The Freak Out Over “Frederick Douglass”

Trump and his press secretary Sean Spicer didn’t know Frederick Douglass is dead, and has been for over 120 years.

But this isn’t a scandal.

We already expected Trump and his administration to be publicly ignorant of any American who isn’t white, christian or conservative. Just look at his cabinet picks: Jeff Sessions, Betsy DeVos. Why is this a surprise?

The media continues to obsess over “Frederick Douglass” like it’s Watergate. Readers are spreading it like it’s the next sign of the apocalypse (as if Trump’s election wasn’t telling enough).

Though fueled by understandable outrage, the loud uproar is just noise.The charades over “Frederick Douglass”, the cynical jokes and nervous laughter, is entirely self-serving: “We knew it. He’s a racist idiot. See, see?”

Us liberals are still bitter that we were so wrong about the election, so clueless of working-class America, so misled by our left-wing media outlets, that we grab on to every “wrong” word uttered from our President’s mouth, whether it has any political consequence or not. But this isn’t part of Trump’s presidency; it’s his reality show and we’re subscribing.

We make fun of Trump’s thin skin and enormous ego getting in the way of making decisions and enacting policy. For example, his twitter feud last week with the national park service over how many people showed up to his inauguration, and whether that was more than Obama’s in 2013. Petty and immature, yet we’re guilty of the same.

Wasting our energy freaking out about the “Frederick Douglass” comments only distracts from the real political threats posed by the Trump administration: his executive order on immigration, his alt-right cabinet nominees, his plan to start a trade war with Mexico. The pillars of our democracy — life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness for ALL Americans — is under fire, and we’re hiding in the trench, nursing our egos.








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