Democrat Representative John Lewis (Georgia) has added his name to the growing list of lawmakers who refuse to attend next week's Inauguration of President-elect Donald Trump. He joins fellow Democrats Barbara Lee (California), Earl Blumenauer (Oregon), Katherine Clark (Massachusetts), and Luis Gutierrez (Illinois).
Lewis appeared on this week's NBC's “Meet the Press” which airs Sunday, explaining his decision:
"You know, I believe in forgiveness. I believe in trying to work with people. It will be hard. It's going to be very difficult. I don't see this president-elect as a legitimate president.
I think the Russians participated in helping this man get elected. And they helped destroy the candidacy of Hillary Clinton.
I don't plan to attend the Inauguration. It will be the first one that I've missed since I've been in Congress. You cannot be at home with something that you feel that is wrong, is not right.
I think that it was a conspiracy on the part of the Russians, and others, that helped him get elected. That's not right, that's not fair! That's not the open, democratic process."
The president-elect quickly responded to Lewis's comments via Twitter:
There were a number who criticized Trump right back:
But they may have been better served to check out the statistics...
Representative Lewis has served his Georgia community — in a district that includes the city of Atlanta — for three decades. And Atlanta, at least in regard to crime, does not appear to be much better for his service.
Atlanta averages 264 crimes (statistics measured include both violent crimes and property crimes) per square mile, compared to 30 per square mile in the rest of the state Georgia. The national median is 32.
Atlanta does just as poorly in terms of violent crime — the chances that one will become a victim of a violent crime in Atlanta are 1 in 85. The rest of the state lines up with the national median, which suggests that 1 in 264 people will be a victim of a violent crime.
Atlanta compares poorly to the rest of the country, as well:
Neighborhood Scout's crime index rates Atlanta as a 2 — meaning that it is “safer” than only 2% of U.S. cities. For comparison: Chicago is rated as an 11, New York is rated as a 27, and Los Angeles is rated as a 19. Even Washington, D.C., eked out a higher rating at a 3.
Whether or not the president-elect's penchant for attacking his critics on Twitter is a good idea, at least in this case, his return fire may have come close to the mark.