Last night I watched much of the first night of the Republican National Convention from Cleveland, and got so tired of the race bating and sellout kneegrows like Sheriff David Clarke being on the podium that for self-care reasons I turned it off before Melania Trump’s speech and started following the far more entertaining Twitter commentary.
I then noted before the media finally started talking about it increasing chatter on Twitter that started sharing Jarrett Hill’s observation that Trump’s speech had two paragraphs that were strikingly similar to one that First Lady Michelle Obama gave at the 2008 Democratic National Convention in Denver.
The Hill observations turned out to be so on point that the networks were after initially praising the Melania Trump speech, forced to address the growing plagiarism controversy as the Trump campaign scrambled to try to respond to it.
So what’s the big deal about plagiarizing speeches? Allegations of it sank Joe Biden’s 1988 presidential campaign. Careers have gone down in flames for it, and people have been expelled from colleges and universities for doing so.
When you also listen to the Trump speech, the message sounds oddly out of sync when you consider that Melania grew up in Slovenia. It was part of Communist run Yugoslavia at the time she was born in 1970 before the 1991 breakup of that country and Slovenia’s subsequent independence after a brief ten day war.
As I also pointed out in my take on this growing controversy on my Twitter feed, this was a real time example of a common problem in terms of Black intellectual property being jacked by whites for their own personal gain. This happens far too often with Black women having their words repeatedly stolen by white women with little to zero credit for being the originators and creators of those words and receiving no compensation for it.
Trump also claimed in an interview before she went on the RNC stage she’d written the speech without much help in what was expected to be a moment to introduce Melania to the world and humanize her reprehensible husband..
Of course Twitter gleefully went all in on their dragging Melania Trump mission, and the hashtag #FamousMelaniaTrumpQuotes quickly rose to become the number one Twitter hashtag along with the #BeckyWithTheBorrowedSpeech one as Trump supporters and his campaign team tried to furiously spin away what happened.
This plagiarism situation was also dripping with irony. The plagiarized section is discussing honesty, character and integrity, and since you couldn’t find nice things to say about The Donald, so you steal them from a speech the FLOTUS is giving about her hubby the POTUS who does role model those qualities.
First Lady Michelle Obama has been demonized, misgendered, had her intelligence questioned despite possessing two Ivy League degrees earned with stellar grades and has been called everything but a child of God by the conservative movement.
But when it comes to speech writing, either Trump or someone on her husband’s campaign team had no problem stealing the FLOTUS’ eloquent August 25, 2008 words to put in Melania’s teleprompter.
We’ll have to see how this latest Trump campaign mess plays out not only for the rest of the RNC, but also for Melania Trump and this train wreck of a presidential campaign