“They love me in the Netherlands” said Trump during slave trade talk
American president Donald Trump believes he has many fans in the Netherlands, according to the memoirs of Lonnie G. Bunch III. Bunch gave Trump a private tour in the newly opened National Museum of African American History and Culture in 2017. The only reaction Trump had to the Dutch role in slave trade was: "You know, they love me in the Netherlands", Bunch wrote in his memoir, The Washington Post reports.
In the memoir, titled A Fool's Errand: Creating the National Museum of African American History and Culture in the Age of Bush, Obama and Trump, Bunch recalls Trump's visit to the museum. He was then the director of the museum, and Trump was about to be inaugurated as president. Bunch hoped that the visit "would contribute to a broader understanding of race relations in America", but was quickly proven wrong, he wrote.
Before Trump arrived, Bunch said Trump's aides informed him that the president "was in a foul mood and that he did not want to see anything 'difficult'." But Bunch decided to give him the planned tour, which started with the global slave trade. "It was not my job to make the rough edges of history smooth, even for the president."
Trump paused in front of an exhibit that discussed the Dutch role in slave trade. "As he pondered the label I felt that maybe he was paying attention to the work of the museum", Bunch wrote. "He quickly proved me wrong. As he turned from the display he said to me, 'You know, they love me in the Netherlands.' All I could say was let's continue walking."
Bunch remembers little of the rest of the tour. "I was so disappointed in his response to one of the greatest crimes against humanity in history", he wrote. "Here was a chance to broaden the views and the understanding of the incoming president and I had been less successful than I had expected."