Somehow, someway, Donald Trump just managed to make his first speech about black history month almost entirely about Donald Trump.
Given all the controversy surrounding the new President, a lot of people were paying attention to how he’d handle his first occasion to address this annual tradition. And boy oh boy, did he disappoint.
The brief speech was given from a conference table surrounded by African Americans. And it went well enough for the first couple sentences, where he mentions the voters he interacted with during the campaign & gives props to his friend Ben Carson.
Then it gets really awful, really fast.
“You read all about Dr. Martin Luther King a week ago when somebody said I took the statue out of my office,” Trump said. “And it turned out that that was fake news.” Which is of course what everyone wanted to hear about – the President’s decorating tastes and his ongoing war with the media.
He’d go on to say, “So I think it was a disgrace, but that’s the way the press is.” But whatever happened with that bust, is not nearly as disgraceful as this next line:
“…people can learn about Reverend King, so many other things, Frederick Doug—Douglass is an example of somebody who’s done an amazing job that is being recognized more and more, I notice.”
Wait. Just wait. Does this imply that Trump thinks Frederick Douglass, the famed abolitionist who died in 1895, is still alive? Because it definitely reads that way.
But at least he was trying to talk about people other than himself for a second. He quickly reverted back to form, finishing his speech by saying things like, “I met Darrel when he was defending me on television,” and, “I don’t watch CNN, so I don’t get to see [Paris Dennard] as much. I don’t like watching fake news.”
You can read the full transcript below, if you don’t die of the cringes first.