Donald Trump claims that statues need to remain standing where they are in order for Americans to learn our history, but he can’t even correctly identify a sculpture a few feet away from him in the Oval Office.
As part of the mass protests against racial injustice, Confederate statues have either been removed or torn down because they symbolize white supremacy and the systemic racism that people of color have suffered in this country for centuries.
But Trump has been defending the statues by arguing that Americans will forget our history otherwise. He even suggested that African-Americans “don’t understand” their own history and seemed to threaten a return to that dark past.
For someone who is making that argument, however, Trump sure demonstrates that he doesn’t even know our history even when it’s right in front of him.
During an interview with Fox News host Brian Kilmeade, Trump failed to identify a sculpture sitting on a table just a few feet away even though it’s been displayed there for decades.
“Every president chooses what to put around them,” Kilmeade said. “You chose Lincoln as a bust and Lincoln as a picture. You chose Andrew Jackson, and is that Teddy Roosevelt?”
“Yes,” Trump replied. “And by the way, they’re taking down the statue of…”
“Teddy Roosevelt,” Kilmeade said.
“Teddy Roosevelt,” Trump responded. “So, explain that one.”
Here’s the video:
Teddy Roosevelt had a troubling record when it comes to indigenous peoples, and that’s why a statue of him is being removed.
The real question is how can Trump think that the sculpture of a horse and rider in the Oval Office portrays Teddy Roosevelt?
Close examination of the sculpture reveals that the rider looks nothing like Roosevelt.
According to Gizmodo:
The sculpture in the Oval Office of the White House is called The Bronco Buster and was originally designed in 1895 by Frederic Remington. The sculpture was partially inspired by Remington’s own illustration in an 1888 issue of Century Magazine which accompanied an article by Teddy Roosevelt, according to the White House Historical Association. Some of Roosevelt’s fellow ‘Rough Riders’ from the Spanish-American War even gifted him a version of the statue that was displayed in his private home in New York, and this connection may have led to Trump’s confusion.”
Furthermore, the sculpture was finished three years before Roosevelt became a war hero in 1898 during the Spanish American War with his charge up San Juan Hill as a “Rough Rider” and several years before he would become president.
It’s possible Trump is confused, but the real answer is likely, as Gizmodo concluded, that Trump “is just an idiot.”
Featured image via Flickr/Michael Vadon
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