You know the phrase, better late than never? Yeah, Donald Trump follows that religiously; at least when it comes to India. The President of the United States loves making a splash (here’s looking at you, Stephen Colbert) with every move he makes, every step he takes; we’ll be watching him. Even if he’s late to the party, he always makes an entrance, whether good or bad. Mostly the latter.
Speaking of coming late to parties, India and the world (desi diaspora represent) celebrated Diwali last week on November 7. So naturally, Senor Trump (bet he loves that), that outlier, had to celebrate it a week later, by lighting a ‘ceremonial diya’ in the White House. It was more an ornate shiny lamp than the traditional earthen diya, but hey, baby got bling.
As it turns out, however, Trump knows about as much as Michael Scott about Diwali, or maybe even less. After a typically racist allusion to how Indians are “very good” at trade negotiations aka haggling, he then casually left out the country’s largest religious group; you know, the people who actually celebrate the festival with the most fervor: the Hindus.
Agencies quoted POTUS 45 as saying, “I'm honored to host this beautiful ceremony at the White House. Very, very special people. We're gathered today to celebrate a very special holiday observed by Buddhist, Sikhs and Jains throughout the United States and around the world. Hundreds of millions of people have gathered with family and friends to light the Diya and to mark the beginning of a New year: very special new year.”
And naturally, being Trump, he tweeted the same, verbatim:
Today, we gathered for Diwali, a holiday observed by Buddhists, Sikhs, and Jains throughout the United States & around the world. Hundreds of millions of people have gathered with family & friends to light the Diya and to mark the beginning of a New Year. https://t.co/epHogpTY1A pic.twitter.com/9LUwnhngWJ— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 13, 2018
Still no mention of Hindus.
Then finally, someone remembered.
It was my great honor to host a celebration of Diwali, the Hindu Festival of Lights, in the Roosevelt Room at the @WhiteHouse this afternoon. Very, very special people! https://t.co/kQk7IvpSFo pic.twitter.com/tYlBABg4JF— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 13, 2018
Happy Diwali, India. Better late than never. Right? Right?