Last month, we lauded playwright Alice Childress for being the first African-American woman to direct an off-Broadway play.
Let us hope that in mentioning Donald Trump’s name in the same breath as Frederick Douglass’ name that the latter isn’t denigrated.
As Americans assemble in various venues to celebrate the bicentennial birthday of Douglass, who was born in 1818 on Feb. 14, a day he chose since he wasn’t sure what day, we are reminded of a comment Trump made a year ago. “Frederick Douglass is an example of somebody who’s done an amazing job and is getting recognized more and more, I notice.”
Trump uttered this statement as though Douglass was alive, once again giving notice of his abysmal lack of knowledge of history, particularly when it comes to the African-American experience.
Almost a year to the day after this gaffe, Trump, perhaps in an attempt to atone for that mistake, has nominated Alveda King, a niece of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., to serve on the Frederick Douglass Bicentennial Commission. Even in the invitation to King, who has been an unwavering Trump supporter, Douglass’ name was misspelled.
You would think that in a simple invitation Trump and his minions could get it right, but this is just an example, however small, of the many false steps made by this administration, a gang that can’t shoot straight.
With the nomination, King got a reward for her unshakable loyalty and Black Americans got another slap in the face, more spoilage on Douglass, an iconic African-American abolitionist and freedom fighter who rose from slavery to greatness.
Trump, like so many Republicans nowadays, is eager to embrace Douglass, expropriating his legacy on the grounds that he was a Republican. Any student of history—and many Americans—are aware of the difference between a Lincoln-Douglass Republican and the current crop. Of course, Trump is excluded from this knowledgeable group.
But he is not excluded from the roster of ignorant, racist or white supremacist presidents. Each and every one of them has been flawed, so Trump merely continues this inglorious confederacy of dunces. Day in and day out, Trump provides us with more evidence of just how unfit he is as a leader of the nation. Yes, the White House and the Oval Office have had its share of misfits, but Trump takes the cake. And not only does he take the cake, we insist that he take a hike and that to Make America Great Again—Trump Must Go!