For some naively optimistic reasons, I find myself once again surprised and disgusted by the hypocritical anti-black criticisms over former President Obama’s paid speaking engagements that are being made by media outlets and politicians like Sen. Elizabeth Warren.
Criticism that scarcely seems relevant compared to issues surrounding our current President who is also being investigated by the FBI and Congress, and who knows what else. The same President who has used the office as a promotion tool for his personal family businesses, since the inauguration.
The most breathtaking and bold example of this being that fact that every time Trump’s visits his personal business, Mar-a-Lago, much of the millions of dollars needed to accommodate the trip—money paid by tax-payers—trickles right down into President Trump’s pockets. He’s effectively siphoning our money into his own bank account while being our President.
Likewise is true with the money that the secret service and NYPD spend to make accommodations inside Trump Tower, where Trump is said to be charging them a fee for the rooms they use to protect his family. And I’m assuming Kushner and the Trump sons stay in Trump properties when they’re traveling for “business“—for the White House or their own.
All of this grandiose spending is still coming from the guy who bragged about not paying taxes in the first place during a Presidential debate against Hillary Clinton.
By Erin White*, AFROPUNK contributor
Now, cashing in on the presidency after one leaves office is a pretty standard practice. Yes, there were exceptions like Truman and Jimmy Carter, but since that Reagan, the Bushes and the Clintons have all continued making preposterous sums of post-Presidency cash. In one case, Ronald Reagan accepted $2 million dollars to speak for 20 minutes at Fujisankei Communications Group in Japan. In addition to $5 million in accommodation-related expenses, The Intercept reports.
The point I’m trying to make isn’t that paying Presidents a lot of money to stand in front of rooms and write meticulously edited memoirs isn’t a problem. We can definitely get into the ethics of that, but since Trump’s America has zero interest in ethics when it comes to capitalism and, now, flat-out plutocracy, spare me the disingenuous outrage that the first Black President of the United States isn’t lifting any more fingers for these white folks for free.
Photo via CNN
*Erin White is an Atlanta-based writer and AFROPUNK's editorial and social media assistant. You can follow her on Tumblr or friend her on Facebook. Have a pitch or an inquiry? Shoot her an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.