Imagining Juneteenth on Trump’s Air Force One

by | Jul 3, 2023 | Opinions & Commentary

Air Force One in Arizona. Image: Gage Skidmore, Wiki Commons

Imagining Juneteenth on Trump’s Air Force One

by | Jul 3, 2023 | Opinions & Commentary

Air Force One in Arizona. Image: Gage Skidmore, Wiki Commons

An imaginary, but not too far-fetched Juneteenth conversation aboard Air Force One in 2020.

[An article about Juneteeth? Didn’t we just “do” that holiday last month? The date has passed, true. But the fact of the abuse of freedom needs to be kept front of mind as we approach another national holiday about freedom. We are publishing this and another piece today for this express purpose—one reverent and the other, not so much.]

THE SCENE: Aboard Air Force One en route to Tulsa, Oklahoma

TRUMP: So what I heard—and no one knows this—is that in Texas they actually didn’t tell the slaves they were free until, like two years later!

PENCE: Yes, Mr. President. That’s what Juneteenth celebrates, the day they finally discovered they were free.

TRUMP: Shut up, Church Boy. I wasn’t talking to you. Where’s my Black? Where’s Ben?

BEN CARSON: (stares into space, possibly deep in thought, possibly asleep)

TRUMP: Ben, did you know about this Juneteenth whatever? I thought it was just some made-up thing.

CARSON: (blinks, then continues staring into space)

TRUMP: See? Ben didn’t know about it. No one knows about it. You know what, though? You know what the REAL holiday should be?

DON JR.: What’s that, Daddy?

TRUMP: Shut up, loser. I wasn’t talking to you. The REAL holiday should be for those Texas guys who keep slaving people for years when they weren’t supposed to. What businessmen! That’s like, free labor!


McENANY: Sir, that’s brilliant! We should celebrate that kind of entrepreneurship!

TRUMP (suspiciously): What’s that word mean? I don’t like that word.

McENANY: It means their, uh, Art of the Deal skills! We should definitely have a holiday for them!

TRUMP: Kushner, get on that. I want it declared a holiday by the time we land.

KUSHNER: On it, chief! When do you want the holiday to be?

TRUMP: Tomorrow, when I’m rallying. We’ll call it Jwentieth. Someone copyright that right now.

CHORUS: Right away, sir! Absolutely, sir! Brilliant idea, sir!

CARSON: Does it count as cannibalism if you only eat someone’s hair?


TRUMP: Anyway, what we should do is make hydroxychlor…chlor…whatever that shit is, we should make it part of the holiday, hand it out to everyone at the door of the rally! How many doses do we have left, Church Boy?

PENCE: Just under sixty million, sir. I managed to unload some on Matt Gaetz. I told him it was Pez.

TRUMP (smiling meanly): And where ARE all those doses, Church Boy?

PENCE (sighing): They’re in my residence, sir, where you ordered them. Mother and I have finally made a path through them to the bathroom.

(everyone laughing)

TRUMP: Well, get some to the rally. It’ll be like Halloween—everyone in a red cap gets five doses, anyone wearing a mask gets jack shit. Kushner, get the hydroxy…hydro…whatever to Okalahoma right now. I want it there before we land.

KUSHNER: On it, sir! My pleasure, sir!

McENANY (screams): Look! Outside! There’s something on the wing!

BARR (looks outside): It’s Stephen Miller, sir. He’s tearing apart one of the engines.

PENCE (sighs): Why does he have to do that all the time?

TRUMP: This plane’s got two engines, right? We’ll be fine. Just leave Stephen alone. Now, what about protestors at the rally? We’ve got that covered, right? I mean, they probably don’t have a bunker in Tulsa, do they?

BARR: I’ve already ordered the tear gas, sir. It’s probably being spread around the entire city right now.

TRUMP (relieved): Good, good. Where’s my other Black? The army guy I just made famous?

PENCE: Air Force, sir. He’s in the Air Force.

TRUMP: I said shut up! Kushner, kick Pence’s ass!

KUSHNER: Right away, sir! In just a second, after I finish this Mideast peace plan!

McENANY: Chief of Staff Brown is home with his family for Juneteenth, sir.

TRUMP: That’s just fucking amazing. I was SURE it was a made-up holiday. Well, call him back. He can celebrate tomorrow, with the rest of us. I want him in Tulsa by the time the plane lands.

DON JR.: I think that you’d have to actually eat someone’s hair off their body if you wanna be a cannibal, ‘cause once you cut it off, it’s dead. I saw that on Dora the Explorer once.

CARSON (suddenly alert): That’s what I was thinking! So fingernails wouldn’t count, either, right?

DON JR. (thinking hard): ….no.

CARSON (relieved): Good.


VOICE OF THE PILOT: Well, we’re gonna be a little delayed, folks, because one of the engines just caught on fire. I’ll send the flight attendants around with the drinks tray and the peanuts again. Weather’s looking good in the Tulsa area, except for a cloud of tear gas that should be pretty much settled down by the time we get there. Have a great day, and thanks for flying Air Force One!

Originally published 19 June, 2020

John Philip Sunseri II

John Philip Sunseri II

John Philip Sunseri II is a horror writer from Portland, Oregon. As well as writing traditional horror fiction he also writes Lovecraftian horror. John spent two years at Yale University studying a major in English.

Writing since 2001, John has published over 50 short stories. 2007 saw the release of his first novel, The Spiraling Worm co-written with Australian author David Conyers.

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