MEMBERS ONLY: Donald Trump Knows Nothing (Black History Edition)

by Bob Cesca

Throughout President Trump’s campaign and especially during his transition and first several days in office, it ought to have been more than obvious that he knows absolutely nothing. Worse, he compensates for his staggering post-Bush level of intellectual laziness by bullshitting his way through details like a kid who’s called-upon in class but who didn’t do his homework. So, he bullshits.

Many of us have done it at some point in our lives — we’ve all attempted to answer a question for which we’re unprepared. Those of us in relationships know what it’s like to answer a question when we weren’t paying attention, even though we should’ve been. We wing it. But Trump is the president of the United States, tasked with amazing responsibilities, and he’s expected to know a thing or two about what he’s doing.

He doesn’t. 

Trump knows nothing.

Of course, he knows about hosting a game show. He knows about things that impact his fragile, insecure ego. He knows the names of his kids. And he knows where to to purchase old-school haircare products like Aquanet in the 21st Century. Beyond that, he knows nothing. He’s a functional nincompoop. It might be clinical dementia, which would be understandable and a source of sympathy were he to disclose it, but we’ll never know for sure given how the kooky scientist from Independence Day is his personal physician.

We can only assume that he’s a dingus. An empty suit who never reads anything more complicated than Twitter or policy bullet-points provided by his staff of sycophants.

At no other time has his ignorance been more on display than during his informal remarks about Black History Month on Wednesday. It was one of those moments when we couldn’t help but to wonder why the entire nation, much less the world, doesn’t stand up and scream in unison, “Holy mother of fuck! He’s completely unfit to serve as president! Did you just hear that?!” Whenever Sarah Palin would open her screechy, jutty-jawed mouth, we used to call it “word salad” or “authentic frontier gibberish.” But she never made it this far, and, in her defense, she might actually be smarter and more centered than Trump, and that’s saying a lot

Let’s review his remarks.

Well, the election, it came out really well. Next time we’ll triple the number or quadruple it. We want to get it over 51, right? At least 51.  

“It came out really well.” He’s 70-years-old and he still says things like “it came out pretty well.” These were literally his first words — followed by his continued re-litigation of the election results. I’m assuming he means 51 percent of the popular vote. Or he could mean his percentage of the black vote — adding that he’s shooting for 51 percent of the black vote in 2020. Hilarious. If it’s the latter, then Jesus Christ on a stick, dream on, Mr. President. If it’s the former, it’ll never happen unless he deletes his Twitter account and spends more time learning how to be at least a mediocre president.

Well this is Black History Month, so this is our little breakfast, our little get-together. Hi Lynn, how are you?  

“Our little breakfast” sounds like “this was the absolute minimum we could get away with.” And, true to form, Trump randomly interjected something about “Lynn.” His ADHD-like train of thought is more than a little problematic, given that he’s supposed to have a clear head and a laser-like sense of focus to be, you know, leader of the free world.

I’ve gotten a real glimpse—during the campaign, I’d go around with Ben to a lot of different places I wasn’t so familiar with. They’re incredible people. And I want to thank Ben Carson, who’s gonna be heading up HUD. That’s a big job. That’s a job that’s not only housing, but it’s mind and spirit. Right, Ben? And you understand, nobody’s gonna be better than Ben.  

There it is again. Whenever Trump thinks “black guy,” he thinks of Ben Carson. More disturbingly, he continues to assume that because Dr. Carson is black, he’s automatically qualified to run Housing and Urban Development. “Urban,” to Trump, means black. Anyone who’s black can obviously be in charge of HUD. It doesn’t matter if this particular black guy is a brain surgeon who lives in a mansion with a painting of himself posed with Jesus hanging on his wall. Carson is black and therefore he must know a lot about “urban” things.

Oh, and of course Ben Carson is there in person. Trump apparently assembled all of his African-Americans. Plus, it seems Trump can’t appear anywhere without his entire entourage present. Even his sociopath boys, Uday and Qusay, were in attendance for Trump’s SCOTUS announcement, Tuesday night. Why? Who the fuck knows.

And then there’s this:

Last month, we celebrated the life of Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr., whose incredible example is unique in American history. You read all about Dr. Martin Luther King a week ago when somebody said I took the statue out of my office. It turned out that that was fake news. Fake news. The statue is cherished, it’s one of the favorite things in the—and we have some good ones. We have Lincoln, and we have Jefferson, and we have Dr. Martin Luther King. But they said the statue, the bust of Martin Luther King, was taken out of the office. And it was never even touched. So I think it was a disgrace, but that’s the way the press is. Very unfortunate.  

“You read about Martin Luther King a week ago when…” should’ve been followed by a solemn remembrance involving presidential insights into King’s life and work, given the national holiday and all. But the only thing Trump, with either his dementia or his rank dumbness, could think of related to MLK was the unfortunate bust removal story from 10 days ago. Oh, and he was also able to conjure up the fact that there are other busts on display in the White House. Genius, Mr. President, genius.

I am very proud now that we have a museum on the National Mall where people can learn about Reverend King, so many other things. Frederick Douglass is an example of somebody who’s done an amazing job and is being recognized more and more, I noticed.

This makes it sound like Trump believes Douglass is a living person. “Being recognized more and more, I noticed,” doesn’t make any sense unless Trump believes he’s alive. From the history I’ve studied, by the way, Douglass has always been front-and-center in discussions of slavery, civil rights, the Civil War, Lincoln’s ratification of the 13th Amendment, and so forth. He’s never not included in the history of the middle 19th Century and beyond. Again, this is Trump merely bullshitting his way through important remarks using vague, noncommittal language.

Oh, and it doesn’t look like Sean Spicer knows who Douglass is either.

 I’m proud to honor this heritage and will be honoring it more and more.   

He could’ve honored it “more and more” during these remarks, but instead he made it all about him. For example:

The folks at the table in almost all cases have been great friends and supporters. Darrell—I met Darrell when he was defending me on television. And the people that were on the other side of the argument didn’t have a chance, right? And Paris has done an amazing job in a very hostile CNN community. He’s all by himself. You’ll have seven people, and Paris. And I’ll take Paris over the seven. But I don’t watch CNN, so I don’t get to see you as much as I used to. I don’t like watching fake news. But Fox has treated me very nice. Wherever Fox is, thank you.  

For the record, Trump’s talking about cable news commentator Paris Dennard and conservative reverend Pastor Darrell Scott. I had to look it up. But Trump assumes everyone knows who they are and why they’re in the White House for this event, the daily “Presidential Speaking Of The Gibberish.” Instead, the only thing we learned is that Paris and Pastor Scott (aka “Darrell”) supported Trump, and that Trump doesn’t watch CNN any more. This is the extent of his knowledge — they’re with Trump. That’s all he cares about.

 If you remember I wasn’t going to do well with the African-American community, and after they heard me speaking and talking about the inner city and lots of other things, we ended up getting—and I won’t go into details—but we ended up getting substantially more than other candidates who had run in the past years. And now we’re gonna take that to new levels.  

Trump won eight percent of the African-American vote. Eight percent. Previously, Romney in 2012, running against the first African-American president, landed six percent. Trump managed to get just two percent more of the black vote than Romney probably because Trump wasn’t running against Obama. But a two percentage point difference is statistically irrelevant — within the margin of error. No wonder Trump didn’t “go into the details.” And, naturally, he lied when he said he said “we ended up getting substantially more than other candidates.” That’s a lie. Again, two percent isn’t “substantially more.” Trump’s lie becomes more obvious when we discover that George W. Bush received 11 percent of the black vote in 2004.

And finally…

I want to thank my television star over here—Omarosa’s actually a very nice person, nobody knows that. I don’t want to destroy her reputation but she’s a very good person, and she’s been helpful right from the beginning of the campaign, and I appreciate it. I really do. Very special.

These were Trump’s closing remarks — to point out one of his other black friends, former reality show star, Omarosa. He ended on Omarosa! Not because she has anything to do with black history, but because she’s in love with Trump and because she’s black. Again, it’s all about him and his perceived allies and enemies. It’s never about the moment or the event. The president is a ridiculously lazy, weak, soft, feckless dilettante, and every time he opens his mouth or tweets something, he confirms all of it. 

And he’ll never, ever improve.