As of Tuesday morning, at least forty-six congressional Democrats—nearly a quarter of the entire House Democratic caucus—have announced that they're skipping Donald Trump's inauguration Friday.
Their reasons vary, but Representative Don Beyer of Virginia covers most of the bases: "I will not be part of normalizing or legitimizing a man whose election may well have depended on the the malicious foreign interference of Russia's leaders," he posted on Twitter, "a person who lies profusely and without apology, who mimics the disabilities of others, who insults anyone who dares disagree with him, who would demonize an entire spiritual tradition, and who has demonstrated again and again a profound disrespect for women."
The boycotters' ranks swelled over the weekend, after Trump (who claimed a sore foot to dodge the draft) took to Twitter to insult civil rights icon John Lewis (who was beaten during the Bloody Sunday march in Selma, Alabama, in 1965) as "all talk" and characterize his Atlanta congressional district as a crime-ridden slum (it's not).
Lewis's offense was to call Trump's presidency illegitimate, on account of Russian meddling, and say he wouldn't attend the inauguration. Now, nearly four dozen of his colleagues will join him—including U.S. Representative G.K. Butterfield, the former chairman of the Congressional Black Caucus, who told the INDY Tuesday morning that he would skip Friday's festivities.
"Donald Trump's brand of division and insult, coupled with his lack of knowledge of the magnitude of the office he is about to enter, leads me to the conclusion that President-elect Donald Trump is not prepared for the position of president and commander-in-chief," Butterfield said in a statement. "In addition, I have grave concerns about the Russian hacking of our election process and the role, if any, Donald Trump played in this unlawful activity."
Soon after the INDY broke that story, Representative Alma Adams, whose district stretches from Charlotte to Winston-Salem, announced her intention to skip the inauguration as well: "I cherish our democracy and have a profound respect for the peaceful transition of power," she said. "However, I cannot in good faith and consciousness pretend to celebrate the inauguration of someone who has spoken so horribly about women, minorities and the disabled."
Among North Carolina's congressional Democrats, that leaves David Price, whose district includes parts of Chapel Hill, Raleigh, and Durham. His office had not released a promised statement by press time; check indyweek.com for updates .
If Price does end up skipping—in solidarity with Lewis, whose activism helped lead to the 1968 Fair Housing Act, which Trump was sued by the feds for violating—here's an alternative.
On Saturday, as hundreds of thousands of protesters march in Washington, the Women's March on Raleigh will gather at ten a.m. in front of the Marriott on Fayetteville Street. According to Facebook pledges, more than twenty-five hundred people will be there. The march intends to send a "bold message to our new government" regarding women's and—more generally—human rights. Residents are asked to use the hashtags #WomenMobilizeNC and #NoisyMajority to show their support.