The start of February marked the beginning of Black History Month, and at least one member of the first family is celebrating it. As with President Donald Trump, his eldest daughter posted about the annual commemoration, and it's already drawing pushback. Ivanka Trump's Black History Month post for 2019 is garnering all sorts of reactions on social media.
"As many have said 'Black History is American History,'" the first daughter tweeted on Sunday, Feb. 3. "To honor Black History Month, let's remember that our nation is stronger, better, and wiser for the contributions of black people throughout this country's history." Ivanka Trump currently serves as an adviser to her father in the White House and has been seen as one of a few key influential figures in the president's orbit.
The post, which did not provide any specific citations or examples either of who had said the quote or the "contributions" to the country, was posted to her Instagram story as well. The tweet came just a day before Rosa Parks Day, which marks what would've been the 106th birthday of the civil rights leader.
Predictably, some users praised the Trump daughter while others chimed in with mocking, jokes, and outright criticism over her comments. "Did you get an Inclusion Chip installed?" one user joked, while another added, "We're surprised you didn't just say, 'I have a black friend too.'" Elite Daily reached out to the White House for comment on Trump's tweet and the criticism about it, but did not hear back at time of publication.
She tweeted about the monthlong commemoration last year too, but according to an advanced search on Twitter, it doesn't appear that she has ever posted about it prior to 2018.
"During #BlackHistoryMonth, we celebrate heroes like Harriet Tubman, Rosa Parks, and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. who were sojourners for freedom," she wrote in January 2018, "and we resolve to continue to bring greater equality, dignity, and opportunity to all Americans, regardless of race or background." Even then, the tweet drew backlash.
President Donald Trump also shared a statement for Black History Month 2019 via the White House with his following on Feb. 1, writing, "National African American History Month is an occasion to rediscover the enduring stories of African Americans," and adding that it was "a time to commemorate the countless contributions of African Americans, many of whom lived through and surmounted the scourge of segregation, racial prejudice, and discrimination to enrich every fiber of American life."
The first daughter has been repeatedly dragged for making statements and actions in support of civil rights, social justice, and diversity, with some critics calling hypocrisy as they cite her father's own comments and administrative policies that have been seen as damaging to communities of color. The White House did not respond to Elite Daily's request for comment about the accusations of hypocrisy as of publication.
Among the most high-profile policy moves that have alarmed communities of color and their allies are the travel ban, which blocked visitors from Muslim-majority countries from entering the U.S.; the practice of separating families crossing the U.S.-Mexico border, which has left lasting marks on many refugees seeking better lives; and Trump's continued push for a border wall to keep out immigrants at the southern border, a demand which resulted in the 35-day shutdown that left hundreds of thousands of Americans in financial peril.
The policy moves came hand in hand with Trump's personal statements on social movements, including defending a white nationalist rally in Charlottesville and attacking NFL players who have made peaceful displays during the national anthem to protest police brutality of black people. Elite Daily reached out to the White House for comment on both topics but did not immediately receive responses.
While many have pointed to various facets of President Trump's policies and positions and their effects on communities of color, some leaders in the African-American community have defended the president and said that criticizing one administration alone isn't enough to undo or prevent racism.
"If we're going to fix America's 400-year-old black-white problem starting with racism, you can't just blame 45 for the problem and think that makes you OK as a citizen or a legislator, when you're not doing anything to change the situation of African-Americans and others," Bishop Harry Jackson told PBS' Newshour in August.
But Trump's tweet is sure to fall quickly to the wayside as Americans are getting ready for President Trump's second State of The Union address on Tuesday, Feb. 5. The event promises to be a politically charged one, with Stacey Abrams giving the official Democratic rebuttal. Abrams, a politician from Georgia who would've been the first black woman governor in the country and who President Trump opposed in the 2018 midterm elections, has been vocal in her feelings against the president. So if it's any indication, Trump's tweet and its backlash (for better or worse) will be soon overshadowed by what's in store this week in Washington.