I’m really reaching my threshold with this president. On Tuesday he visited the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture and made a tone-deaf, rambling speech. While we’ve become used to his stream of consciousness attempts at public speaking, Trump’s ability to just flat out act as if he’s not the perpetrator of the most xenophobic administrations this country has ever known is mind-boggling.
I will break down the speech so that you don’t have to waste your time watching it. The first part of his speech was the usual Trump mixtape shoutout. He literally opened by shouting out all of the folks who were instrumental in hosting his visit.
It was a great honor to be here. This was some beautiful morning and what a job they’ve done, like few others have been able to do. I am very, very proud of [NMAAHC Director] Lonnie Bunch, the work and the love that he has in his heart for what he’s done is—I always talk about you need enthusiasm, you need, really, love for anything you do to do it successfully, and Lonnie, you are where? Where’s Lonnie? You should be up here, Lonnie.
And, David, we have to get David up here, too. [Smithsonian Secretary] David Skorton is tremendous, and he was singing Lonnie’s praises all morning long. So you two should at least be here, and [Carlyle Group co-founder and billionaire] David Rubenstein, who is here someplace. Come on, David, you gotta get up here. ... You certainly deserve it. He is a very, very successful guy who spends money doing great things. He’s been a great help to so many different groups, this one in particular. Thank you.
Trump then acknowledges “so many American heroes,” including Sojourner Truth, Harriet Tubman, Frederick Douglass, Booker T. Washington, Rosa Parks, “the Greensboro students” and African-American Medal of Honor recipients. He adds that while he did a comprehensive tour, it wasn’t comprehensive enough. He notes that his wife, Melania, was just at the museum and couldn’t stop talking about it. He added that his daughter Ivanka was with him Tuesday and then says, “Hi, Ivanka.”
Here’s where things get weird. Trump adds that he would do everything to promise that freedom continues for “African Americans and for every American.”
Except Trump is the man who is currently trying to restructure wording to ensure that a Muslim ban continues. He’s also the president who has immigrants in this country terrified that they could be arrested and deported. So it’s weird and disingenuous when the president speaks about freedom for all Americans. He went on to spout more detached commentary about racism and bigotry as if he weren’t the president of white supremacy:
This tour was a meaningful reminder of why we have to fight bigotry, intolerance and hatred in all of its very ugly forms. The anti-Semitic threats targeting our Jewish community and community centers are horrible and are painful and a very sad reminder of the work that still must be done to root out hate and prejudice and evil.
Ummm, if the president really wants to stop bigotry and intolerance and hatred in all its ugly forms, he will resign and take all of his administration with him.
Of course, because the president was at the NMAAHC, he had to bring the only black person he kicks it with, Ben Carson. The president reportedly acknowledged that Carson, a former brain surgeon, was a great man while viewing Carson’s exhibit inside the museum, and during his speech he noted that Carson would “be one of the great ever” as secretary of housing and urban development.
The president then shouted out some more black folks who are cool with his administration, including Sen. Tim Scott (R-S.C.) and Martin Luther King Jr.’s niece Alveda King, who not only is a Trump supporter but also proclaimed during Trump’s speech, “You’re family. You’re the best. You’re great.”
To which Trump exclaimed, “Thank you, darling. Appreciate it.”
(Sorry, I just vomited a little in my mouth, and I can’t type because I’m waving my hands looking for a place to spit.)
Trump then uttered an MLK quote from 1955, and I would venture to guess that King would not be pleased with this.
“We are determined to work and fight until justice runs down like water and righteousness like a mighty stream,” Trump said.
It’s eerie to think that this vile shape of presidency can speak the words of one of civil right’s greatest heroes while he continues to destroy the civil rights of every nonwhite American. But this is what we must endure. He then noted that the NMAAHC tour was a great way to start his morning and bounced.