Canadians are speaking out against Melania Trump’s upcoming visit later this month.
Melania Trump is scheduled to attend the Invictus Games in Toronto later this month.
For those unfamiliar with the games, they are an international Paralympic-style sporting championship for wounded, ill and injured military personnel and veterans. The event was created by Prince Harry in 2014 following a visit in 2013 to the US-based Warrior Games.
As the official Invictus Games website explains: “The inaugural Invictus Games took place in London in the fall of 2014 and attracted more than 400 competitors from 13 nations. The second Invictus Games took place in May 2016 in Orlando, Florida, and built on the excitement of the London Games with more than 500 competitors from 14 nations. The Invictus Games demonstrate soldiers’ and veterans’ indefatigable drive to overcome and the power of sport on their journey to recovery.”
Scheduled to take place from September 23 – 30, 2017, Melania’s attendance is already stirring up controversy in Canada.
Canadian playwright, screenwriter, and cultural commentator Brad Fraser published an article on the Toronto-based website Torontoist calling Melania’s attendance an “insult” to disabled veterans.
“Melania Trump coming to Canada as an emissary of the Invictus Games is exactly the kind of hypocrisy we don’t need in Canada—or anywhere—at any time,” Fraser wrote.
Vowing not “to fall into the trap of gender shaming that the right-wing press indulged in with Michelle Obama,” Fraser writes that:
Melania, like Ivanka, Donald Jr., and the rest of the privileged and sinister clan have made it clear that they see themselves as little more than extensions of their narcissistic, wealth-inheriting, never-accomplished-anything-on-his-own husband and father, in attitude and public stance. They’ve all proven to be little more than whimpering sycophants before a patriarch who has proven to be, at best, a rather stupid, manipulative madman with no impulse control.
In a relatively short time in office Trump has managed to attack, belittle, and unfairly target any number of vulnerable minorities in order to appease his fascistic followers….
Among his targets have been immigrants, Mexicans, women, journalists, and, perhaps most inexplicably of all, trans military staff…. But no group has been attacked by Herr Trump as much as people with disabilities.
After citing some examples of Trump’s behavior, such as “the repulsive spectacle of him mocking a differently-abled reporter—Serge Kovaleski… on national television” and “the heartbreaking images of people in wheelchairs, supported by walkers, without vision, being arrested and roughly dragged away for protesting Trump’s draconian proposed changes to health care,” Fraser asks where Melania was when all this was happening.
Answering his own question, Fraser explains that Melania was busy “suing a tabloid for interfering in her ‘unique, once-in-a-lifetime opportunity” to establish “multimillion dollar business relationships for a multi-year term during which Plaintiff is one of the most photographed women in the world,” and “a short time later” after Trump bullied a couple of television journalists on Twitter, she defended him.
“As the first lady has stated publicly in the past, when her husband gets attacked, he will punch back 10 times harder,” she stated through her spokesperson.
Suggesting that “Trump find a graceful way out,” Fraser concludes, writing:
Toronto doesn’t need the expense someone likes her brings to the celebration. But, more than that, this demonstration of her hypocrisy, which is also an exhibition of the hypocrisy of our entire corporately owned political system, cannot help but draw protests. Canadians may be polite by nature, but we also cherish our right to free speech and, if she came, many of us would exercise that right in order to point out just how offensive her appearance is at an event that honours those who are not like the majority.
Heavy.com reports that:
In addition to Fraser’s post, many other Canadians have voiced their concerns about the First Lady’s first solo trip. The Toronto Star published a reader letter that insisted Mrs. Trump’s presence would “tarnish” the Games.
“Not only will the games be tarnished by her presence, but her trip may undo much of the goodwill our government has actively pursued to get a fair trade deal for Canada,” wrote Jayne Rees of Uxbridge.
Expressing concerns regarding the increased cost of security and the likelihood of protests over Melania’s attendance, Rees also express concerns regarding Trump’s vindictive nature, writing:
Even if Melania plagiarizes another of Michelle Obama’s great speeches, she will be booed if she attempts to make a speech at the games. Her husband, well known for his vindictiveness, will attempt to punish our country in some form or another for this slight.