A seventy-minute set of remarks from President Trump have concluded with a series of lies already being combated by fact checkers. But you may have missed the omission of black history in President Trump’s history lesson.
President Trump’s speech highlighted black unemployment, increased safety, and the pursuit of the American dream. It followed pilgrims up rocks and through streams in westward expansion, and it noted the building blocks of the American dream.
“Our American ancestors sailed across the perilous ocean to build a new life on a new continent,” President Trump said. “They braved the freezing winters, crossed the raging rivers, scaled the rocky peaks, trekked the dangerous forests, and worked from dawn until dusk. These pioneers didn’t have money. They didn’t have fame. But they had each other.”
As protestors remained just outside the White House gates on Black Lives Matter Plaza, these words rang through siren filled streets. Hundreds stood shouting the name of Jacob Blake, killed this week by a police officer in. Trump did not mention Blake during his speech. He did, however, mention Kenosha, Wisconsin and the shooting of protestors during subsequent civil unrest in the area.
Some administration officials like Senior Advisor Jared Kushner and White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows commented on protests by sports associations. Their comments have reflected a dismissal of the protest’s effectiveness, rather than empowerment of peaceful methods of protests or the incident itself.
Meanwhile, on land constructed by slaves, and maintained by US tax dollars, the Republican National Convention hosted a brief commentary on America’s history. Little of which directly addressed the issues of police brutality brought to light by protestors in America.
Commentary on social media from CNN commentator Angela Rye reflected this contrast in tweets throughout the event.
“These pioneers were slave traders,” Rye wrote, shortly after noting that, “President Obama made 62 lifetime appointments of African Americans to serve on the federal bench.”
Republican commentators, like Turning Point USA’s Charlie Kirk focused instead on his protection of officers, and the strength President Trump showed during his first term.
President Trump, and the Republican Party continue to have no explicit platform. There are also no clear policy details on work the administration plans to do with regards to race and police brutality in the United States.
This was produced as part of a project for Georgetown University in pursuit of a Masters in Journalism. A statement was edited to reflect Jacob Blake’s killing by police officers, as well as an administration responses.