Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Frederick who?


[Video accompanying the New York Times article “Trump’s Black History Talk: From Douglass to Media Bias and Crime.”]

Our president honors Black History Month: “They’re incredible people.” And: “You read all about Dr. Martin Luther King a week ago, when somebody said I took the statue out of my office.” And: “Frederick Douglass is an example of somebody who’s done an amazing job and is being recognized more and more, I notice.”

Does Dunning K. Trump think Frederick Douglass is a living human being? Does he have any idea what Frederick Douglass is known for? And how would Trump have noticed that Douglass “is being recognized more and more”? What’s he even talking about? Like a student who hasn’t prepared for the test, our president is faking it — with no idea how obvious his fakery is. (That’s the Dunning K. part.)

Nothing about this presidency is normal. And nothing about this presidency is for getting used to.

*

February 2: Sean Spicer also appears not to know who Frederick Douglass was. Or if Spicer does know, he’s playing along with the boss. “Frederick Douglass” now has a Twitter account.

comments: 12

Diane Schirf said...

It's obvious to you. Not so obvious to many. Obviously.

Frex said...

LOL, followed by wincing and groaning.
You saw he said something waffley about Abraham Lincoln too, along the lines of,
"He is well-known for doing many things. And the things he did were very important."

(I DO think he knew Lincoln was an historical figure though, unlike what he appears to think of Douglass.)

Michael Leddy said...

I’m sure there are people who don’t know the name Frederick Douglass, or who don’t care whether Trump knows who we was. But it’s all over Twitter, all over the news, and more and more people will figure it out. I wish someone had pressed him right then: “Tell us more about Frederick Douglass.”

Michael Leddy said...

Lincoln: some of the greatest logs ever made! We must cut more trees and bring back our lumber industry!

Michael Leddy said...

Fresca, I saw your comment after I replied to Diane ’s. Thus the weird separateness.

Berit said...

But...I saw the clip of Trump on this, and part of me--Devil's advocate--wasn't sure from his tone that he thought Douglass was a contemporary figure. I had this vague impression that he is just THAT inarticulate a speaker, that illiterate an American that when he tried to say "everyone knows the great Dr. King, but let's not forget/I want to spend some time this month on a deeper dive on other significant blah blah blah, for example FD.", this vague mess that can be easily misunderstood is his best offering. Even with "prepared remarks".SURELY Spicer was just falling on the sword? This guys are a real sideshow...

Michael Leddy said...

I watched that clip four or five times before making up my mind. What clinched it for me: I can’t imagine describing any nineteenth-century person (or really anyone from history, now dead) as “somebody who’s done an amazing job.” My suspicion is that he began freestyling and got in too deep. My son-in-law wishes that a reporter had asked Trump if he’s planning to meet with Douglass. :)

Frex said...

MICHAEL: Ah, that's the key: logs. He knows Lincoln Logs (invented in 1916).

Diane Schirf said...

My favorite new meme is how Douglass helped victims of the Bowling Green massacre.

Michael Leddy said...

Ha! I hadn’t seen the two merged.

Diane Schirf said...

This is perhaps the best.
Natasha Rothwell: Saddened and sickened by Frederick Douglass' silence surrounding the Bowling Green Massacre.

Michael Leddy said...

Good one. I’m assuming that Phi Beta Kappa is remaining silent on Kellyanne Conway and “alternative facts.”