First Lady Melania Trump took to the very public stage of the 2020 Republican National Convention to support her husband, President Donald Trump, in his campaign for reelection. Speaking from the grounds of the newly renovated Rose Garden at the White House and in front of an audience of mostly unmasked, White House staffers, Mrs. Trump took the opportunity to appeal to women, reminding voters that her husband will fight for fairness and justice. She also provided sympathetic words for those who have been victimized first hand by the coronavirus pandemic.
“I want to acknowledge the fact that since March, our lives have changed drastically. The invisible enemy COVID-19 swept across our beautiful country and impacted all of us,” said Mrs. Trump. “My deepest sympathy goes out to everyone who has lost a loved one and my prayers are with those who are ill or suffering.”
“I know many people are anxious and some feel helpless. I want you to know. You are not alone,” she continued. “My husband's administration will not stop fighting until there is an effective treatment or vaccine available to everyone.”
Mrs. Trump also spoke about a trip she took to the “beautiful continent” of Africa in 2018 that impacted her greatly which is in stark contrast to her husband’s opinion of African nations referring to them as "shithole countries" during a meeting at the White House in 2018.
Speaking specifically about her visit to Ghana, the First Lady admitted that during that trip she learned more about the beginning of the slave trade and the atrocities inflicted on stolen African people brought to this country saying, "I was horrified when I listened to the guide tell me so many inhumane stories, and I gained new perspectives. This time in our history, we must never forget, so that we can ensure that it never happens again."
She also spoke about complicated issues of race in America saying, "Like all of you, I have reflected on the racial unrest in our country. It is a harsh reality that we are not proud of parts of our history. I encourage people to focus on our future while still learning form our past. We must remember that, today, we are all one community, comprised of many races, religions and ethnicities. Our diverse and storied history is what makes our country strong and yet we still have so much to learn from one another. With that in mind, I’d like to call on the citizens of this country to take a moment, pause, and look at things from all perspectives. I urge people to come together in a civil manner, so we can work and live up to our standard American ideals."
As for the volence and looting occuring in many cities across the country, Mrs. Trump said we should, "never make assumptions based on the color of a person's skin. Instead of tearing things down, let's reflect on our mistakes. Be proud of our evolution and look to our way forward. Every day let us remember that we are one nation under God and we need to cherish one another. My husband's administration has worked to try and affect change when it comes to issues around race and religion in this country. ... My husband knows how to make a real change. From the day that I met him, he has only wanted to make this country the best it can be."
Melania Trump continued her speech pushing the tenets of her “Be Best” platform which includes helping children, acknowledging the disease of drug addiction and refusing to take a political swipe at the Democrats. Her story of becoming a naturalized citizen was also a big focal point of discussion.
“Total honesty is what we as citizens deserve from our president. Whether you like it or not, you always know what he’s thinking,” she said. “And that is because he’s an authentic person who loves this country and its people and wants to continue to make it better.”
Of course, Black Twitter had something to say. The memory of many reaches back to nearly four years ago when Mrs. Trump was besieged by allegations of plagiarism when certain sections of her first RNC speech in 2016 reflected those of a prior speech made by outgoing First Lady Michelle Obama at the 2008 Democratic National Convention. This time around, comments reflected Mrs. Trump's past birtherism comments, allegations of working as an undocumented person in the U.S. prior to getting her work visa, and her "I Really Don't Care, Do You?" fashion statement worn on her way to visit detained immigrant childrenin Texas shelterss
Take a look at some of the social media reactions to Melania (renamed as "Melanie on Twitter) Trump’s “authentic” RNC speech below: