Melania Trump can apparently read a book, but can’t read a room. This morning, the first lady posted a video on Twitter of herself reading a children’s book about Juneteenth. Before reciting Angela Johnson’s “All Different Now,” she recounted her trip to Ghana, where she toured the House of Slaves, a memorial to those ripped from their homes during the Atlantic slave trade. Her attempts at commemorating the official end of slavery in the U.S. were met with outrage by her critics, who were quick to point out her participation in the birther movement designed to discredit President Obama as well as her husband’s various racist comments and actions. All of this on top of perhaps the most bizarre aspect of an already bizarre video: It looks like it was shot from the other side of the room by someone who has never heard of a zoom button. From that distance, can we even be sure it was Melania Trump in the video?
Maybe they just wanted to show off the room? (A room that was probably built by slaves, mind you.) Needless to say, there was plenty to choose from when collecting the best responses to the video. Bonus points to “Miss Aja” for reminding us of Melania Trump’s plagiary scandal.
And this backlash comes just two weeks after Ivanka Trump’s ill-received Pride tweet.
If you actually want to hear Johnson’s book read aloud, might we recommend this version recited by Rev. Dr. Patricia Coleman-Burns as part of a series filmed at the Farmington Community Library in the Detroit area. That Michigan library has a whole series of videos featuring members from the First African Methodist Episcopal Church of Farmington Hills read stories celebrating Black lives and Juneteenth.
Looking for ways to advocate for Black lives? Check out this by our sister site Lifehacker for ways to get involved.