Florida city sparks backlash after declaring first week of February to be ‘Donald J. Trump Week’

A Florida city declared the first week of this month to be known as “Donald J. Trump Week,” though some critics found it inappropriate because February is already designated as “Black History Month.”

“Former President Donald J. Trump was overwhelmingly supported, and received 76.43% of the votes in Frostproof, Fla., Precinct 537, won the state of Florida twice and received more votes than any incumbent in United States history,” read a proclamation from Mayor Jon Albert, in acknowledgment of the former president’s popularity in the district and the Sunshine State in general.


The proclamation also credited Trump with the creation of millions of new jobs during his term as well as his foreign policy successes, including peace deals and ensuring the U.S. “engaged in no new wars” while also bringing some U.S. troops home from years-long conflicts overseas.

“[W]hile president, the United States gained millions of new jobs, including more than 12 million manufacturing and construction jobs while designating 9,000 opportunity zones,” the proclamation read, adding that “new unemployment lows were reached.

This year, Donald J. Trump Week runs from Feb. 1-6, according to the proclamation.

State Rep. Anthony Sabatini, who called the proclamation “a great initiative,” has also proposed renaming U.S. Route 27 “President Donald J. Trump Highway.”

“Good to be in the City of Frostproof tonight to speak in favor of a Proclamation declaring this week “Donald Trump Week.” First city in the nation to do this!” Sabatini wrote on Facebook.

Good to be in the City of Frostproof tonight to speak in favor of a Proclamation declaring this week “Donald Trump Week.” First city in the nation to do this!

Posted by State Representative Anthony Sabatini on Monday, February 1, 2021

However, the proclamation was criticized by others including minorities who said they believe it’s inappropriate during Black History Month, according to the Tampa Bay Times, which said groups of Polk County residents who have deemed it “racist” plan to protest.

“I voted for Trump, but I feel this is stirring the pot,” Aimee Ward, 39, of Frostproof, told the paper, though she acknowledged the city has a right to honor him.

She just thinks the timing is off.

“If they declared Trump Day on his birthday in June, I wouldn’t think twice. Doing this on Black History Month is absolutely unacceptable,” Ward, who is white, told the outlet.

She went on to claim that her business has already lost some customers who have said they won’t spend money in the city any longer. She also said she’s planning to launch a petition drive to ensure that there is no Donald J. Trump Week observation next year.

Former Ledger reporter-turned-community activist Merissa Green told the outlet that the proclamation “sends a message” to persons of color in the county “that Black History Month isn’t important.”

Other communities in the region have issued proclamations in honorarium of Black History Month but Frostproof was not one of them, the Ledger reported.

“The problem is not about the fact they want to have a proclamation for Donald J. Trump, the problem is the action was taken during Black History Month,” Green noted.

Added Lakeland resident Al Lewis, who is black and whose father and grandfather owned a number of citrus groves near the city: “It’s safe to say Frostproof was built on the labor and backs of African American people. How dare you take Black History Month to honor a racist bigot such as Donald Trump.”

Others, however, said race shouldn’t be an issue.

“I don’t think it’s fair it’s turned into a race issue,” local GOP official James Ring, told the outlet. “I don’t think there was any ill intent on behalf of the City Council.”

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Jon Dougherty

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