The past few days have been a doozy, to put it mildly. The U.S. was in the midst of a humanitarian crisis, thanks to Donald Trump’s executive order to block immigration and travel from seven Muslim-majority countries. Despite this, however, Trump’s eldest daughter, Ivanka, thought it was OK to post about her date night with husband Jared Kushner, fancy ballgown and all.
Don’t get me wrong, I don’t care what other people post on social media. It’s not my business. However, when you are a public figure–and one who is surrounded by political controversy (whether you want to be or not)–it’s your ethical duty to be aware of what’s going on around you and act appropriately. Many activists and influencers did not believe Ivanka was being an ethical and politically aware citizen this past weekend. I can’t say I disagree.
Instead of even acknowledging what happened this weekend, Ivanka posted a photo of herself on Instagram showing off her glamorous outfit alongside her husband. Pretty bad timing. Some social media users called her “tone deaf,” while others believed her behavior was reminiscent of French monarch Marie Antoinette, who is quoted as having said, “Let them eat cake” when learning that the French people were starving and without bread.
One Twitter user, however, captured the entire incident perfectly in one tweet:
— Geoff Crawley (@VoiceOfThePhan) January 29, 2017
If pictures are worth a thousand words, this one is worth a million. It encapsulates the entire idea that while Ivanka is off partying with her husband (who is an adviser to Trump), the rest of the world is suffering–most notably Syrian refugees, many of whom are children. Of course, Ivanka has every right to have a good time with her family–but there is a difference between happiness and flaunting your wealth and privilege. Many people in the world don’t have the privilege to ignore the refugee crisis (and immigration ban).
Others echoed this sentiment on Twitter:
— Josh Morgerman (@iCyclone) January 29, 2017
Thousands of families are being ripped apart because of your father but that’s a cute dress. Have fun at your party! https://t.co/yzuakVrEcy
— Cole Ledford (@ColeLedford11) January 29, 2017
— nae (@renae_rp) January 29, 2017
Glad you’re having fun tonite! I just talked to a man who drove from Ohio to see his wife, who’s being detained indefinitely at JFK customs. https://t.co/Qknz2SDz52
— Charles Homans (@chashomans) January 29, 2017
Can’t blame anyone for being outraged. Her actions are tone-deaf and disappointing, and I’d only hope she would want to set a better example for her own children–to give kindness back into the world. Tikkun olam does not mean showing off a silver dress in the face of death, homelessness, and poverty.