Ivanka Trump doesn’t know much about the world of politics, in spite of her high-profile position as adviser to her presidential father. She does, however, know quite a bit about fashion and to that end, she should never have missed the memo that misappropriating Chinese culture wasn’t hot in the 90’s, and it doesn’t belong in 2018, either.
Ivanka has been in hot water with the American public since Memorial Day when she posted a photo featuring herself cuddling her young son just days after her father’s administration announced its plans to separate migrant children from their parents at the border.
In true Trump family form, the daughter Donald actually likes never apologized for her insensitivity, instead focusing her attention on issuing more tweets about anything but immigration.
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On Monday, Ivanka took the opportunity to troll those critical of her father’s summit in North Korea with a Chinese proverb commemorating the historic meeting:
“Those who say it can not be done, should not interrupt those doing it.” -Chinese Proverb
— Ivanka Trump (@IvankaTrump) June 11, 2018
“Those who say it can not be done, should not interrupt those doing it – Chinese Proverb,” she tweeted. Unfortunately, there are two major problems with her tweet: for one, the very, very brief meeting between the two dictators promises to be as bland and uneventful as a night on the town with Jared Kushner and for the other, it’s not a Chinese proverb.
Shanghaiist caught wind of the tweet and did a little digging. The quote has been floating around in the ether for quite some time, but it does not have a Chinese origin. In fact, the only living being who has ever been credited with the phrase is Irish playwright George Bernard Shaw but even that is uncertain.
By contrast, some of Ivanka’s followers know how to cite their sources:
"There's a special place in hell for people who prey on children."
— Ivanka trump
— BrooklynDad_Defiant! (@mmpadellan) June 11, 2018
Some chose to make up proverbs of their own:
“Those who are vacuous clowndaughters shouldn’t post Chinese proverbs.” – also a Chinese proverb.
p.s. they went ahead and made “cannot” one word.
— The Hoarse Whisperer (@HoarseWisperer) June 11, 2018
Confucius says: "complicit daughter with pie-face and phone sex voice does not represent the will of the reasonable constituency".
— Asinus Asinum Fricat (@Fricat) June 11, 2018
A few went right for the gullet, and called out the sweatshop process for what she is:
You must be talking about exploiting children in Chinese sweatshops.
— MahaReincess Priebus (@MahaReincess) June 11, 2018
This low-level scandal is reminiscent of the Obama White House, when the concept of a presidential scandal struck fear into the hearts of voters and when Rudy Giuliani screamed obscenities at his own reflection CNN wasn’t waiting idly by to capture the moment.
Still, the carelessness with which the Trumps move through every decision they make is cause for alarm. In the era where researching the validity of a topic is as simple as calling out, “Hey, Siri!” Ivanka could have solved this riddle and at least attributed the quote to an unknown source.
Instead, she revived that strange fashion trend from the 1990’s where Americans attributed all inspirational quotes, clothing, and accessories to ancient China – and was deservedly dragged for it.