Trump pretended not to be racist for 90 seconds.
Trump made a quick and perfunctory visit to the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial in Washington, D.C., after a chorus of criticism pointing out that he never scheduled anything to honor the slain American icon.
For about 90 seconds, Trump and Mike Pence visited the King memorial. According to reporters in the presidential pool, Trump spent more time traveling to the location — 15 minutes — than at the statue.
He did not bother to mention Dr. King or his legacy, which has reached into the lives of every American for half a century. Trump merely said, "Good morning, everybody. Great day. Beautiful day. Thank you for being here. Appreciate it."
And that was it.
— CBS News (@CBSNews) January 21, 2019
Trump never originally scheduled the visit, nor did Pence. Neither he nor Pence listed any events for the King holiday on their public schedule.
When the news emerged, outlets like Splinter noted, "Trump isn't making any effort to honor a man whose values were so diametrically opposed to his own." The Daily Beast put the snub into context, noting, "Last year on MLK Day, Trump went golfing in West Palm Beach, Florida."
In the past, Trump has been extremely reactive to both praise and criticism of him in the media. He takes it so seriously that he has made major policy decisions affecting the lives of millions based solely on television.
It is entirely possible that Trump was made aware of how bad snubbing King made him look, and then hustled with Pence for a visit to the memorial to cover up his behavior.
Trump is a racist. He is opposed to the race-blind society King fought for and was killed over. His lack of interest in King is on full view to the world every day of his presidency and a made-for-TV photo-op won't change that.
Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.