News Release

Trump at African American Museum: House and Field Negroes

trumpmalcolmToday, Donald Trump spoke at the National Museum of African American History and Culture. On this date, Feb. 21, in 1965, Malcolm X (Malcolm Shabazz) was assassinated.

KEVIN ALEXANDER GRAY, kevinagray57 [at] gmail.com, @kevinagray
Gray is a civil rights organizer in South Carolina. His books include Killing Trayvons: An Anthology of American Violence and The Decline of Black Politics: From Malcolm X to Barack Obama.

He just completed a cross-country trip, talking to many Trump supporters along the way. He will be writing about that in The Progressive.

He said today: “Donald Trump, Tim Scott, Ben Carson, Omarosa Manigault and Alveda King visiting the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture on the anniversary of the assassination of Malcolm X devolved into what any Trump event devolves into: Trump’s narcissism and self-absorption on display. The company Trump kept on this particular photo-op reminds us of perhaps Malcolm’s most famous speech ‘The House Negro and The Field Negro.’

“On one hand it’s good to see Trump make an attempt to reach out to blacks in his own clumsy way but on the other hand his bone deep stereotypical view of black people, even in his personal relations with those he considers friends or allies, left him once again with his foot in his mouth. Trump’s visit to the museum, like everything we’ve seen thus far in his presidency and life, is about him.

“Still, I hope Trump revisits the museum again and again and hopefully takes some time to really reflect on the history of our country — a country that is the land of descendants of native genocide, immigrants and kidnapped, enslaved Africans. And I hope he’ll follow through on his comments about directing resources to communities of color so that they can benefit from economic growth and development.”

From Malcolm X’s speech “The House Negro and the Field Negro”: “Back on the plantation there was two kinds of slaves. There was the house Negro and the field Negro. The house Negroes — they lived in the house with master, they dressed pretty good, they ate good ’cause they ate his food — what he left. They lived in the attic or the basement, but still they lived near the master; and they loved their master more than the master loved himself. They would give their life to save the master’s house quicker than the master would. The house Negro, if the master said, ‘We got a good house here,’ the house Negro would say, ‘Yeah, we got a good house here.’ Whenever the master said ‘we,’ he said ‘we.’ That’s how you can tell a house Negro.

“If the master’s house caught on fire, the house Negro would fight harder to put the blaze out than the master would. If the master got sick, the house Negro would say, ‘What’s the matter, boss, we sick?’ We sick! He identified himself with his master more than his master identified with himself. And if you came to the house Negro and said, ‘Let’s run away, let’s escape, let’s separate,’ the house Negro would look at you and say, ‘Man, you crazy. What you mean, separate? Where is there a better house than this? Where can I wear better clothes than this? Where can I eat better food than this?’ That was that house Negro…” Audio on YouTube. See other speeches at BrotherMalcolm.net.