Rep. Barbara Lee (D-CA), a member of the Congressional Black Caucus, issued a statement today to say that she will no "celebrate" the inauguration of Donald Trump. Saying that he has "normaliz[ed] bigotry" and "appealed to people's worst instincts," Lee wrote: "I cannot in good conscience attend an inauguration that would celebrate this divisive approach to governance."
 
Along those lines, Lee continued, "After the election, many hoped the president-elect would turn toward unifying our country. Instead he has shown us that he will utilize the same tools of division he employed on the campaign trail as our nation's Commander-in-Chief."
 
She concluded that "we need look no further than the team he is assembling to find signals that the era of Trump will be one of chaos and devastation for our communities." 
 
"Donald Trump has proven that his administration will normalize the most extreme fringes of the Republican Party," she wrote. She vowed that Inauguration Day, as well a number of radical leftist groups, "I will not be celebrating. I will be organizing and preparing for resistance."
 
Lee repeated unsubstantiated claims of Trump’s ties to the Russian government, and that he has appointed a “white nationalist” to his staff in the person of Steve Bannon.
 
Lee is thus joining Reps. Katherine Clark (D-MA) and Luis Gutierrez (D-IL). Clark said recently  "After discussions with hundreds of my constituents, I do not feel that I can contribute to the normalization of the president-elect's divisive rhetoric by participating in the inauguration."
 
For his part, Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-MD), one of the most progressive members of Congress, has said he will attend the Women's March on Washington on the day after the inauguration and will speak at the Rise Above Conference that day on how to build nationwide resistance to the Trump administration. 
 
More than 184,000 people have indicated on Facebook that they will attend the Women's March in Washington. Similar marches are planned for state capitals and large cities. 
 
On Inauguration Day, radical leftists are planning disruptions that they promise will shut down events linked to Trump’s presidency throughout the capital.
 
Here is Rep. Lee’s statement:
 
“Inaugurations are celebratory events, a time to welcome the peaceful transition of power and honor the new administration. On January 20th, I will not be celebrating or honoring an incoming president who rode racism, sexism, xenophobia and bigotry to the White House.
 
“Donald Trump ran one of the most divisive and prejudiced campaigns in modern history. He began his campaign by insulting Mexican immigrants, pledging to build a wall between the United States and Mexico and then spent a year and a half denigrating communities of color and normalizing bigotry. He called women ‘pigs’, stoked Islamophobia, and attacked a Gold Star family. “He mocked a disabled reporter and appealed to people’s worst instincts. I cannot in good conscience attend an inauguration that would celebrate this divisive approach to governance.
 
“After the election, many hoped the president-elect would turn toward unifying our country. Instead he has shown us that he will utilize the same tools of division he employed on the campaign trail as our nation’s Commander-in-Chief. We need look no further than the team he is assembling to find signals that the era of Trump will be one of chaos and devastation for our communities.
 
“The president-elect has named Steve Bannon, a white nationalist as his chief strategist. He has nominated Senator Jeff Sessions to the office of Attorney General, despite his long career of opposition to civil and human rights. And in perhaps the most damning sign of the chaos to come, the president-elect has expedited the process to repeal the Affordable Care Act and make America sick again.”
 
“To make matters worse, after the intelligence community reported Russian interference in our election, Donald Trump frequently and forcefully defended Vladimir Putin. He insulted senior intelligence officials in order to preserve his reputation and disguise the truth. The American people will never forget that when a foreign government violated our democracy, Donald Trump chose the interests of another nation over our own.
 
“Donald Trump has proven that his administration will normalize the most extreme fringes of the Republican Party. On Inauguration Day, I will not be celebrating. I will be organizing and preparing for resistance.”


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Spero News editor Martin Barillas is a former US diplomat, who also worked as a democracy advocate and election observer in Latin America. His first novel 'Shaken Earth', is available at Amazon.

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