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The women in the Trump family kicked off the beginning of Black History Month doing the absolute bare minimum: tweeting about it.
Melania Trump’s tweet was downright hysterical. She called for a “celebration of diversity,” using a word that the Centers For Disease Control and Prevention isn’t allowed to use anymore thanks to an edict from her husband’s administration.
Today marks the start of #BlackHistoryMonth Let this be a time to come together in a celebration of diversity.— Melania Trump (@FLOTUS) February 1, 2018
People on Twitter were quick to point out the hypocrisy of her message and asked her if her husband would be participating this month as well.
Can you say that to your husband? #Trump— Bill Beck (@DarthPizza_) February 1, 2018
With all due respect it is not a generic "celebration of diversity". It is to honor and remember the history of Black America. Including the first Black president that your husband discredits, and peaceful protests like kneeling for the anthem. cc @JoyAnnReid @angela_rye— D Merle (@dmsr89) February 2, 2018
When will your Husband join in on this celebration? Just wondering...— Brian Krassenstein (@krassenstein) February 1, 2018
But Ivanka Trump’s tweet was the real icing on the cake.
During #BlackHistoryMonth, we celebrate heroes like Harriet Tubman, Rosa Parks, and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. who were sojourners for freedom – and we resolve to continue to bring greater equality, dignity, and opportunity to all Americans, regardless of race or background.— Ivanka Trump (@IvankaTrump) February 1, 2018
Upon first read, it seems nice. She starts off strong with her nods to Harriet Tubman, Rosa Parks, and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., although we couldn’t help but notice she left out other Black leaders less popular among white people, like Nat Turner and Malcolm X.
Ivanka interestingly uses the phrase “sojourners of truth.” Sojourner means to “stay temporarily,” so it’s odd she said prominent leaders in the Black community “stayed temporarily” in freedom.
But then she veered totally off course with the second part of her message.
“…we resolve to continue to bring greater equality, dignity, and opportunity to all Americans, regardless of race or background,” she said.
Emphasis on all Americans.
Sounds a little too much like an #AllLivesMatter tweet, right?
People on Twitter called out Ivanka for all the things wrong with her message.
Did Ivanka just make #BlackHistoryMonth about ALL Americans? What is wrong with her? Plus, did she use "sojourners" in the correct context 🤔— Sonya ~ Still I Rise 🎅🏿🤶🏿🌻♊🍷 (@meSonyaB) February 1, 2018
Your dad is a racist that thinks White Supremacists are very fine people.— Frederick Douglass (@gettinnoticedmo) February 1, 2018
You are complicit.
So thanks for your tweet, but honestly, you can keep that shit for yourself.
Your whole family is going to jail, chica. pic.twitter.com/SOI3wvJwVw
Unless they live in Puerto Rico. Right Ivanka??— Hamilton Gibbons (@HamiltonGibbons) February 1, 2018
Maybe tag your father, I don't think he knows...— Daniel Danger Marin (@dangermarin) February 1, 2018
"[white supremacists] are very fine people"
By "celebrating" you mean tweeting and having photo ops but not actually acting to effect change, and in fact doing the opposite?— WigglyButtz (@Wigglybuttz) February 2, 2018
Are you high?— Ω¯_(ツ)_/¯soSUme (@Black2thBone) February 2, 2018
April Fool's Day is on April 1st. February 1st is the beginning of #BlackHistoryMonth
"– and we resolve to continue to bring greater equality, dignity, and opportunity to all Americans, regardless of race or background." pic.twitter.com/j1ZyCq7tHK
Wow, you just whitesplaid all over #BlackHistoryMonth— Kel ☕ (@Kel_inthecube) February 2, 2018
Ivanka and Melania missed the point that Black History Month is about celebrating Black people—not all the people who just so happened to have benefited from the efforts of Black people.
Tess Cagle is a reporter who focuses on politics, lifestyle, and streaming entertainment. Her work has appeared in the New York Times, Texas Monthly, the Austin American-Statesman, Damn Joan, and Community Impact Newspaper. She’s also a portrait, events, and live music photographer in Central Texas.