Ordinarily, when a president praises a former president it’s a good thing. However, when a president praises a former president with one of the harshest history of slave ownership and treatment of Indigenous Americans, it’s not so good. Not good at all, in fact. Especially considering Donald Trump tweeted the image of this president with a message of hope that he’ll do the same.
Trump tweeted out an image of himself saluting former President Andrew Jackson with the message:
“We thank you for your service. We honor your memory. We build on your legacy. And we thank God for the United States of America.”
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 15, 2017
We sure as hell better not build on Andrew Jackson’s legacy.
The Week sums up Jackson pretty well in regards to his treatment of Slaves and our Indigenous population:
“Jackson symbolized the up-from-nothing story of so many of his countrymen. But it was a tainted legacy. He was a slave-owner who bought and sold men in bulk. When one of his slaves showed the Jacksonian temerity to escape his master, Jackson offered a $50 reward “and $10 extra for every 100 lashes a person will give to the amount of 300″ — basically a freelance death sentence. Part of Jackson’s personal wealth came through land that he acquired even though it had been promised to Indians in a treaty. It’s completely justified to say that Jacksonian democracy reflected this same grasping ambition of the newly expanded white voting classes at the expense of slaves and Indians.”
“As president, he reversed the alternately benign and malign neglect of Indian affairs by his predecessors and engaged in the forced removal of Indians from the South, culminating in the Trail of Tears. It’s impossible to know whether Jacksonian rivals like the “Adams men” could have ever found policies that encouraged prosperous co-existence and even cooperation between natives and American whites. But Jackson’s policies irreversibly doomed relations with these tribes, and their descendants still suffer from them today.”
So, no, Trump, we shouldn’t “build on [his] legacy” — not one bit, and shame on you for saying we should.
Featured Photo by Erik S. Lesser-Pool/Getty Images