A visit is more than just a visit sometimes. For example, if the U.S. Marshall shows up to your home,then he or she is not just visiting. If a new girlfriend or boyfriend shows up to your house unexpectedly, with the pretense of just “visiting,” it is not just a visit. If the utility company shows up to your house with tools in their possession and there is no a reported issues, it is not just a visit. So what is a visit? A visit is purposeful, it is planned for the most part, and is based on some sort of respect for the person being visited by the visitor.
On yesterday, President Donald Trump, visited the burial site of Andrew Jackson in Nashville, Tennessee to lay a wreath at the former president’s tomb. From my definition of the term visit, the definitiveness of the visit was clearly met. Not only met, but reported by all of the world to see, read, and or hear. A gesture of respect and reverence for the president who has been dead for 250 years, in an attempt to make sure are all are reminded of the great accomplishments of the now deceased president. So why this is so important, since visiting the burial site is an action that is done by millions of people across the world each day? Unfortunately in this case, the person visiting is the most powerful man on the planet (Putin may strongly argue), and the person being visited just may be the most hated person in the storied history of the Indigenous People. However with President Trump recent visit to the tomb, he may very well earn this title away from the former president.
I will not attempt to give you a history lesson on President Jackson presidency, not in this blog, but I will touch on the fact that under his Presidency an estimated 8,000 Americans died during the Trail of Tears. These deaths included many tribes of Indigenous People and Africans who were forced to march from their ancestral homelands to the Midwest or “Indian Territory” as it was it was called then. Disease, sickness, and brutality were the main causes of death for the victims in the journey to the unknown.
Fast forward to now and we have decided as a nation, as we are represented by our leader (President Trump), that 250 years is enough time to have passed that the author of this atrocity can be forgiven. Maybe it has, for some, but I doubt if there any member of the victims of the Trail of Tears who were notified or invited to this show of respect. You see sometimes its how things are done and by whom these things are done by which makes for sour feelings and in this case rightfully so. For the President to salute and give respect, especially having the title which he holds, to a person with these acts is as unbelievable as an unexpected visitor showing up “just to check up on you.” It may sound good, but so does good music until you really listen to the words.
Question: Was President Trump visit to former President Jackson burial site and paying respect inappropriate while the POTUS?