This Monday is Martin Luther King Jr. Day and President Donald Trump and his administration haven’t exactly had a rosy relationship with minorities throughout their time in power. Still — perhaps seeking to simply ignore their minority-targeting policies and pretend to be a normal White House — this Monday morning, Trump and Vice President Mike Pence made a surprise visit to the Martin Luther King Jr. memorial in Washington, D.C., where they laid a wreath.
— CBS News (@CBSNews) January 21, 2019
They didn’t stay long, with Trump reportedly offering the brief commentary that it’s a “great day.” According to press on the scene, the president was only at the memorial for “approximately two minutes.”
There’d been no events marking the day on either the president’s or vice president’s calendar, although Trump did sign the customary, expected presidential proclamation distinguishing the day.
‘Today we celebrate Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. for standing up for the self-evident truth Americans hold so dear, that no matter what the color of our skin or the place of our birth, we are all created equal by God.’
Today we celebrate Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. for standing up for the self-evident truth Americans hold so dear, that no matter what the color of our skin or the place of our birth, we are all created equal by God. #MLKDay https://t.co/pEaVpCB8M4
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 21, 2019
It’s ridiculously ironic for Trump to speak that way when a core part of his policy agenda revolves around distinguishing people by the color of their skin and the place of their birth. He has spent countless hours convincing his followers that undocumented immigration over the southern border poses a particular threat, to which his solution is to wall off the entire country of Mexico — something he originally claimed the Mexicans would pay for.
He has sought to justify his positions by using isolated incidents of immigrants committing crimes to paint the entire population of immigrants to the United States — documented or otherwise — as dangerous.
That’s not a stretch — that’s exactly what he and his team have done through means like explicitly tying undocumented immigration in general to brutal crimes while completely ignoring the endlessly brutal crimes committed by native born Americans. Nearly 15,000 people were killed by gun violence across the United States in 2018 alone, and Trump seeks to paint undocumented immigrants as a major overwhelming threat anyway when their portion of that gun violence — let alone of society’s crime at large — is ridiculously small. If you connect the dots with reasonable estimations — more people died from food poisoning than undocumented immigrants in the United States in 2018!
Yet, Trump still has the gall to refuse to approve any further government funding without billions of dollars for a border wall and talk like he’s in the same category as Martin Luther King, Jr. anyway.
The delusion runs in the “family.” Pence has compared Trump’s effort to construct a border wall to King’s vision of a “time to make real the promises of democracy,” a suggestion that the King family quickly shot down.
Martin Luther King III asserted his father was a “bridge builder, not a wall builder.”
In other words, no matter any brief show of solidarity, the lines remain clearly drawn between the Trump administration and those who are on the side of minorities.
Featured Image via YouTube screenshot