Donald Trump's actions speak louder than his lip service to Martin Luther King Jr. Day.
As Americans celebrate the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Donald Trump ignored his own empty suggestions to Americans by spending the day at his golf course.
On Friday, Donald Trump signed a proclamation declaring the day a federal holiday, during a photo op that ended with award-winning White House correspondent April Ryan asking a fleeing Trump, “Are you a racist?”
During that ceremony, Trump also said that he wanted to “encourage all Americans to observe this day with acts of civic work and community service,” a bit of advice that Trump himself has paid no heed. Trump’s schedule for Monday consists only of his return trip to the White House in the evening, and according to pool reports emailed to Shareblue, Trump is spending the day at his golf course.
Trump did make the extraordinary effort of pressing the “retweet” button to distribute his own weekly address, taped last week.
Trump’s inaction is a sharp departure from his predecessor, President Barack Obama, who spent his last MLK Day in office participating in a service project at a family shelter in Washington, DC:
Trump’s choice to spend the King holiday is, however, consistent with his own history of either ignoring the slain civil rights hero, or co-opting him for his own purposes. A search of Trump’s public statements on King shows that Trump doesn’t seem to have mentioned him prior to January of 2016, save one tweet in which he retweeted a follower invoking King in defense of a celebrity who used the n-word.
Of the 36 references recorded, 10 were from last week’s photo op, and another 10 were of Trump complaining that he was accused of removing a bust of King from the Oval Office. At a 2016 speech at Liberty University on MLK Day, Trump “honored” King by dedicating his record-breaking attendance to King, and at another speech, used Dr. King as an example to complain about crowd size.
Donald Trump’s empty words of reverence for Martin Luther King, Jr. last week came in the shadow of his ultra-racist rant in the Oval Office, and his actions on MLK Day serve only to prove their emptiness.