It seems Donald Trump cannot let a day go by without making some form of combative headline. Most recently, and perhaps most prominently, is his assessment of U.S. Rep. John Lewis’ congressional district, Georgia’s Fifth District to be precise.
In a tweet around Martin Luther King, Jr.’s birthday, the Donald fired back at Lewis for calling him an “illegitimate President.”
Trump characterized Lewis’ district as “crime-infested” and said that Lewis should spend more time working for the people of the Fifth than criticizing him, a statement that angered many.
— Herman Cain (@THEHermanCain) January 17, 2017
Donald Trump’s assessments of Georgia’s Fifth were quickly attacked, even by the Inquisitr‘s own op-ed columnist Christine Beswick, as being inaccurate.
But conservative commentator and “Never Trump” member Ben Shapiro addressed the Donald Trump remarks in a recent episode of his podcast, and it appears the president-elect was correct regarding his assessment of the district.
(Many will remember Shapiro for famously quitting Breitbart when it refused to support reporter Michelle Fields, who claimed that Trump’s then-campaign manager, Corey Lewandowski, physically assaulted her at a rally. Shapiro has been an outspoken critic of the president-elect ever since.)
In spite of a “mostly false” claim from left-leaning fact-checking organization PolitiFact and the ongoing insistence from Democrats and Republicans of the district alike, the statistics paint a damning story of what it is like to live in Atlanta.
While it is true that Atlanta has an active “economic hub,” as PF puts it, Atlanta beats many of the national averages in some not-so-flattering ways.
Shapiro points out that Atlanta has much higher unemployment rates than the national average. It also beats national poverty and violent crime rates.
In Shapiro’s own words, “The unemployment rate in 2015 was 8.2 percent in Lewis’ district. The state average was 5.5 percent. The national average was 5 percent. … The poverty rate in 2015 was 17.3 percent in Lewis’ district. It’s 17 percent in the state and 13 percent nationally.”
And while there are major businesses located in Atlanta, Shapiro acknowledges, the crime rates are much higher.
Indeed according to the FBI’s statistics, Atlanta had the 14th highest violent crime rate in the United States in 2015 with 1,120 violent crimes per 100,000 residents, which is triple the national average.
This basically means fewer people are working, more are living in poverty despite the signs of economic life, and one’s chances of being the victim of a violent crime in Lewis’ district are much higher than most places throughout the United States.
—????????AMERICAN PRIDE (@michaelbeatty3) January 17, 2017
So while Donald Trump has taken heat for his claims about Georgia’s Fifth District, the actual numbers justify his somewhat blunt distinction.
That said, Shapiro insists that while Trump was right about Lewis’ district, it was not a politically wise maneuver as Lewis is largely seen — even by Trump’s own Vice President-elect Mike Pence — as an American hero for the arrest and imprisonment that he wrongly suffered marching for civil rights at Selma alongside Dr. King.
Instead of allowing Lewis to vent about Russian involvement and take the “illegitimate President” shot, Shapiro argues, Donald Trump felt he just had to revert back to that traditional counterpuncher stance at a potentially high cost politically.
But what do you think, readers?
Should Donald Trump learn to choose his battles, or do you feel the media and Lewis owe him an apology for mischaracterizing the deteriorating state of Georgia’s Fifth and calling him an illegitimate president, respectively? Sound off in the comments section below.