On Wednesday, Donald Trump conducted a listening session to talk about Black History Month, and due to his speech, many have been left wondering if he or his press secretary, Sean Spicer, know who the famous abolitionist and writer Frederick Douglass is.
To celebrate Black History Month, Donald Trump commended African Americans such as Rosa Parks, Martin Luther King Jr., Harriet Tubman, and Frederick Douglass. But, curiously, he appeared to not really understand who Douglass was nor when he lived.
Donald Trump initially began his speech with discussing how it was his privilege to honor various people that he felt should be celebrated during Black History Month, according to Buzzfeed.
“Well, this is Black History Month, so this is our little breakfast, our little get-together. During this month, we honor the tremendous history of the African-Americans throughout our country.”
He then went on to describe how Ben Carson, his Department of Housing and Urban Development secretary, had introduced him to many new “incredible” people that he had never known before.
“I’d go around with Ben to a lot of places that I wasn’t so familiar with. They’re incredible people.”
However, Donald Trump appeared to fumble and was confused as to who Frederick Douglass was when he made the comment that Douglass was being recognized more and more today and described Frederick using the present tense.
“I am very proud now that we have a museum on the National Mall where people can learn about Reverend King, so many other things, Frederick Douglass is an example of somebody who’s done an amazing job and is getting recognized more and more, I notice.”
Many have taken Donald Trump’s statement about Frederick Douglass and formed the opinion that perhaps he is not aware that Frederick died in 1895, nearly 122 years ago. When the press questioned Trump’s press secretary, Sean Spicer, about Donald Trump’s statement about Frederick Douglass, Spicer’s comments made it appear as though he, too, was also unaware of who Douglass was.
“Frederick Douglass, great guy, know him personally. He sent me a text this morning to tell me he appreciates my support”
— Aaron McMillan (@AaronNotAwesome) February 1, 2017
Sean Spicer also referred to Frederick Douglass in the present tense when he described “actions and statements” that Frederick would be making in the future.
“I think there’s contribution. I think he wants to highlight the contributions that he has made, and I think through a lot of the actions and statements that he’s going to make, I think the contributions of Frederick Douglass will become more and more.”
Immediately after Donald Trump’s comments over Black History Month, social media users began questioning whether he or Sean Spicer had ever heard of all of the famous work that Frederick Douglass had done. Comments were left such as, “You could show Trump a photo of Tyga, tell him it’s Frederick Douglass and he wouldn’t flinch.”
“Frederick Douglass was tremendous in those Star Wars movies.” — Donald Trump
— Darrin English (@DarrinEnglish) February 2, 2017
Other social media users on Facebook and Twitter asked if Donald Trump thought that perhaps Frederick Douglass was still alive today or if he thinks we are living in the 19th century.
“So, uh, either Trump thinks Frederick Douglass is alive today or he just thinks we’re in the 1800s.”
Frederick Douglass is celebrated during Black History Month for the many achievements during his lifetime, which include but are not limited to escaping from slavery and becoming head of the abolitionist movement in both New York and Massachusetts. He wrote numerous books, including Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave and believed that all races should work together, saying, “I would unite with anybody to do right and with nobody to do wrong.”
After listening to Donald Trump and Sean Spicer speaking, do you think they know who Frederick Douglass is?
[Featured Image by Pool/Getty Images]