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Friday, June 21, 2024

Proof on the question: Is or isn’t Trump a racist?


After Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez made the news on 60 Minutes Sunday night saying ‘yeah, yeah, no question’ Trump is a racist, the White House deputy press secretary shot back “Congresswoman Ocasio-Cortez’s sheer ignorance on the matter can’t cover the fact that President Trump supported and passed historic criminal justice reform…”  and “… has repeatedly condemned racism and bigotry in all forms.”

Breaking this “proof” down we can easily dismiss the latter. After all, what president would do anything other than condemn racism is all forms? The first so-called “proof,” signing into law the criminal justice reform bill was nothing to brag about. After all it was endorsed by powerful GOP members of Congress and endorsed by the Fraternal Order of Police.

Another “proof” offered one year ago was that NBC would never have allowed a racist to host top rated shows:

White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders said claims that President Donald Trump is racist are “outrageous,” citing his success as a public figure and his star turn on television as a host on NBC’s reality show “The Apprentice.”

“Frankly, if the critics of the president were who he said he was, why did NBC give him a show for a decade on TV?” Sanders said Tuesday. Sanders Says Trump Isn’t Racist, Citing ‘The Apprentice’ Jan. 16, 2018

Ocasio-Cortez’s statement only references the tip of the racism iceberg that is Trump:

When you look at the words that he uses, which are historic dog whistles of white supremacy. When you look at how he reacted to the Charlottesville incident, where neo-Nazis murdered a woman, versus how he manufactures crises like immigrants seeking legal refuge on our borders, it’s — it’s night and day,”

Had she been quicker in her response and done her homework and simply searched “Trump racist” online she would have found a HuffPost article from 02/29/2016 but Updated on Jan 02, 2018: Here Are 13 Examples Of Donald Trump Being Racist, He claims to have “a great relationship with the blacks,” which is totally something a normal person would say. (If you do this online search now you will have to get past the many links to articles about Ocasio-Cortez’s comment.)

The 13 described are below. (I put the brither matter first because it was the most glaring.)

  1. He questioned whether President Obama was born in the United States
  2. Attacking Gold Star parents
  3. Claiming a judge was biased because he was “Mexican”
  4. The Justice Department sued his company ― twice ― for not renting to black people
  5. Discrimination against black people has been a pattern in his career
  6. He refused to condemn the white supremacists who are campaigning for hi
  7. He treats racial groups as monoliths
  8. He trashed Native Americans when he was trying to open a casino
  9. He encouraged the mob justice that resulted in the wrongful imprisonment of the Central Park Five
  10. He condoned the beating of a Black Lives Matter protester
  11. He called supporters who beat up a homeless Latino man “passionate”
  12. He stereotyped Jews and shared an anti-Semitic desecrated by white supremacists
  13. He treats African-American supporters as tokens to dispel the idea he is racist

PBS News Hour has another article from August 2017 with their own even longer list in: How Trump talks about race.

The article makes a good point about Trump’s history with race being complicated:

He is a man who was accused of racial discrimination multiple times at his businesses but who used his Mar-a-Lago resort to smash white-only membership policies in Palm Beach, Florida.

He was among the loudest voices attacking the legitimacy of the nation’s first black president, but launched one of the most public Republican efforts in modern history to reach out to the African-American community.

He has a Jewish daughter and grandchildren, yet left Jews out of a Holocaust remembrance statement.

He fired a longtime aide for using a racial epithet, but secretly funded ads that associated Native Americans with drug use and crime. And he has repeatedly called Mexicans rapists and criminals while insisting that he loves them.

I’d sum up Trump’s racism as based on his belief in the superiority of rich white people, mostly men he thinks are like him and on the inferiority of anybody else including people of other races but also women and just about anyone who would go to one of his rallies.

This may be too nuanced to explain in answer to the question “is Trump a racist” so if pressed I’d say that he was a racist although at times he behaves as if he isn’t.

I am pleased that Ocasio-Cortez has brought Trump’s racism back into the public dialogue.


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