Black History as Told by the Trump Administration
Before I begin this article, I would like to explain that putting the words Donald Trump and president in the same sentence makes me want to throw-up a little in my mouth, and because of that I will be referring to him as “45” throughout this piece.
This February marks the first Black History Month of the 45th president’s administration. This is also the first-time Black History Month was proclaimed as African American History Month.
As well-meaning as this gesture was, it was one of the many instances this administration has shown its ignorance regarding black people in this country.
African American is one of many ethnic groups within the black community in the United States. While it is the largest ethnic group of Black Americans, it is not the only one worth noting this month. In his attempt to seem thoughtful, 45 only showed how little he knew about black people in America.
This proclamation was not the last time 45 showed how little he knew.
Flanked by one of his African Americans, Dr. Ben Carson, 45 spoke about a new up-and-comer, Frederick Douglass. “Frederick Douglass is an example of somebody who’s done an amazing job and is getting recognized more and more, I notice,” he says to the present media, before returning to his favorite subject, himself.
Douglass, sadly, was not able to hear 45’s praises due to his dying during Grover Cleveland’s administration, 122 years ago.
Vice President Mike Pence also got in on the black history fail fun. Pence became a trending topic on Twitter after taking a moment to acknowledge a major figure in Black American History: President Abraham Lincoln.
Of all the great black figures in American history, Pence could not think of one so he went with a white guy. Pence tweeted, “As #BlackHistoryMonth begins, we remember when Pres. Lincoln submitted the 13th Amendment, ending slavery, to the states #NationalFreedomDay.”
His tweet led to the trend #PenceBlackHistory. Many tweeters mocked him for not being able to think of any black person to honor for his obligatory Black History Month tweet.
Pence was not the only member of the administration to make an error on the social media platform.
The Department of Education’s tweet placed the spotlight on W.E.B. Du Bois. While Du Bois is actually a black person, the department spelled his name incorrectly.
The department, headed by Betsy DeVos, who recently turned in a horrible performance during her confirmation hearings, posted an apology for their mistake. The people of tweeter joked that “De Bois” must have been an “alternative spelling” along with the trending #DeptofEdTypos.
The various fails of this Black History Month are both sad and hilarious, in a laugh to keep from crying sort of way. While this has been pretty much a train wreck for the executive branch, it has been terribly entertaining.
Although the trending topics have been fun, the depressing nature of the contrast between last year’s celebrations and this year has not been lost on me.
Some things we can take solace in during Black History Month 2017 include Beyoncé’s pregnancy announcement, the Grammy wins of Chance the Rapper and Solange, the upcoming Oscars which are shaping up to be a night of #BlackExcellence, and the Super Bowl win of the Atlanta Patriots which is one of the blackest cities in America.