President Donald Trump has suggested he knows what’s going on in Black America. In his campaign speeches he told the world that Black people are “living in poverty, your schools are no good, you have no jobs, and 58 percent of your youth is unemployed.” He also said, “African-American communities are absolutely in the worst shape than they’ve ever been in before, ever, ever, ever.”
It is rather unfortunate that Trump cancelled an eye-opening and mind-expanding opportunity on Dr. King’s birthday to visit the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture, and that he didn’t take up President Barack Obama’s invitation last September to visit the museum during its opening.
It could be that Mr. Trump is more comfortable wanting that Black America’s “Hidden Figures” should remain hidden. At least it seems that way among his appointees and the White House staff which lack any significant diversity but for Omarosa Manigault, his Director of Communications for the Office of Public Liaison; and Dr. Benjamin Carson, his nominee for Secretary of Housing and Urban Development, both of whom are Black.
By now, past administrations would have circulated the President’s Message for African American History Month expressing an acknowledgement of the contributions and achievements of Black people to this nation. As of our deadline this morning, no such message has been received from President Trump. Thanks to Dr. Carter G. Woodson, Negro History Week was expanded to a monthlong observation. So, Mr. Trump, there is still time.
In the meantime, we are reminded and must take heed to Dr. Woodson’s message to Black America: “History shows that it does not matter who is in power or what revolutionary forces take over the government, those who have not learned to do for themselves and have to depend solely on others never obtain any more rights or privileges in the end than they had in the beginning.”