Trump Came, He Saw, He Did Not Tweet

Photo credit: Philip Shucet

President Trump conducted himself with the dignity one normally expects from a president earlier today at the commemoration of the 400th anniversary of the first legislative assembly in the New World and the arrival of the first African slaves. For a day at least, he set aside sharp words and divisive tweets. Following his controversial criticism over the weekend of Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Maryland, and what he described as the rodent-infested condition of Cummings’ Baltimore district, Trump took the opportunity to praise the first people in North America to form a representative government, to condemn slavery, and to honor African-Americans’ contributions to U.S. history.

Photo credit: Philip Shucet

Wherever Trump goes, controversy is sure to follow, even when he is not instigating it. Not only did the General Assembly’s black caucus refuse to attend ceremonies in which he appeared, Del. Ibraheem S. Samirah, D-Herndon, caused a brief disruption during the president’s speech when he raised a sign, saying, “Go back to your corrupted home. Deport hate. Reunite my family and all those shattered by systemic discrimination.”

“The man is unfit for office and unfit to partake in a celebration of democracy, representation and our nation’s history of immigrants,” Samirah said in a Twitter post.

The Republican Party of Virginia cited previous Samirah tweets to characterize him as an anti-Semite. Several years ago the second-generation Palestinian tweeted that the KKK was “better than Israel” and wondered “why he should care about the Holocaust.

Otherwise, the ceremonies proceeded without incident. Various events were attended by Virginia’s three statewide elected officials, all Democrats, as well as by former Republican governors Jim Gilmore and Bob McDonnell and numerous current Republican lawmakers.

Update: It’s not quite accurate to imply that Trump did not tweet about his visit to Virginia. Checking his Twitter account, I see that he tweeted briefly: “Great reception in Jamestown by both REPUBLICANS & DEMOCRATS. Respect for our Country’s incredible Heritage. Thank you!

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10 responses to “Trump Came, He Saw, He Did Not Tweet

  1. It’s a pretty low bar when folks claim the POTUS came and spoke and did not cause any trouble – as expected.

  2. Yep. And while he was quiet on Twitter about Jamestown, he had plenty of trash talk about Baltimore at other times during the day. Uh, and the freaking morons at RPV don’t even understand that to be anti-Semitic is to have animus toward both Jews and Arabs. Samirah is anti-Israel. He hates Jews. Perhaps he hates all Jews but maybe its only Israelis. Admittedly, the usage has gotten sloppy, but “anti-Semitic Palestinian” is a classic oxymoron. The word refers to speakers of Arabic and Hebrew. (At the military language schools for eavesdroppers, they would refer to Hebrew as Special Arabic.)

    Trump and Samirah deserve each other. They have created each other, feed off each other, need each other. Watching the Democratic debate last night, especially the opening moment when Tim Ryan refused to salute the flag and kept his right hand by his side (and others hesitated), my blood started to boil, and they hadn’t even begun talking yet. But the other choice is Trump. Nope. Call me a conservative all you want Larry, but right now its hard to call me a Republican. But Virginia is not in play.

    BTW, anybody know what that structure is on his sign? The “corrupted home” he refers to? I can’t tell from the photo….

    • “BTW, anybody know what that structure is on his sign? The “corrupted home” he refers to? I can’t tell from the photo….”

      My best guess, Steve, would be the Tower of Babel, out of Genesis 11:1–9.

  3. A celebration of the origination of The Imperial Clown Show in Richmond? No thanks. Slavery, destroying the land by overplanting tobacco, denying democratic rights to whites and blacks alike, serving as the capital of the Confederacy, the 1902 constitution, Harry F Byrd, massive resistance, forced sterilization, hyper-corruption through unchecked money in politics, transportation chaos, underfunded pensions ….

    Trump is the least of Virginia’s worries.

    What we should do is burn the General Assembly building to the ground, throw the statute of Harry Byrd into the James River, salt the land that the General Assembly building stood on, move the capital to Charlottesville, write a new state constitution and start over.

    • Thank you, Ripper, for such a clear demonstration that it is the general dissolution of comity and dialogue – the acceptance and even delight in vicious verbal assaults – that truly lies behind the problem we now face. Correction – Trump, Samirah and Rippert all deserve each other

    • DJ — as you can see, some find the truth about Virginia to be “uncomfortable”. It must be even harder for them to take it given that you were born here, and your views about Virginia’s many failings can’t simply be chalked up to “northern bias” or whatever.

      The only reason I’m here in Virginia is due to a company that had their HQ here for about 10 years, till they figured out what Virginia was all about and bailed.

      • Northern bias no longer starts at the Potomac 🙂 or the Occoquon. Maybe not even the Rappahannock. Mattaponi? The “truth” about Virginia is not much different than the truth in other states. I accept the flaws and am the first to point fingers sometimes, but reject claims our flaws are unique or more egregious. Slavery came to Virginia in 1619 but was already thriving in the Spanish colonies (that’s where the first VA slaves came from, stolen from the Spanish) Tammany Hall in New York vs. the Byrd Machine vs. the Daley Machine? Pendergast in St. Louis, right? No, Virginia’s history is just American history, good and bad.

        • Daly didn’t close Chicago’s public schools rather than de-segregate them (as the US Supreme Court ruling required).

          Fiorello LaGuardia broke the back of Tammany Hall’s vote rigging in 1936.

          Thomas Dewey convicted Tammany Hall boss Jimmy Hines of bribery in 1939.

          Harry Byrd was still US Senator from Virginia in 1965.

          Virginia is just a slow learner among the states I guess.

      • What I’ve come to learn is that Virginia has been dominated by a small number of plantation elitists for centuries. they not only enslaved Virginians of African descent they denied the vote to white men in the western part of the state through land ownership requirements (and considerable land ownership at that). In the 1820s Virginia was one of only two states that limited voting to landowners. “As of the 1840 census, the majority of the white residents of the state lived in western Virginia, but they were underrepresented in the legislature because of the continued property requirement for voting; not all held sufficient property to vote. This compounded their dissatisfaction with the apportionment scheme adopted in 1830, which was based on counties rather than population, thus giving disproportionate power to the fewer, but propertied whites who lived in the eastern part of the state and kept a grip on the legislature.” Source: wikipedia.

        The southeastern Virginia aristocracy was the driving force for succession. Counties like Fairfax and even Henrico never agreed to succeed from the Union. The good people of the western third of the state, after nearly a century of abuse, formed a new state rather than participate in an armed insurrection to preserve slavery.

        The so-called carpetbaggers were actually a breath of fresh air. They just didn’t care what the self-declared aristocrats from Southeastern Virginia wanted. Their 1870 constitution was, for the time, open minded and fair. But then they went home and the Southeastern Virginia aristocracy re-asserted itself with the 1902 constitution – which required poll taxes and literacy tests which disenfranchised poor black people (i.e. almost all black people) and poor white people.

        The Federal Government eventually stepped in with Brown vs Board of Education, etc. But that didn’t stop the Southeastern Virginia aristocracy. They closed the schools rather than de-segregate. Counties like Arlington which tried to de-segregate were prevented from doing so by the Richmond-based elite. Courts over-turned Massive Resistance. Then came the Segregation Academies. Then came transfer rights and continued segregation. The US Supreme Court ruled against New Kent County in 1968. Harry Byrd had been dead 2 years but the Byrd Machine fought on.

        In 1970, District Court Judge Robert Merhige Jr., ordered a desegregation busing scheme established to integrate Richmond schools. But white students fled the independent city of Richmond or enrolled in private academies. Remember, we’re up to 1970 now.

        Eventually, Virginians would elect a governor from outside the Southeast aristocracy, Linwood Holten – a Harvard educated lawyer from Big Stone Gap. By the time the moderate Republican left office in 1974 he had turned the tide against the worst of the Byrd Machine’s racism.

        However, the last vestiges of the Byrd Machine live on in Virginia. The statue of segregationist / racist Harry Byrd was unfurled on the capitol grounds in 1976. The debate over a statue of Arthur Ashe raged into the 1990s.

        Slowly the Southeastern aristocracy that has run and largely ruined Virginia has been beaten down. You can still see evidence of the aristocracy on Governor Coonman’s yearbook page and in the recent racial gerrymandering decision against the aristocracy by the US Supreme Court.

        Racist, segregationist, political machines should have died out in 1959 (at the latest). Virginia’s lasted until 2019. 60 years behind schedule. Par for the course. Let’s hope for better going forward now that the aristocracy is on the heels of ultimate defeat.

      • I would like to believe your last sentence, DJR, about the aristocracy’s “ultimate defeat.” There is not a lot of recent evidence to support that conclusion.

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