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Jan 16 2017
by Jeremy Salley

I Grew Up In Atlanta – Trump Has No Idea What He's Talking About

By Jeremy Salley - Jan 16 2017
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You cannot make this up. On the weekend of Martin Luther King Jr. Day, President-Elect Donald Trump decided to take the liberty of attacking well respected congressman John Lewis of Georgia’s 5th District due to his disagreement of the legitimacy of a Trump presidency .


As an Atlanta native, I take great offense of President-Elect Trump’s comments due to the lack of substance and utter disrespect for a man who has dedicated his to public service and civil rights. I decided to show 5 reasons why Trump has absolutely no clue what he’s talking about on this situation.

1. It is easy to criticize when you have never been.

During his campaign, Trump only visited the battleground state of Georgia four times during the election, only going to Lewis’ district once for a brief appearance at the Fox Theatre in Midtown Atlanta. To sit there and criticize a city that you lost, as Clinton won the 5 major counties of Atlanta (Fulton, Dekalb, Cobb, Clayton, and Gwinnett) for the first time since President Jimmy Carter, is a microcosm of what we may experience with his presidency. Another example is his abrupt cancellation to the African-American Museum in Washington D.C. which has brought the up question of if Trump actually has any idea of Representative Lewis’ merit.

2. “Crime Ridden District”

What irks me about this statement is that it shows the limited knowledge that Trump has about the city. An easy trip down Ponce De Leon towards the newly created Ponce City Market or a trip to the Kirkwood/ Edgewood Districts show a drastic change from 10 years ago where they were easily some of worst parts of the southeast. With the city averaging about $1526 for an apartment within the city limits. That does not sound like struggle or crime-ridden to me.

3. “All Talk, No Action”

What is baffling here, is that a simple Google search of John Lewis would put their words to rest. It is only fitting that on MLK Jr. weekend would the President Elect go after one of the most important figures of the Civil Rights Movement. One of the original 13 Freedom Riders, John Lewis was also Chairman of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee that helped shift the movement on college campuses and large American Cities. He was awarded the Medal of Honor in 2011 by current President Barack Obama. 

Trump on the other hand in the past week has promised “Insurance for Everybody” without a core plan to replace the Affordable Care Act (ACA) also known as “Obamacare”.

4. “Education is Vital”

This is an example for why comprehension and education is vital for a better country. Speaking of education, Lewis’ district is by far one of the educated. His district has a high percentage of High School Graduates 87.6% than the national average of 86.7%. The number of people holding a bachelor's degree is much higher with the 5th District having 40% compared to the national average of 29%. By comparison, Representative Paul Ryan’s Wisconsin’s 1st District has only  26.9% of constituents having bachelor degrees. This can be attributed to the multiple colleges within Lewis’ district such as the Georgia Institute of Technology, Georgia State University, Morehouse College, Clark Atlanta University, Spelman College, Agnes Scott College, and Emory University.

5. Atlanta is thriving.

Atlanta has 16 companies currently in the Fortune 500. Companies such as Coca-Cola, Home Depot, Delta Air Lines, Suntrust, and UPS are all known to many as the faces of Atlanta economically. However, Atlanta is a place that is being recognized as a go-to place for growth. Forbes Magazine rated Atlanta, Georgia as the 9th best city for business and career development. A major international hub with the busiest airport in the world, Atlanta is not a small city nor small blip on the world map since the 1996 Olympics. It is also funny how a year ago, Trump praised Atlanta for being “Hot like New York” for its real estate market.

Midtown Atlanta (Photo Credits, Crowne Plaza Midtown Atlanta)

Growing up in the post-Olympic city, I have been able to see the growth of my home for the better. While I took my talents to Los Angeles for college, there has never been a doubt in my mind of me possibly reaping the benefits of that “Crime-Ridden” city that Trump talks about. Every year from about 1 until I was about 15, I would go down to the MLK Memorial 20 minutes from house and observe the advancement of Atlanta as a city. The motto of Atlanta is “Resurgens” which is based off of the burning of the city during the Civil War and its rebuilding to the great city it is today. So with all due respect to the office of the President-Elect: You have absolutely no idea what you're talking about.

Photo Credits: Joiseyshowaa via Flickr Creative Commons 

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Jeremy Salley - University of Southern California

Jeremy Salley is a Sophomore at the University of Southern California. He is from Atlanta, GA and is majoring in International Relations. He is 6'6" and enjoys traveling. Follow him on Twitter @Embrace_Me_Now or on Instagram @Jsalley21. #FreshUAlum

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