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MLK protege calls Trump racist, ‘downright moron’ over ‘shithole’ comment

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City officials march from Caltrain station to Yerba Buena Gardens in honor of Martin Luther King Jr. in San Francisco, Calif. on Monday, January 15, 2018. (Sarahbeth Maney/Special to S.F. Examiner)

Fifty years after a white supremacist assassinated Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., a student of the great civil rights leader called President Donald Trump a racist and suggested that the top official of the U.S. is a “downright moron.”

Rev. Amos Brown, pastor of the Third Baptist Church of San Francisco and head of the local NAACP, was one of the few students to learn directly from King before his death in 1968.

In a benediction for King at Yerba Buena Gardens in San Francisco on Monday, Brown addressed the comments that Trump allegedly made last week about African nations and Haiti being “shithole” countries.

“There’s been a debate going on around here about whether or not the person who resides at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. is a racist,” Brown said. “But I’ve just come to tell you if he talks like a racist, if he legislates like a racist, if he looks like a racist, if his cabinet embodies racist white men and not folks of all colors who should be in the leadership of this nation, it bespeaks racism.”

Brown then cited a newspaper editor from the Baltimore Sun, H. L. Mencken, who said a century ago that “as democracy is perfected… the White House will be adorned by a downright moron as president.”

Trump, who reportedly began the King holiday by visiting a golf course, said he is not a racist Sunday and denied making the “shithole” countries comment, according to the Washington Post. The Post first reported the comment last Thursday.

The president also drew scrutiny during the ceremony at Yerba Buena Gardens from Acting Mayor London Breed and Christine Pelosi, chairwoman of the California Democratic Party Women’s Caucus and daughter of House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi.

“We have work to do together,” Breed said, calling for criminal justice reform and more access to affordable housing in San Francisco. “Not one person, not one leader is going to tear us apart… Let us not be satisfied until we get rid of the divisiness that’s in Washington, D.C.”

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