelings on LGBT issues.
But Dr King’s wife Coretta Scott King carried on his work, and dedicated her life to fighting for LGBT rights alongside civil rights – believing that he would have done exactly the same.
Trump, unfortunately, does not seem to follow either this line of thinking, or that of every past President since Clinton legislated to make the holiday a national day of service in 1994.
He tweeted, of course, with a weekly address which called on his followers to “honour the memory of Reverend King” – while he golfed instead of helping people.
He added: “And we rededicate ourselves to a glorious future, where every American from every walk of life can live free from fear, liberated from hatred and uplifted by boundless love for their fellow citizens.”
This is the same Trump, of course, who reportedly called Haiti, El Salvador and African nations “shithole countries” during an immigration meeting in the Oval Office.
Trump’s behaviour was noticed by people on Twitter, and torn apart.
One wrote: “Per WH pool, Pres Trump has arrived at his FL golf club, no public events on his schedule today.
“Last Fri he encouraged all Americans to observe MLK Day ‘with acts of civic work and community service in honour of Dr. King’s extraordinary life… & his great legacy.'”
Another user pointed out: “President Trump held an event in front of the cameras on Friday signing a proclamation calling on Americans to celebrate Martin Luther King Jr. Day with a day of service.
“President Trump is spending Monday at his golf course, with no public events.”
One person dove deeper into this discrepancy, writing: “With Trump last Friday, MLK’s nephew said, ‘It’s not a day to hang out in the park… It’s a day to do something to help someone else.’
“Today, on MLK Day, Trump just arrived at his private golf club.
“He has no public events scheduled.”
And this person pointed out one of the many differences between the President and his predecessor.
From @mattmfm : Barack Obama honored MLK Day by volunteering, doing acts of community service and civic work with his family.
But at least he got yet another round of golf in.