Many people get real-time news from Twitter, but at times naive users take the bait over fake news headlines. A blog post went viral about “dead” Frederick Douglass opening a Twitter account for the expressed purpose of trolling Donald Trump over his reported Black History Month flub.
On the first day of Black History Month 2017, President Donald Trump, surrounded by a group of African American staff members and supporters, paid homage to freedom fighters, civil rights activists and those who paved the way for equality in America. Among those Trump celebrated was Frederick Douglass, according to the Atlantic.
“Frederick Douglass is an example of somebody who’s done an amazing job and is getting recognized more and more, I notice.”
According to History, Douglass died 122 years ago. Born into slavery, Douglass became a runaway and eventually escaped to freedom. He then devoted his life to abolishing involuntary servitude and seeking higher education.
— Rodney Allen Trice (@CommuneNetwork) February 2, 2017
— Bonnie Dean (@BonDean) February 2, 2017
— Occupy Wall Street (@OccupyWallStNYC) February 2, 2017
Douglass, an avid speaker, published many works, most notably, his autobiographies. He also helped pave the way for a paradigm shift that led to new ideals of American democracy and activism aimed at rooting out slavery and mediocrity.
However, TV, Twitter and other social media sites began lambasting Donald Trump over his apparent lack of knowledge about Douglass, the African Slave trade and Black History.
— Impeach Donald Trump (@Impeach_D_Trump) February 2, 2017
The owner of One Hot Mess published the blog post, “Frederick Douglass Opens Twitter Account from Beyond the Grave to Troll President Trump” and readers of the post and micro-blogging site offered mixed responses.
— Sharon (@JewishMaharani) February 2, 2017
The author of the Frederick Douglass post included quotes from the account, @realFrederickDouglass, reportedly designed to demonstrate how out of touch Trump is about Afrocentric contributions.
“@realDonaldTrump pretended to know who I was when he obviously has no f***ing idea. VERY DISHONEST!”
“My autobiography, Life and Times of Frederick Douglass, is #1 best-seller on Amazon. 4x better sales than Art of the Deal! P.S. I am dead!”
“Hope you like everything I did for women’s suffrage! Even the losers, haters, and flat-chested ‘fives.’ Enjoy!”
“@realDonaldTrump, your FAKE NATIONAL SECURITY immigrant BAN goes against everything I stood for (when I was alive 122 yrs ago). A horrible mess!”
Apparently, when Twitter users searched for the Frederick Douglass account, they only found a verified Twitter account operated by the National Park Service for visitors of Cedar Hill where Douglass spent his last 17 years. Search results also returned a number of other accounts that paid tribute to the noted abolitionist.
Donald Trump's rambling statement about Frederick Douglass is like something out of a 'Drunk History' episode pic.twitter.com/gTCh7fQAOX
— NowThis (@nowthisnews) February 1, 2017
Some readers thought the account was removed by Twitter based on its “Terms of Service” when the hashtag, #RealFrederickDouglass, began trending about Donald Trump’s strange observations.
Later, the blogger updated her post and informed readers that it was fake news and her intentions were meant as “satire.” She only wanted to poke fun at President Trump’s “ignorance” on the important milestone in history.
In wake of Trump’s perceived misunderstanding of Douglass and his contributions, Seth Meyers weighed in. The “Late Night” host suggested that Trump’s second week in office has been “as chaotic as his first,” according to the Daily Beast.
“Trump commemorated Black History Month by praising abolitionist Frederick Douglass, but from his comments, it seemed pretty clear that not only did Trump not know who Frederick Douglass was, he also seemed to think that Douglass, who died in 1895, might still be alive.”
From a disastrous travel ban to apparently not knowing who Frederick Douglass is, Trump had a terrible week https://t.co/x91SwHglXS
— VANITY FAIR (@VanityFair) February 3, 2017
The site continued with Meyers’ quip about Trump, saying “Douglass has been getting ‘more and more’ recognition for the ‘amazing job’ he’s been doing. Keep your eye on that Fred Douglass kid, he’s going places,” Meyers said, pretending to quote the commander in chief.
Meyers went on to highlight his frustration with “incompetence” of Trump’s administration regarding the travel ban executive order targeting mostly Muslim-majority countries.
In the event you’re a skimmer and missed the disclosure above, the Frederick Douglass Twitter account created to censure and lampoon Donald Trump’s Black History Month snafu was a parody by a savvy blogger.
Were you among the “millions” who fell for the fake news story?
[Featured image by Michael Reynolds – Pool/Getty Images]