There is no doubt that the media has been tough on President Trump’s Press Secretary, Sean Spicer over the last week and a half following multiple statements which were proven to be untrue, or which conflicted directly with what President Trump had stated or Tweeted. While the administration blames the media for ‘fake’ reporting and news, it’s clear that there has been a lot of misinformation, whether intentional or not, put out to the public thanks to the White House and President.
With that said, this latest gaffe on the part of President Trump, and followed up by Sean Spicer today, is more of an embarrassment than another instance of ‘alternative fact’ sharing.
Today marks the first day of Black History Month, a day which is marked usually by an elegant speech by sitting President about the importance of the month and how far we have come as an inclusive nation over the last two centuries. While today President Trump, in a press briefing, began his remarks with kind remarks towards the new National Museum of African American History and Culture, those remarks quickly turned towards how the media falsely reported on him removing the Dr. Martin Luther King bust from the Oval Office. While the attention was first drawn to the fact that Trump appeared to be making a speech more about ‘fake news’ and himself, rather than Black History Month, later the attention was brought back to the following statement:
“Frederick Douglass is an example of somebody who’s done an amazing job and is getting recognized more and more.”
What did Trump mean by these words. It almost appeared as if the President of the United States had no clue who Frederick Douglass was, or even if he was still alive today. For those of you unaware, Douglass was the national leader of the abolitionist movement in the late 19th century. He was also a preacher who wrote numerous autobiographies about life as a slave.
Later today when Press Secretary Sean Spicer took questions from the press things took yet another turn for the worse, at least if you are someone who appreciates black history, or knowledge in general. A reporter asked the following question to Spicer:
“Today he made a comment about Frederick Douglass being recognized more and more, do you have any idea what specifically he was referring to?”
After a brief pause to gather his thoughts Spicer replied as follows: Well I think there was contributions – I think he wants to highlight the contributions that he has made and I think through a lot of actions and statements that he is going to make, I think the contributions of Frederick Douglass will become more and more.
Wait, what? Who would have thought that a man who passed away from a massive heart attack nearly 122 years ago could continue to make statements from the grave, while contributing ‘more and more’ to the causes of African Americans?
We’ve reached out to the White House for clarification, but have yet heard back.