Former President Barack Obama, the first and only African American to hold that office in U.S. history, urged his Twitter followers to do good acts in honor of the holiday honoring Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
“I’ve always drawn inspiration from what Dr. King called life’s most persistent and urgent question: ‘What are you doing for others?'” Obama stated in a tweet he made on Monday morning.
He further urged others to do good works — including standing up to wrongs in our society — in his Twitter message. “Let’s honor his legacy by standing up for what is right in our communities and taking steps to make a positive impact on the world,” Obama said.
The former president is known for talking-the-talk when it comes to calling on others to serve on Martin Luther King Jr. Day, according to reporting from the Hill. While he was in office as president, Obama frequently volunteered at Washington, D.C.-based community organizations and made similar calls to others to do the same or find other ways to improve their neighborhoods.
Organizations set up by the former president are planning events across the nation. Along with other youth volunteers, the Obama Foundation in Chicago, for example, is providing lunches for homeless children, according to reporting from WGN.
Today is MLK Day — look back at when President Obama and Rep. John Lewis discussed the importance of social justice and King's legacy pic.twitter.com/n7mfwtyOT9— NowThis (@nowthisnews) January 21, 2019
Current President Donald Trump is having a more relaxed Martin Luther King Jr. Day, per media reports. The president made a declaration online as well, issuing a tweet honoring the late civil rights icon.
“Today we celebrate Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. for standing up for the self-evident truth Americans hold so dear, that no matter what the color of our skin or the place of our birth, we are all created equal by God,” Trump wrote.
The president, along with Vice President Mike Pence, also made an impromptu visit to the King Memorial statue in Washington, D.C. Trump and Pence laid a wreath and left after a two-minute stay there, fielding no questions from the press and issuing no statements, according to a tweet issued by CBS News’ Steven Portnoy.
Pence specifically has taken some heat due to his comments about King in recent days. On Sunday, during an interview on CBS’s Face the Nation, Pence used a quote from King’s “I Have A Dream” speech to seemingly justify Trump’s use of a government shutdown to demand funds for construction of a border wall to keep unwanted immigrants from entering the country, according to previous reporting from the Inquisitr.
“He inspired us to change through the legislative process, to become a more perfect union. That’s exactly what President Trump is calling on Congress to do — come to the table in the spirit of good faith,” Pence said.
King’s son condemned the remarks as not abiding by the spirit of his father’s message.
“Martin Luther King Jr. was a bridge builder, not a wall builder,” Martin Luther King III said on Monday.