Barbs her­ald Martin Luther King day

The Star Early Edition - - WORLD -

AT­LANTA: Hun­dreds were ex­pected to pack the Rev­erend Martin Luther King jr’s home church in At­lanta yes­ter­day to mark the fed­eral hol­i­day for the slain civil rights leader, amid po­lit­i­cal and racial ran­cour as the first black US pres­i­dent pre­pares to step down.

The com­mem­o­ra­tion of the No­bel Peace Prize lau­re­ate, who would have turned 88 on Sun­day, comes on the heels of Repub­li­can Pres­i­dent-elect Don­ald Trump’s in­flam­ma­tory re­marks about civil rights cham­pion John Lewis, a Demo­cratic US con­gress­man who marched with King in the 1965 vot­ing rights march in Selma, Alabama, and was beaten by po­lice.

Po­lit­i­cal com­men­tary is a fre­quent fea­ture of the ser­vice at Ebenezer Bap­tist Church where King preached. He was as­sas­si­nated in 1968 at age 39.

Trump said in a week­end tweet that Lewis’s con­gres­sional dis­trict, which sweeps through the heart of At­lanta, “is in hor­ri­ble shape and fall­ing apart (not to men­tion crime in­fested)”.

“All talk, talk, talk – no ac­tion or re­sults. Sad!” Trump tweeted af­ter Lewis vowed to boy­cott Fri­day’s in­au­gu­ra­tion of Trump as the 45th pres­i­dent. Lewis said: “I don’t see this pres­i­dent-elect as a le­git­i­mate pres­i­dent.”

Trump won the pres­i­dency with less sup­port from black and His­panic vot­ers than any pres­i­dent in the past 40 years, only 8 per­cent and 28 per­cent, re­spec­tively.

US Sen­a­tor Bernie San­ders of Ver­mont, a former Demo­cratic pres­i­den­tial can­di­date and Trump critic, is sched­uled to speak. – Reuters

PIC­TURE: AP

Martin Luther King speaks at the Univer­sity of Cal­i­for­nia in 1967.

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