Melania Trump: Living in the People’s House with the Racist-in-Chief
By: Lisa M. Hayes – Confluence Daily is your daily news source for women in the know.
Lebron James is known for having an ego that matches his fame. As an NBA player who is fondly referred to by fans as “King James”, it’s easy to forget how involved in his community he’s been for years. King James reminded us of two things last week. First, he reminded us how generous he is. Second, he reminded us that money can do some serious good when it’s well spent in service of others.
Residents in Lebron’s hometown of Akron, Ohio, experienced that work firsthand this week, when his “I Promise” school opened its doors to 240 at-risk third- and fourth-graders.
The school, a project of the LeBron James Family Foundation and Akron Public Schools, provides students with a slew of awesome perks.
According to James, in addition to attending a school run by The King, students will also receive:
Free breakfast, lunch and snacks
Free transportation within 2 miles
A free bicycle and helmet
Access to a food pantry for their family
Guaranteed tuition for all graduates to the University of Akron
What’s more, parents of students will receive access to job placement services and help in acquiring their GEDs.
This is the kind of project that can change lives and change a community and in a move that surprised exactly no one, Donald Trump took to Twitter, not to thank Lebron James for his service to the community – but to viciously criticise him by insulting his intelligence.
Trump characterized Lebron James as “low IQ”. This continuing Donald Trump’s pattern of attacking well-known African-Americans as having “low IQs” or being of low intelligence, mimicking the white nationalist view that blacks are inherently less intelligent than whites. It plays very well with his twisted “base”.
Trump suggested Obama wasn’t smart enough to get into an Ivy League college, demanding the release his academic records. Trump slammed Representative Maxine Waters as being low IQ say, “I mean, honestly, she’s somewhere in the mid-60s, I believe that.”
Last week, Trump escalated this line of attack on well-known African-Americans. This time, the leader of the nation took to Twitter to degrade the intelligence of both NBA great LeBron James and CNN anchor Don Lemon:
“Lebron James was just interviewed by the dumbest man on television, Don Lemon. He made Lebron look smart, which isn’t easy to do. I like Mike!” (The “Mike” in the tweet was NBA legend Michael Jordan.)
Then something happened. While Donald Trump was having a curious reunion with Hope Hicks on board Air Force One the First Lady’s spokeswoman Stephanie Grisham released a statement that showed support for James. “It looks like LeBron James is working to do good things on behalf of our next generation and just as she always has, the first lady encourages everyone to have an open dialogue about issues facing children today,” Grisham’s statement read. “As you know, Mrs. Trump has traveled the country and world talking to children about their well-being, healthy living, and the importance of responsible online behavior with her Be Best initiative.”
And the entire country took a collective gasp. The first lady directly contradicted her husband. While she’s since walked it back a step by saying she wasn’t siding with Lebron, she was siding with the children, you can’t walk that back with a step when you’ve gone miles publicly in opposition of your husband. First Ladies don’t speak out against their husbands. It doesn’t happen. Except this first lady does.
She’s done it before. Melania Trump joined all the living first ladies in denouncing the zero-tolerance border policy that put children in cages. At a time when her husband was taking the hottest heat of his presidency, she didn’t stand by her man, literally or figuratively. She spoke out publicly against his policies.
I firmly believe the great jacket debacle of 2018 when Melania wore the “I really don’t care, do you?” jacket, was also a form of public rebellion against her husband. On a day when she was supposed to be the public face of the administration by putting a smiling face on a disgusting issue for the cameras, Melania destroyed the made-for-camera media circus by saying nothing – with a jacket.
This isn’t a woman who makes wardrobe mistakes. She didn’t allow herself to be used by her husband to push an agenda she didn’t believe in at a press photoshoot at a border facility. Melania was willing to fall on a sword in the media to prevent it. Melania smiled for the cameras and then made herself the story with the jacket. By the end of the day, no one was talking about the staged press event intended to make us all think the kids in cages were at summer camp. Jacket-gate was the only story any of us were talking about.
Melania Trump defied her husband publicly by coming down on the right side of that issue then and she did again regarding Lebron. Out of all the paint-peeling bullshit Donald Trump routinely spews on Twitter Melania picked two issues to speak out on and they both had to do with race.
Everyone has biases. A lot of people are racist. However, there is a difference between being a garden variety racist and a white supremacist. Donald Trump is the latter. His Alt-right rhetoric leaves little to the imagination when it comes to the black, brown, and white of the President and our nation. We know where he stands.
What’s less clear is where she stands. When a First Lady’s job is to support her husband, Melania Trump is the most independent First Lady this nation has ever had. Especially when it comes to issues of race and racism, Melania Trump does not fall into lock-step with the Racist in Chief.
When Trump won the election it was almost harder for me to swallow that Melania would walk in Michelle Obama’s house than it was for me to accept that Donald Trump would be in the Oval. These days I’m finding myself conflicted about Melania in a way I didn’t anticipate.
Maybe it’s because she’d got secret service protection now. However, it doesn’t matter why really. Melania Trump, an immigrant, is making her way in a very dark moment in history. And while this accidental First Lady may still occasionally do what he wants her to do, smile silently for the cameras, more often than not she’s making her own news by not being by his side.
More by Lisa:
Lisa M. Hayes, Senior Editor of Confluence Daily.
Confluence Daily is the one place where everything comes together. The one-stop for daily news for women.