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Trump Tried to Make MLK Day All About His Own Economic Record and Martin Luther King Jr's Son Just Called Him Out

Drew Angerer/Getty Images // Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

To commemorate the life and legacy of civil rights icon Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. on the holiday named after him, many lawmakers participated by volunteering in their communities as a day of service.

President Donald Trump was not one of those people.


Shortly before heading to Davos for the World Economic Forum, Trump tweeted about Dr. King, using the day as a chance to tout his unemployment record.

Trump often touts the unemployment rate of Black Americans to dismiss accusations that his campaign and presidency have targeted people of color. Like the overall American unemployment rate, the downward trend of African American unemployment began with former President Barack Obama.

CNN asked Dr. King's son, Martin Luther King III, to respond to the comment.

King III said:

"I think they're always good words, but the question is: Is it actually documented and true? When I travel around the country, between the ages of 18 and 30 years old, African American unemployment rates are 40, 50 and 60 percent in some communities. If we were as well-off as being stated, you would see violence decreased. You would see a community exist in more of a different way. But every day, somewhere around this nation, particularly in communities of color, someone is being killed. In poor communities someone is being killed. More and more people are living on the streets in a trillion-dollar economy. A nation with trillions of dollars of economy, we have the audacity to have homeless people. That is unacceptable."

In the past, Trump has demonstrated a disdain for Black communities in the United States and across the world. Last year, he raged against the city of Baltimore and its late representative, Elijah Cummings. Trump called the city rat-infested. He also referred to countries like Haiti as "sh--hole countries."

King wasn't the only one to challenge Trump's comments.







Trump had no public events on his schedule Monday to celebrate Dr. King's day, but he and Vice President Mike Pence made an an unannounced visit to the King memorial in D.C.