I recently came across the photo below.
I was curious about the photo. Clearly, in this picture, Trump is a much younger man. He’s standing next to two people who are now dead, Muhammad Ali and Rosa Parks. Both Muhammad Ali and Rosa Parks are well known for their work as black civil rights activists. Trump, puzzlingly enough, is NOT known for that kind of work, but the above photo implies that actually, he’s a real mensch. Somehow, thousands of people around the world have gotten it all wrong, and Trump is actually a humanitarian. What a shocker!
Well, I had to look up our man Trump, as see how it was that he got the Ellis Island Award back in 1986. Sure enough, he DID win this award. However, it was not because of his “work” with the black community. It was not for “patriotism, tolerance, brotherhood, and diversity.” And even if it was for those things, he’s clearly not demonstrating those qualities now.
So why did Trump win the Ellis Island Award? According to PolitiFact, a Web site that works to combat false information about politics by doing independent fact checking, Trump was awarded the prize in 1986, the first year it was given, because of his “professional contributions that benefited New York City as a developer, as well as for his German heritage.” PolitiFact staff members reached out to Otto Coca of the Ellis Island Honors Society, the group that administers the award. Mr. Coca explained that in the first year of the award’s history, “people were honored with the award for what they stood for more than what they did.” Mr. Trump was honored for his business accomplishments in New York City, rather than being an advocate for civil rights or promoting philanthropy.
Since 1986, the criteria for winning an Ellis Island Award has changed significantly. Recipients are now chosen for philanthropic efforts as well as other contributions. As for why Trump was photographed standing with Rosa Parks and Muhammad Ali? Well, it turns out that picture was taken during a ceremony that also included Joe DiMaggio, Victor Borge and Anita Bryant. The other recipients were cropped out of the photo used on Facebook, probably to promote the image that Trump was honored for the same reasons Rosa Parks and Muhammad Ali were and to give the impression that Trump is actually a humanitarian.
If you are a regular reader of this blog, you probably already know how I feel about false information, fake quotes, and other bullshit. Just a little while ago, someone shared this picture of Mark Twain, along with a quote that is apparently one of his…
The above quote sounds like something Mark Twain might say. But I’m usually skeptical when I see these “wise quotes” nowadays, because so often, they turn out to be something someone else much less famous said for which they aren’t getting proper credit. Sure enough, when I searched for proof that this was a Twain original, I came across this article indicating that it’s not one of Twain’s sayings after all. One person commented that it “doesn’t matter” if it’s not from Twain. Maybe it doesn’t matter to her. Personally, I like to give credit where it’s due. That’s why when I see something that doesn’t pass the smell test, I like to look for answers and get the straight story.
The same person who shared the photo about Trump and his Ellis Island Award is also crowing support for the police. And I see that the person is also of the opinion that the COVID-19 pandemic is a hoax. I was very sad when I saw posts basically accusing world leaders of faking the virus as a means of duping regular citizens. Oh, I’m sure these posts are about Americans, but they may not be aware enough of the world outside of the United States to know that people around the world have been sickened and have died from the coronavirus. It’s truly counterintuitive for world leaders to shut down countries simply to influence an election. Many people have lost their livelihoods; that is true. However, livelihoods and experiences can be replaced. Lives cannot. When a person dies, that’s the end.
I am just as eager as anyone is for “normalcy”. I don’t think things have been “normal” since Donald Trump was “elected”. I don’t think they will get back to “normal” if he stays in power. And no misleading Facebook meme or impassioned post with a conservative bent is going to convince me that Donald Trump is actually a decent person and we’ve all gotten it wrong. Trump is an enemy to peace. It makes me sad that otherwise decent people have bought into Trump’s lies and are trying to convince other people that what is plainly obvious isn’t the truth.
In other news…
I’ve been practicing my guitar every day since early May. Yesterday, I discovered the capo. It really makes my guitar sound pretty. Bill is still working from home, so he’s heard my progress and pronounced it “good”. I still have a long way to go, but I’m definitely getting better at playing the guitar. If I come out of this COVID-19 ordeal having learned to play an instrument, that will be a win! Double points if I’m ever able to record a video of me playing and singing with my guitar. It could happen someday.