In the latest series of articles about Mary Jordan’s upcoming book, we learn more about Melania’s effort to be seen as more than arm candy for the most narcissistic president ever.
As she pontificated over her disdain for people who need attention (no shortage of irony there), the woman who married Donald Trump wants the world to know “I lead meaningful life.” To read Laura Miller’s review of “The Art of Her Deal: The Untold Story of Melania Trump” is to confirm any perceptions we had that maybe Melania married Trump because she has a deep and abiding love for his money.
“She is a highly focused utilitarian who likes nice things and whose spoiled stepdaughter gets on her nerves. A childhood in a working-class family in the former Yugoslavia did not offer her many paths to couture wardrobes and private jets.* Her father, Viktor, was a chauffeur, and her mother, Amalija, sewed children’s clothing in a factory. Amalija craved elegance, making stylish clothes for her daughter and instilling in her a penchant for design.”
As if she wanted to double down on proving she knows stuff, the first lady of maga proved in a tweet that she found the Emancipation Proclamation, the Declaration of Independence and “our nation’s charters of freedom”.
As we approach #Juneteenth, @SecretaryCarson & I visited @USNatArchives to view our nation’s Charters of Freedom & Emancipation Proclamation. These historic documents provide freedom & equality for all & serve as a reminder of our democratic ideals & values. pic.twitter.com/VBrYDMUa6z
— Melania Trump (@FLOTUS) June 19, 2020
It’s too bad, she never managed to grasp that among those freedoms is the right to peacefully assemble and protest the government. And, in America, we have the right to question and challenge the great wisdom of dear leader and dear madam.
That was one of several tweets made in her attempt to show how meaningfully she can whitesplain Juneteenth to America, or maybe that she read the documents after she found them.
It isn’t like white America, including me, know much about Juneteenth. After all, it’s “only” the day in 1865 when the last American slaves were informed that they had been emancipated two years earlier. But if anything gives us an incentive to learn more about Juneteenth and what it means to African-Americans, it’s Melania Trump demonstrating how obnoxious white privilege is.
She wants us to know we are all one global community, notwithstanding that her husband had the National Guard protect his hotel, while gassing and assaulting peaceful protesters in DC. Never mind that Trump is holding his vanity rally in Tulsa, where locals originally cancelled their Juneteenth celebration because, you know, there’s this pandemic. Yeah, yeah, he changed his vanity rally to the next day, while also declaring no one ever heard of Juneteenth until he came along.
Let’s remember who we are talking about. Melania joined Donald on his birther tour and made a point of telling America she shared his belief that Barack Obama really wasn’t “one of us”. That’s especially obnoxious when one considers the subtext, that she, a woman who lived most of her life in Slovenia, is more American than an African-American who was born here and became the first black man to serve as our president.
Melania joined Donald on that fatal day when he announced his candidacy before a crowd of paid actors. She stood by Donald as, during that announcement, he indulged in the sort of racism he would exploit to eventually occupy the White House.
Mrs. Trump expressed support for Donald’s barbaric policies on immigration, including putting children in cages and separating families seeking asylum.
She was notably silent when her husband threatened people peacefully protesting police brutality, protesting the murder of African Americans while sleeping in their homes, in their cars, while unarmed, while compliant, while a knee to the neck drains the life out of their bodies.
With all due deference to the title of First Lady, America doesn’t need whitesplaining of Juneteenth by a woman whose actions speak far louder than her tweets.
We do need a real First Lady, one who understands that tear gassing and cracking heads are not unifying gestures. We crave a First Lady who may very well agree with her husband or defer to him rather than sending mixed messages to the public, but one whose husband is sane, a real president who cares about all of America – not only “his people.”
We need a First Lady who writes her own speeches and is more concerned about the way her words unite people than how she looked and sounded while saying them. No one cares if Melania speaks in an accent that clearly is not “American.” We do care about the fact that she stands for things that have nothing to do with the America envisioned by the Founders and treasured by an overwhelming majority of Americans, regardless of how long or how recent their American pedigree is. We care about having a First Lady for whom the truth, science and facts matter. Someone who actually understands that a free press is the foundation of democracy.
We need a First Lady who doesn’t just talking about “living meaningful life” because she is far too busy actually living one.