In a statement that could be a defense of her husband’s social media practices, First Lady Melania Trump said “sometimes, you need to fight back,” in a town hall session with students about Liberty University. The topic of discussion: Cyberbullying.
This is the issue that Melania Trump chose to focus on as First Lady, a stance that many critics saw as an ironic choice. Donald Trump is well-known for his social media rants and for being highly critical of opponents, media organizations, other world leaders, politicians and people in his own Administration through Twitter.
Melania Trump’s “Be Best” initiative purports to be an anti-cyberbullying campaign, according to Newsweek.
One of the goals of Be Best is helping children and teens “avoid negative social media interaction.”
“I will do what is right for the next generation and to be focused on helping how to use it and how much to use it — the social media…So next generation can be respectful and kind and also sometimes you need to fight back,” she said, according to ABC News.
By some viewpoints, fighting back in itself could be viewed as a form of cyberbullying — particularly if the example to follow is the one set by Donald Trump. The President has lambasted his own Cabinet members, federal judges and entire populations of whole countries through social media. He has also engaged in more than one famous “Twitter war” in which he has traded barbs back and forth with various celebrities and high-ranking politicians.
According to the official White House website, “Be Best” is designed to educate children on “the importance of social, emotional and physical health.” Its three main pillars are well-being, social media use, and opioid abuse.
— Melania Trump (@FLOTUS) November 28, 2018
The town hall also focused on the current country-wide opioid crisis.
Melania also took a moment to address the White House Christmas decorations, which drew criticism for a series of red trees that served as a highlight of the design. Some have compared the red trees to the blood trees in “The Shining” and the costumes in “The Handmaid’s Tale,” among other pop culture references.
“I think they look fantastic,” she said of the trees.
“I hope everybody will come over and visit. In real life, they look even more beautiful and you’re all welcome to visit the White House, the people’s house.”
Melania is correct. The White House provides special tours during the holiday season to highlight the decorations and all the trees.