Thursday, Feb. 1 marked an important date: the beginning of Black History Month. Though everyone should, of course, recognize it, one member of the Trump family proved there's definitely a wrong way to do so. For instance, when Ivanka Trump tweeted about Black History Month, Twitter was real quick to point out that words are cheap.
The Trump administration's record on promoting equality and civil rights is dismal, so it isn't hard to predict how Ivanka went wrong. To be clear, people weren't upset at the fact that she was recognizing Black History Month; the problem dwelled in the hypocrisy of her message. She wrote:
During #BlackHistoryMonth, we celebrate heroes like Harriet Tubman, Rosa Parks, and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. who were sojourners for freedom – and we resolve to continue to bring greater equality, dignity, and opportunity to all Americans, regardless of race or background.
That isn't exactly what she's stood up for in her father's administration, though. Ivanka has never vocalized any opposition to Trump's policies — at least not in front of the public. And it's infuriating to some people that she seems to assume the general population is so ignorant of that fact. Ivanka may know how to make promises, but few of them have actually been fulfilled.
"Tag Your Father"
True, Ivanka and her father are two separate people, but she is one of his top advisers and has her own White House office. If she really believed her own tweet, she would tell Trump to crackdown on racism and stop putting the blame on "both sides," as he did after the white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia. During a press conference on Aug. 15, Trump said:
I think there is blame on both sides. You look at both sides. I think there is blame object both on both sides. I have no doubt about it. You don't have doubt about it either. If you reported it accurately, you would say that the neo-Nazis started this thing. They showed up in Charlottesville. Excuse me. They didn't put themselves down as neo-Nazis. You had some very bad people in that group. You also had some very fine people on both sides.
This Twitter user is clearly not pleased at all. The most important word in their post here is "complicit." The word has been used to describe Ivanka and her failure to publicly stand up against her father's policies — whether those policies have to do with immigration, women, or confederate statues.
Plain And Simple
This shouldn't have to be explained.
In other words, don't act like an advocate when you're decidedly not.
For one, Black History Month isn't about all Americans. Though it's possible Ivanka didn't mean to take the attention away from black Americans specifically, her statement still sounds off-kilter.
History Of Racism
Trump's xenophobic policies and discriminatory statements aren't the only problem here. It appears as though the people with whom he surrounds himself hold the same attitudes. Former Breitbart editor Ben Shapiro, for example, wrote about Steve Bannon's influence on the ultra-conservative website. "Under Bannon's Leadership, Breitbart openly embraced the white supremacist alt-right," he noted.
Don't Bother With The Irony
Ivanka wasn't the only one who didn't realize that, though. On Thursday, First Lady Melania Trump also tweeted about Black History Month, celebrating a "celebration of diversity." Again, this is coming from a woman whose husband ended the DACA program and called for a "total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States." That's not what most people consider a "celebration of diversity" or bringing "greater equality, dignity, and opportunity to all Americans, regardless of race or background."