By now most of us are a little too familiar with President Donald Trump’s obsession with both himself and how he is portrayed in the media. He consistently discusses his poll numbers, the “fake news” about himself and how his opponents are nothing compared to him.
While I am aware of our current president’s incessant narcissism, I was still completely shocked when I read the transcription of his remarks regarding Black History Month. They had very little to do with African American history—and everything to do with himself.
It is more than a little strange when a speech that is supposed to honor African American history begins with a statement about a white man’s hopes for himself. Trump did not even bother to start his speech with something even remotely pertaining to black history. Instead, he said, “Well, the election, it came out really well. Next time we’ll triple the number or quadruple it. We want to get it over 51, right? At least 51.”
Trump failed to bring up any specific details about the history of African Americans in the United States, causing me to question if he even knows any of those specific details. How can the president of a nation fail to address such a crucial part of its history in a speech that’s sole purpose is to address it?
Throughout his speech, he mentioned names of many prominent African American civil rights activists throughout history. He barely moved beyond mentioning their names, however, before he began to talk about himself again. “Harriet Tubman, Rosa Parks and millions more black Americans who made America what it is today. Big impact,” Trump said.
It sounded as if he did a Google search of “African Americans in history” and simply wrote down the first few names that came up after the search.
Trump never mentions the danger that Tubman put herself in time and time again to free hundreds of slaves. He does, however, find a way to mention how he “doesn’t watch CNN because he doesn’t like fake news” and that “Fox News has treated him very nice.”
He does not once elaborate on the very brief statements he makes about African American history.
It is disgraceful that the president of the U.S. has such little regard for the history of African Americans. There are plenty of opportunities for him to discuss himself and the details of his election at any other press conference or event. His speech discussing Black History Month was not one of those opportunities.
The man who was elected to lead our country has so little respect for the people who live here and its peoples’ history. I can only hope that upon review, he realizes the error of his ways and next year tries to rightfully honor Black History Month and to show respect for the people of this country.