One of the most excruciating experiences of the Trump presidency — and the list is lengthy — is watching the openly racist Trump family and administration put on their obligatory and painfully insincere dog-and-pony shows every time there’s a cultural event that isn’t focused on white Christians.
Today is Juneteenth, the holiday where Black Americans celebrate their freedom from institutionalized slavery in the United States. Having openly dedicated their administration to upholding and expanding the white supremacist superstructure that still defines our nation to this day, there is perhaps no family more unqualified to make any remarks about the holiday to the nation, but convention insists that they must, inevitably leaving us to watch deeply bizarre and uncomfortable displays like the one put together by First Lady Melania Trump:
Today we celebrate #Juneteenth, the oldest nationally celebrated commemoration of the end of slavery in the U.S. In honor of today, I would like to share the story "All Different Now" by Angela Johnson, which sheds a light on the first Juneteenth through the eyes of a young girl. pic.twitter.com/ZG9zoup4yG
— Melania Trump (@FLOTUS) June 19, 2020
Social media users thought this was extremely inappropriate since Melania Trump eagerly participated in the racist “birther” smear campaign begun by her husband against President Barack Obama, baselessly accusing him of having been born in Kenya and of being unqualified to hold office.
Your periodic reminder that Melania Trump was a shameless birther. pic.twitter.com/0CSpsAlqdf
— Ahmed Baba (@AhmedBaba_) December 5, 2019
Since her husband took office, she has refused to do anything to rein in her husband’s more divisive, authoritarian, or sadistic impulses — as Twitter users were quick to point out:
OK. Another #PRProTip because this White House is so bad at this. When trying to show you understand the horrors of slavery using a shot that looks like the matriarch of a plantation undermines the entire message. (Unless of course that’s the exact message you’re sending) https://t.co/RDj5TmKTE3
— Fred Wellman (@FPWellman) June 19, 2020
O birther why art thou https://t.co/fw0JULvy8S
— John Fugelsang (@JohnFugelsang) June 19, 2020
Melania Trump was a birther. https://t.co/Hy8giDJpFS
— Ben Rhodes (@brhodes) June 19, 2020
— Room Rater (@ratemyskyperoom) June 19, 2020