TRUMPIAN CONCERNS, PART 2:

TRUMP’S RACISM

Donald Trump is a racist. I don’t say this lightly, nor am I just making a frivolous allegation here; I am basing this very serious charge on Mr. Trump’s own words and deeds.

His words include:

  • “I’ve got black accountants at Trump Castle and Trump Plaza. Black guys counting my money! I hate it. The only kind of people I want counting my money are short guys that wear yarmulkes every day. … I think that the guy is lazy. And it’s probably not his fault, because laziness is a trait in blacks. It really is, I believe that. It’s not anything they can control.” (to John O’Donnell, then-President of the Trump Plaza Hotel and Casino in Atlantic City, upon seeing a black accountant counting money. Although Trump initially denied saying this, he ultimately conceded in an interview with Playboy that “the stuff O’Donnell wrote about me is probably true.”)
  • Trump was a leading “birther”, claiming that President Obama was not eligible to be President due to supposedly having been born in Kenya (Mr. Obama was born in Hawaii). This clear attempt to de-legitimize our nation’s first African-American President was at its heart an act of racism. When he “announced” back in September that “President Obama was born in the United States – Period”, and tried (unsuccessfully) to put the blame for the whole “birther” movement onto Hillary Clinton and her 2008 campaign, he claimed that he had stopped making his birther claims back in 2011 – but this is demonstrably false, as he made the claims in several interviews on television and radio, as well as in a number of his “tweets”, each and every year since then, up to and including 2016.
  • “Our African-American communities are absolutely in the worst shape that they’ve ever been in before. Ever, ever, ever.” (Trump said this at a rally in North Carolina on Tuesday, September 20th, 2016. Apparently he has forgotten – or is perhaps denying? – that African-Americans have historically been subjected to slavery, lynchings, and Jim Crow laws.)
  • “When Mexico sends its people, they’re not sending their best… They’re sending people that have lots of problems, and they’re bringing those problems with us. They’re bringing drugs. They’re bringing crime. They’re rapists. And some, I assume, are good people.” (this was during his speech announcing his run for the Presidency.)
  • “He’s a Mexican. We’re building a wall between here and Mexico.” (accusing Federal Judge Gonzalo Curiel, who was hearing the Trump University Fraud case, of being incapable of impartiality simply because of his Mexican heritage; Judge Curiel was born in Indiana. Republican House Speaker Paul Ryan called this the “textbook definition of a racist comment”.)
  • Trump had nicknames for many of his opponents during the campaign – Lyin’ Ted, Little Marco, Low-Energy Jeb, Crooked Hillary, and so on. Other than being a bit childish in a playground-bully sort of way, there is nothing inherently wrong with that. Where he crossed the line into racism, however, was with his nickname for Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), who claims her heritage is 1/32 Native-American (this has been disputed, but a genealogist from the New England Historic Genealogical Society reportedly found that her great-great-great grandmother on her mother’s side was Cherokee); he calls her “Pocahontas”. Whether or not Senator Warren is actually of Native-American heritage, Mr. Trump’s use of this nickname is racism pure and simple; New York Magazine, while noting that Warren’s claim was “murky”, called Mr. Trump’s use of the nickname “obvious racism”.
  • At a recent press conference, President Trump actually asked a black reporter (April Ryan) to set up a meeting between himself and the Congressional Black Caucus. No, I’m not kidding.

His deeds include:

  • He discriminated against black tenants in his buildings back in the 70’s – something he has denied, but news reports from the time (including this one from 1973) prove that he and his father did in fact engage in such practices and were even sued by the Justice Department over it (twice – in 1973 and in 1976).
  • The Trump Plaza Hotel and Casino in Atlantic City was fined $200,000 by the New Jersey Casino Control Commission in 1992 for removing black dealers at the request of a big-spending patron. The fine was upheld on appeal.
  • He proposed a ban on all Muslims entering the United States.
  • And who can forget his infamous “I love Hispanics!” taco bowl tweet on Cinco de Mayo:

i-love-hispanics

Happy #CincoDeMayo! The best taco bowls are made in Trump Tower Grill. I love Hispanics! https://www.facebook.com/DonaldTrump/po…

11:57 AM – 5 May 2016

  • He made Stephen Bannon his campaign’s CEO and has now placed him in the White House as a Senior Advisor and Chief Strategist. Mr. Bannon became the CEO of Breitbart.com following the death of founder Andrew Breitbart, and turned what had been a fairly standard right-wing news website into what Bannon himself has proudly called “the platform for the Alt-Right.” The “Alt-Right” consists primarily of white supremacists, anti-Semites, and extreme right-wing conspiracy theorists. By elevating Mr. Bannon, President Trump has legitimized the Alt-Right’s racist views, and brought those views into the White House.
  • He threatened (through a tweet, of course) to pull federal funding for UC Berkeley when the university, for safety reasons, cancelled an appearance by Breitbart editor Milo Yiannopoulos in the face of violent protests against the event. Yiannopoulos is an unabashed racist who has been banned from Twitter for life for his racist tweets, and Trump’s standing up for him like this is yet another “dog-whistle” to the Alt-Right.
  • He has re-tweeted several memes and posts from white supremacist websites, such as the Daily Stormer and the “Hunter Wallace” blog.

So here’s the bottom line. Despite his claims to the contrary (usually something like “I have a great relationship with the blacks,” – which of course is something a non-racist would totally say), President-Elect Trump has promoted racist ideas, brought the “alt-right” into the mainstream, put them in charge of his campaign, and has now brought them into the White House, and has repeatedly lumped all members of a given group (Hispanics, Muslims, African-Americans, and so on) together as a monolithic entity who are of a single mind, rather than acknowledging that there could actually be individual opinions within these groups.

And that’s a racist attitude. Period.

So what can we do about this? Not much. Like it or not, Mr. Trump is the President of the United States, and will be for the next four (or possibly eight) years. All we can really do is be vigilant, and call out racism whenever and wherever it raises its ugly head.