WASHINGTON: President Donald Trump on Saturday posted a video tribute hailing civil rights icon Rosa Parks, a message seemingly at odds with his stance on sensitive issues of race in America today.
Set to soaring music, Trump in the video praised the Parks, whose refusal to give up her bus seat to a white passenger on December 1, 1955 in Montgomery, Alabama, was a key moment in the US civil rights movement.
"Rosa Parks remained strong and stayed in her seat to defend the truth etched into our Declaration of Independence that all of us, regardless of the color of our skin, are created equal by God," Trump said.
Park's bold move inspired activists like Martin Luther King Jr, and set off a successful boycott of the Montgomery bus system, the president noted.
"Rosa Park`s legacy continues to inspire our citizens to pursue a better tomorrow and to build a country where every American child, no matter their skin color, can live without fear, dream without limits and take their rightful place in the great story of our nation," he said.
The comments seemed out of step with Trump`s handling of several controversies that have beset his administration, including an August rally of white supremacists and neo-Nazis in Charlottesville, Virginia.
Trump came under fire from Republicans and Democrats alike after initially insisting that anti-racism protesters were equally to blame for the violence at the event, which left a woman dead.
He has also denounced NFL football players who kneel during the playing of the national anthem at games to draw attention to police brutality against African-Americans.
Trump won only eight percent of the black vote during the election, after making a pitch saying African-Americans could not be any worse off than they already were and might as well give him a chance.
Some corners of social media were predictably outraged by Trump`s recognition of Parks, who died in 2005.
"Don`t you dare utter any words our Queen #RosaParks uttered. Go suck on a bag of (money) and leave our history alone," writer and songwriter Lindiwe Suttle tweeted.