Atlanta’s largest newspaper the Journal-Constitution took aim at President-elect Donald Trump on Sunday, blasting him for attacking U.S. Rep. John Lewis (D-GA) and for disparaging the congressman’s district.
“Atlantans responded with an incredulous ‘how dare you!’” said the first line of Sunday’s top story, according to Mediaite.com.
Former reality TV star Trump attacked Lewis on Twitter, saying that his urban Atlanta district is in “horrible shape and falling apart” and that Lewis has accomplished nothing in his long legislative career.
“A stunned Atlanta, along with admirers of John Lewis from across the country, took to social media to harshly criticize the remarks,” said the Journal. “They characterized Trump as clueless about everything from Atlanta’s thriving intown neighborhoods to the beating Lewis took years ago as he marched in Alabama for voting rights. Brushing off the accomplishments of Lewis, who is widely revered by many Americans well beyond Georgia, went too far, they said.”
Atlanta’s Mayor Kasim Reed tweeted, “John Lewis is an American hero & a national treasure. Period. Full stop.”
Others were aghast that Trump would make such an attack on Lewis and the city of Atlanta on the weekend of Martin Luther King Jr.’s birthday. The civil rights leader called Atlanta his home and services and events honoring King are taking place all weekend at Ebenezer Baptist Church, where he was baptized as a baby and later served as pastor.
Ebenezer Baptist’s current pastor Rev. Raphael Warnock said that Trump “continually demonstrates that he is too small a man for the big responsibility he now assumes.”
Warnock continued, “John Lewis has spent his life serving others. Trump has spent his life serving himself. Rather than sending nasty tweets, he ought to sit at John Lewis’ feet and learn what service, sacrifice and integrity look like.”
The Journal described Lewis’ district as having “pockets of poverty,” but pointed out that it also includes Emory University, Coca-Cola’s global headquarters, Spelman College and Georgia Tech University.
Trump “clearly doesn’t know anything about the 5th District or Atlanta,” said Jason Carter, grandson of Pres. Jimmy Carter and former Democratic candidate for Georgia governor.
“It exemplifies what’s great about this country,” Carter said in an interview. “The center of business, the center of innovation and the cradle of the civil rights movement and it’s incredibly successful right now.”