One day into Black History Month and 14 days into his presidency, Donald Trump continues to bewilder many. The most recent case of astonishment came when Trump made what some deem to be confusing remarks about respected abolitionist and author Frederick Douglass.
“Frederick Douglass is an example of somebody who has done an amazing job, and is being recognized more and more, I notice,” Trump said Wednesday. (Feb. 1)
While the comment wasn’t disrespectful on its surface, it didn’t take long for many to wonder if the GOP president even knows who Frederick Douglass is, and furthermore, that Douglass died more than a century ago. White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer didn’t help his boss much when he later made comments that were equally baffling.
“Well I think there was contributions,” Spicer said. “I think he wants to highlight the contributions that he has made and I think that through a lot of the actions and statements that he is going to make, I think that the contributions of Frederick Douglass will become more and more.”
Douglass was, and will always be a respected and widely known figure in African-American history. Born a slave, Douglass escaped to freedom at 20-years-old and went onto become one of the leading activists and abolitionists of that time. His autobiography, Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave is considered an important piece of American literature. Along with Douglass’ activism, he was also an editor for the anti-slavery newspaper The North Star.
It didn’t take long for Twitter to react to Trump’s ignorance on the matter, and to say people were upset is an understatement.
— Kate Rohloff (@I_am_katertott) February 2, 2017
— JoshChicago (@Belmont_Chi) February 2, 2017
— Alex Leeds (@Alex_Leeds) February 2, 2017
And to think, we’re only 14 days in.