Adding her name to the growing list of lawmakers who are boycotting Donald Trump’s inauguration on Jan.20, Rep. Barbara Lee (D-Calif.) on Thursday issued a strongly-worded statement outlining her decision not to “celebrate” the swearing-in of the president-elect.
Pointing to Trump’s comments about women, Muslims, Mexican immigrants, and others that she said have “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.”
“After the election, many hoped the president-elect would turn toward unifying our country,” she continued. “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.”
With the statement coming the same week that many of Trump’s most controversial cabinet nominees are facing senate confirmation hearings, Lee added 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.”
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“Donald Trump has proven that his administration will normalize the most extreme fringes of the Republican Party,” she concluded, vowing that on Inauguration Day “I will not be celebrating. I will be organizing and preparing for resistance.”
And Lee is not alone. Last week, Democratic Reps. Katherine Clark (Mass.) and Luis Gutierrez (Ill.) both announced they too would be skipping the inauguration. “After discussions with hundreds of my constituents,” Clark said, “I do not feel that I can contribute to the normalization of the president-elect’s divisive rhetoric by participating in the inauguration.”
Though he has not stated whether he will be attending the inauguration, Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-Md.) has said he will attend the Women’s March on Washington on Jan. 21 and will also be speaking at the Rise Above Conference the same day addressing how critical mass at local and state elections can help build resistance to the incoming administration.
As for the American people, hundreds of thousands are expected to take part in protests and other shows of resistance on inauguration weekend. More than 184,000 people have indicated on Facebook that they are going to the Women’s March, which is expected to be the biggest inauguration protest in history, while countless others are planning to take part in resistance events in Washington, D.C. and around the nation.
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