First Lady Melania Trump is catching heat for a speech she gave in which she encouraged adults to lead by example to combat bullying online. Although Mrs. Trump’s words for kids have resonance, they seem to ignore the fact that her own husband, Donald Trump, has been known to use social media as a platform for bullying others. What’s more, in the wake of the Parkland, Florida school shooting, some Trump supporters, and even members of Melania’s own family, have been accused of using social media to cyberbully victims and their families.
As Harper’s Bazaarreports, Melania gave a rare speech this week, addressing the National Governors Association in Washington. There, she called on adults to monitor their children’s social media habits, and to set good examples.
“I am asking you all to join me today and commit to promoting values such as encouragement, kindness, compassion and respect in our children. With those values as a solid foundation, our kids would be better equipped to deal with many of the evils in our world today, such as drug abuse and addiction and negative social-media interactions.”
However, as BBC News reports, observers were quick to point out that Melania’s own inner circle takes a different view when it comes to using social media as a bullying platform.
The White House has cut ties with a senior adviser to first lady Melania Trump after it was revealed the aide’s firm was paid close to $26 million to plan events around President Trump’s inauguration https://t.co/r7RqTzlU9W pic.twitter.com/5rPE1QDD6e
— CNN (@CNN) February 27, 2018
In fact, according to Forbes, Donald Trump has, throughout his presidency, used name-calling and other bullying tactics on Twitter throughout his presidency. He called New York Times writer Charles Krauthammer a “clown,” for example; or called author Harry Hurt a “dummy.”
Twitter users were quick to point that out to the First Lady.
Melania Trump is calling for parent’s to limit KIDS on their social media. She should Start with Donald Trump
— Nicolette Dalton (@NicoletteDalto4) February 26, 2018
@FLOTUS – Please Take a lead & help your husband & stepsons in develop positive social media habits FIRST, then talk to us.
— r (@rochelleaz) February 26, 2018
It’s not just her husband who has an apparent problem with bullying others on social media. Melania’s stepson, Donald Trump, Jr., has also been accused of using the platform to bully people. Specifically, he “Liked” a tweet that suggested that David Hogg, a survivor of the Parkland massacre, had been “coached” to speak out against guns. Hogg himself responded to the president’s son.
“I’m 14, I should never have had to deal with any of this and even though I thought it couldn’t get worse it has because of your family.”
Melania joins recent First Ladies in taking on an unofficial cause to promote, apart from their own husband’s legislative agenda. Michelle Obama, for example, focused on nutrition and healthy school lunches; Laura Bush, on the other hand, focused on childhood literacy. A year into her husband’s term, Melania’s cause hasn’t fully taken shape yet, but she appears to be focusing — on the rare occasions when she makes public appearances — on children and cyberbullying.