Wednesday, February 1, 2017

What did Donald Trump do today?

He introduced a Black History Month event at the White House.

Trump's remarks were 742 words long. 197 of them (27%) were about his running feud with the media. 162 (22%) were about African-Americans who personally supported Trump and were in the room. 118 (16%) of them were about his campaign. Trump devoted 84 words (11%) to the state of black America ("right now it's terrible") or, in any event, about the "inner cities," which Trump generally uses as a synonym for issues facing people of color. 

45 words (6%) were about Martin Luther King, Jr. (not counting Trump's complaints about media reports that a bust of King had been removed from the Oval Office). Frederick Douglass, Rosa Parks, Harriet Tubman, and all other African-Americans in history shared 81 words (11%).

So what?

  • It's a bad sign if a president cannot keep his obsessions from spilling over into unrelated events.
  • Black History Month speeches traditionally contain more than a few passing references to black history.