President Obama on Trump: ‘We’ve got a museum for him to visit’

The National Museum of African American History and Culture will provide a history lesson on Black progress in America that Donald Trump needs.


The National Museum of African American History and Culture will provide a history lesson on Black progress in America that Donald Trump needs.

President Barack Obama speaks at Congressional Black Caucus Foundation dinner, Sept. 17, 2016. REUTERS

President Barack Obama said in a speech Saturday night at the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation dinner in Washington, D.C., that Republican presidential candidate Trump tells people “there’s never been a worse time to be a Black person” in America.

Trump “missed that whole civics lesson about slavery and Jim Crow,” Obama said. “We’ve got a museum for him to visit. So he can tune in. We will educate him.”

Related Story: Enough is Enough

Obama was referring to the new Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture opening on the Mall in Washington on Saturday. The museum is a testament to the arc of African American progress, taking visitors on a journey beginning with slavery to the modern era.

Obama described his visit to the museum last week with First Lady Michelle Obama, his mother-in-law and his daughters Sasha and Malia.

“We looked at the shackles that had been used to bring folks over,” he said. “We saw the shacks where slaves had been trying to make a way out of no way. And then, with each successive level, we saw the unimaginable courage and the struggles and the sacrifices and the humor and the innovation and the hope that led to such extraordinary progress, even in our own lifetimes.

“And, it made us proud. Not because we had arrived, but because what a road we had to travel. What a miracle that despite such hardship, we’ve been able to do so much.”

President Obama on Trump: ‘We’ve got a museum for him to visit’The struggle for voting rights is well documented within the museum. Obama said to the audience not to take that right for granted, as people were “beaten trying to register voters in Mississippi” and “risked everything so that they could pull that lever.”

He continued, “So, if I hear anybody saying their vote does not matter, that it doesn’t matter who we elect … read up on your history, it matters.

“My name may not be on the ballot, but our progress is on the ballot. Tolerance is on the ballot. Democracy is on the ballot. Justice is on the ballot. Good schools are on the ballot. Ending mass incarceration, that’s on the ballot right now. And there is one candidate who will advance those things. And there’s another candidate whose defining principle, the central theme of his candidacy, is opposition to all that we’ve done.

Related Story: The Perpetual Disconnect Between Trump and the Black Community

“After we have received historic turnout in 2008 and 2012, especially in the African American community, I will consider it a personal insult, an insult to my legacy if this community lets down its guard and fails to activate itself in this election. You want to give me a good sendoff? Go vote.”

National Museum of African American History and Culture The museum, a 400,000-square-foot building, was built on a five-acre tract adjacent to the Washington Monument at a cost of approximately $540 million. The Oprah Winfrey Charitable Foundation, the namesake of the media mogul and philanthropist, donated $21 million toward the construction of the museum – the largest single donation. Since 2004, Winfrey has been a member of the museum’s advisory council.

Several of DiversityInc’s 2016 Top 50 Companies for Diversity have made donations to the museum, including:

Target (No. 22), $7.05 million; Kaiser Permanente (No. 1), $7 million; Boeing and Walmart, (both on DiversityInc’s 25 Noteworthy Companies list), $5 million or more each; Johnson & Johnson (No. 8), Medtronic Foundation (No. 50), Northrop Grumman (No. 31), Prudential Financial (No. 10), Time Warner Foundation (No. 37),The Walt Disney Company (No. 38) and Toyota (No. 34), each donated $ 2 million or more; and Aetna Foundation, Inc. (No. 32), Altria Group (DiversityInc Noteworthy Company), AT&T (No. 4), Caterpillar (DiversityInc Noteworthy Company), General Mills Foundation (No. 40), General Motors (No. 48), IBM (No. 20), Intel Corporation and Morgan Stanley (both DiversityInc Noteworthy Companies), New York Life (No. 23), Southern Company Charitable Foundation, Inc. (No. 46) and Wells Fargo (No. 12), each donated $1 million or more.

‘Dream a World Anew’

to be released on September 27Both the opening of the National Museum of African American History and Culture and the publication of its accompanying 288-page book, “Dream a World Anew,” seek to reframe our understanding of Black history by centralizing the African American experience.

Dream a World Anew,” (Smithsonian Books), to be released on September 27, uses stories and objects from the museum to take readers on a journey from slavery, abolition and Reconstruction, the Civil War and the civil rights era to modern times. Through insightful writing by various scholars and incorporation of captivating photos, the pain, tragedy, joy and triumph of the African American experience creates a gripping narrative.

It rivals any school textbook that discusses the Black experience in America. For example, depiction of slavery in textbooks has been an issue of controversy.

Last October, a Texas mother and educator used the force of social media to hold publishing giant McGraw-Hill Education accountable for misrepresenting slavery.

Related Story: McGraw-Hill CEO Apologizes for Textbook ‘Mistake’ on Slavery

Roni Dean-Burren of Pearland, Texas, received a text message from her 15-year-old son, Coby, with a photo of a caption from the “Patterns of Immigration” section of his “World Geography” that troubled him:

“The Atlantic Slave Trade between the 1500s and 1800s brought millions of workers from Africa to the southern United States to work on agricultural plantations.”

Not only are African slaves referred to as “workers,” but also the title of the section implies that they were immigrants instead of having been captured, enslaved and held against their will.

In 2010, the Texas Board of Education, a 15-member elected panel dominated by Republicans, approved a revised social studies curriculum for 7th and 8th grades as well as high school students, which went into effect in 2015. Textbooks published by certain companies, including McGraw-Hill, are said to reflect a more conservative view of U.S. history.

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  • LOL Hilary and Bill Clinton may want to not only visit but actually speak with Black people unaffiliated with Black people associated with the beltway culture and state politics. In fact Governor Jay Nixon and these other Democrat politicians may want to do the same since they don’t truly consider Black people friends and neighbors of their community. Most in particular Rahm Emanuel should be second in line.

  • I am planning on visiting the museum in the upcoming weeks. I hope it lives up to all that I’ve been reading and hearing about it.

  • I’m glad O’Bama visited the museum so that he could see how much he BETRAYED the legacy of all those people who sacrificed their lives for the right to vote! Self-hating, confused and tragic O’Bama is no better than racist tRump or Billary. Unfortunately, he’s going to be in the museum as an example of OUR PROGRESS, when he did NOTHING but sing (couldn’t dance), shuck and jive! He’s our modern day C.J. Walker and Booker T. Washington, only good for telling us to straighten up (our act like our hair) and pulling the wool over our eyes.
    . Our election choices for president are DEPLORABLE: 2008-2016 presented a choice between a half-white devil and lily-white devils; 2016 presents a choice between a Nazi orange-hued devil and a racist white witch married to a Southern racist Dixiecrat. Devils or witches, what a deplorable choice! As an African American Christian, I might exercise my right NOT to vote for any of the white or black lying politicians who have betrayed us since tricky Dick.

    • Virginia W Adams

      Rather than embrace the easy road of pointing fingers and casting blame on President Obama for not making life easier for everybody, take the time to reflect on self behavior. What strategies did you employ to make this country a better place? “Ask not what this country can do for you, but what you can do for this country” JFK

    • Based on your judgmental stance on pretty much everything, I would have never guessed you were a Christian woman.

      I agree with Virginia, what steps have you taken to make your life and our country better?

  • Don’t vote that’s what THEY want us to do. So when they continue to kill and incarcerate our black males don’t complain. This is the system we have get involved so that things can change. What are you doing in your local community??? You can run for local government positions if you really want to make changes. Read your history we have come along way but still have a long way to go. By not voting your doing just what THEY want. Sit back and complain but doing nothing to change your current situation.

  • Jannette Adams

    I agree with Virginia and Jade. We complain and are never happy but don’t bother with self-examination. The easy route is always to blame others. So sorry that President Obama didn’t meet all of “your” needs. He might have been too busy trying to work past a group of people who announced on the day he took office that they were going to block everything he did. Funny I didn’t see any blame placed there. I am proud of our President and I will utilize my right to vote for my candidate of choice Hillary Clinton. I will not sit on the sidelines where the media hopes most of us will be on election day and watch a man who refuses to answer a question take office and endanger the lives of us all. Name calling and complaining will never change a persons quality of life. I challenge you ZaziJams to reexamine your position and maybe work to ensure that the lives of young black men and women have value. What you do at home will make a difference. Complaining will not. Think!!!!!!!!!!

  • The creation of this museum is long overdue. When it comes to history I really needed to be re-educated. Over 3 years ago I decided to make African American history Month my African-American History Year and it has yet to stop. I’ve read such books as The Half Has Never Been Told, Slavery by Another Name, The New Jim Crow, The Warmth of Other Suns, etc. and, man, has my perspective on our history and our present been changed! How I wish that many more of my fellow white countrymen and women would read books recounting our common history with the proper account of the African American role . Those who visit the museum will be touched. We need historical understanding. It applies to where we are today so powerfully!

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