President Donald Trump has never had a particularly bright relationship with immigrants. This Friday, on the first day of both February and Black History Month, former President Barack Obama highlighted the discrepancy between his own, normal and human take on immigration and Trump’s.
‘As we celebrate Black History Month and Jackie Robinson’s 100th birthday, we celebrate the life of all whose courage opened the gates for everybody, and in the process, made America better.’
As we celebrate Black History Month and Jackie Robinson’s 100th birthday, we celebrate the life of all whose courage opened the gates for everybody, and in the process, made America better. pic.twitter.com/Fl9aDxqcGi
— Barack Obama (@BarackObama) February 1, 2019
It’s true — Robinson’s 100th birthday was this past Thursday, giving Americans a chance to honor the athlete who led the way towards the full integration of baseball — and professional sports in general. Robinson was the first black person to play in Major League Baseball.
Similarly, Obama was the first black president, who thereby has his own very personal stake in diversity that marked his time in office in addition to the policy achievements he managed, like opening up public healthcare to millions more people who wouldn’t have any health coverage otherwise.
Trump, meanwhile, doesn’t seem to particularly care about any of this, although he did sign the customary official proclamation designating February as “National African American History Month, 2019.” That proclamation mentions Robinson alongside other high profile black Americans like the recently deceased soul singer Aretha Franklin as examples of “African American heroes” that “make our Nation proud and define what it means to be American.”
Under Trump, Black History Month therefore hasn’t met the same fate as Pride Month, which the current president has now declined to acknowledge twice when it’s rolled through each June.
Trump’s relationship with Black History Month hasn’t been particularly rosy just because he’s actually acknowledged its existence, though. He’s often attracted attention for all of the wrong reasons, apparently struggling to take it seriously enough to not offer observations like that the long-dead Frederick Douglass is “an example of somebody who’s doing an amazing job and is being recognized more and more.”
This time around, he’s barely acknowledged it publicly at all as of early Friday, opting to spend his time tweeting and ranting about subjects ranging from his long-sought border wall blocking off Mexico (which he says is necessary for any reasonable measure of border security) and the arrest of his longtime associate Roger Stone (which he unsurprisingly contends was inappropriate while insisting he has nothing to do with his crimes).
That doesn’t even cover the way he’s treated minorities in general. He has made that border wall singling out and blocking off an entire population a key part of his policy agenda to the point of recently refusing to approve any federal government funding for more than a month because Congress wouldn’t give him the billions he wanted for that wall.
Ironically enough, come 2020 we might turn this trend around to the point of having another black president. Democratic U.S. Senators Kamala Harris (Calif.) and Cory Booker (N.J.) have already formally thrown their hats in the ring alongside an ever-growing number of other Democrats hoping to take on Trump.
Check out Twitter’s response to Obama…
Featured Image via YouTube screenshot