Early Saturday, Donald Trump tweeted that Congressman John Lewis “should spend more time on fixing and helping his district … rather than falsely complaining about the election results.” Hours later, Lewis’ March — a graphic novel trilogy about the Civil Rights movement — became Amazon’s best-selling book.
By Sunday morning, the March set was still No. 1 and his memoir, Walking With the Wind: A Memoir of the Movement (co-written with Michael D’Orso), was at No. 2. According to Amazon, Walking With the Wind jumped from No. 8,701 to No. 2 in 24 hours, while March went from No. 451 to the top spot. Lewis’ 2012 book, Across That Bridge: Life Lessons and a Vision for Change, also saw a steep change in sales, going from No. 34,480 to No. 175.
Trump’s tweets were in response to Lewis’ recent announcement that he would not be attending the president-elect’s inauguration. “I don’t see this president-elect as a legitimate president,” Lewis told NBC News on Friday. “I think the Russians participated in helping this man get elected. And they helped destroy the candidacy of Hillary Clinton.”
After Trump criticized Lewis on Saturday — writing the Georgia representative is “all talk, talk, talk — no action or results” — many Twitter users jumped to the congressman’s defense, pointing out his history as a major figure in the Civil Rights movement.
This past November, Lewis received the esteemed National Book Award for the third book in his March trilogy. “I remember in 1956 when I was 16 years old, with some of my brothers and sisters and cousins, going down to the public library and trying to get library cards,” he said in his acceptance speech. “We were told that libraries were for ‘whites only’ and not for ‘coloreds.’ To come here and receive this award, this honor, is too much.”
When the first book came out in 2013, Lewis spoke with EW about what motivated him to fight for change as a young man. “When you see something that is not right, not fair, not just, you have to do something about it,” he said. “When I spoke at the March on Washington I said, ‘You tell us to wait, you tell us to be patient but we cannot wait and we cannot be patient. We want our freedom and we want it now!’ I was so deeply inspired by the actions of Rosa Parks and the words of MLK.”
See Trump’s tweets below.