America’s racism runs deeper than racist Donald Trump

So Donald Trump, once again, says ‘I am the least racist person you have ever interviewed’.

Yeah, “me thinks thou dost protest too much.” The Heartbeat of Racism Is Denial:

Mental health experts routinely say that denial is among the most common defense mechanisms. Denial is how the person defends his superior sense of self, his racially unequal society.

* * *

The reckoning of Mr. Trump’s racism must become the reckoning of American racism. Because the American creed of denial — “I’m not a racist” — knows no political parties, no ideologies, no colors, no regions.

David Leonhardt and Ian Philbrick provide Donald Trump’s Racism: The Definitive List:

The media often falls back on euphemisms when describing Trump’s comments about race: racially loaded, racially charged, racially tinged, racially sensitive. And Trump himself has claimed that he is “the least racist person.” But here’s the truth: Donald Trump is a racist. He talks about and treats people differently based on their race. He has done so for years, and he is still doing so.

Here, we have attempted to compile a definitive list of his racist comments – or at least the publicly known ones.

Trump and his enablers (Sens. “Tehran” Tom Cotton and Sonny David Perdue – correction) really want to blame the government shutdown coming this Friday over the DACA negotiations on Democrats rather than on Trump’s racism towards immigrants, the very foundation of his 2016 campaign and appeal to the white grievances of GOP voters. Trump says ‘I’m not a racist,’ accuses Democrats of impeding DACA deal.

But Senator Jeff Flake, a member of the “gang of six,” says Democrats are negotiating ‘in good faith’ on Dreamers deal:

“One thing I do take big issue with the president on is he is saying that the Democrats aren’t moving forward in good faith,” Flake said on ABC’s “This Week.” “I can tell you I’ve been negotiating and working with the Democrats on immigration for 17 years and on this issue, on DACA or on the DREAM Act for a number of years, and the Democrats are negotiating in good faith.”

So add Trump’s political posturing to his list of more than 2,000 lies he has told since taking office.

As David Leonhardt of the Times wrote the other day, Just Say It: Trump Is a Racist:

When it comes to President Trump and race, there is a predictable cycle. He makes a remark that seems racist, and people engage in an extended debate about whether he is personally racist. His critics say he is. His defenders argue for an interpretation in which race plays a secondary role (such as: Haiti really is a worse place to live than Norway).

It’s time to end this cycle.

No one except Trump can know what Trump’s private thoughts or motivations are. But the public record and his behavior are now abundantly clear. Donald Trump treats black people and Latinos differently than he treats white people.

And that makes him a racist.

Charles Blow of the Times writes today, Trump Is a Racist. Period.

I find nothing more useless than debating the existence of racism, particularly when you are surrounded by evidence of its existence. It feels to me like a way to keep you fighting against the water until you drown.

The debates themselves, I believe, render a simple concept impossibly complex, making the very meaning of “racism” frustratingly murky.

So, let’s strip that away here. Let’s be honest and forthright.

Racism is simply the belief that race is an inherent and determining factor in a person’s or a people’s character and capabilities, rendering some inferior and others superior. These beliefs are racial prejudices.

The history of America is one in which white people used racism and white supremacy to develop a racial caste system that advantaged them and disadvantaged others.

Understanding this, it is not a stretch to understand that Donald Trump’s words and deeds over the course of his life have demonstrated a pattern of expressing racial prejudices that demean people who are black and brown and that play to the racial hostilities of other white people.

It is not a stretch to say that Trump is racist. It’s not a stretch to say that he is a white supremacist. It’s not a stretch to say that Trump is a bigot.

Those are just facts, supported by the proof of the words that keep coming directly from him. And, when he is called out for his racism, his response is never to ameliorate his rhetoric, but to double down on it.

I know of no point during his entire life where he has apologized for, repented of, or sought absolution for any of his racist actions or comments.

Instead, he either denies, deflects or amps up the attack.

Trump is a racist. We can put that baby to bed.

“Racism” and “racist” are simply words that have definitions, and Trump comfortably and unambiguously meets those definitions.

We have unfortunately moved away from the simple definition of racism, to the point where the only people to whom the appellation can be safely applied are the vocal, violent racial archetypes.

Racism doesn’t require hatred, constant expression, or even conscious awareness. We want racism to be fringe rather than foundational. But, wishing isn’t an effective method of eradication.

We have to face this thing, stare it down and fight it back.

The simple acknowledgment that Trump is a racist is the easy part. The harder, more substantive part is this: What are we going to do about it?

First and foremost, although Trump is not the first president to be a racist, we must make him the last. If by some miracle he should serve out his first term, he mustn’t be allowed a second. Voters of good conscience must swarm the polls in 2020.

But before that, those voters must do so later this year, to rid the House and the Senate of as many of Trump’s defenders, apologists and accomplices [enablers] as possible. Should the time come where impeachment is inevitable, there must be enough votes in the House and Senate to ensure it.

We have to stop thinking that we can somehow separate what racists believe from how they will behave. We must stop believing that any of Trump’s actions are clear of the venom coursing through his convictions. Everything he does is an articulation of who he is and what he believes. Therefore, all policies he supports, positions he takes and appointments he makes are suspect.

And finally, we have to stop giving a pass to the people — whether elected official or average voter — who support and defend his racism. If you defend racism you are part of the racism. It doesn’t matter how much you say that you’re an egalitarian, how much you say that you are race blind, how much you say that you are only interested in people’s policies and not their racist polemics.

As the brilliant James Baldwin once put it: “I can’t believe what you say, because I see what you do.” When I see that in poll after poll a portion of Trump’s base continues to support his behavior, including on race, I can only conclude that there is no real daylight between Trump and his base. They are part of his racism.

When I see the extraordinary hypocrisy of elected officials who either remain silent in the wake of Trump’s continued racist outbursts or who obliquely condemn him, only to in short order return to defending and praising him and supporting his agenda, I see that there is no real daylight between Trump and them either. They too are part of his racism.

When you see it this way, you understand the enormity and the profundity of what we are facing. There were enough Americans who were willing to accept Trump’s racism to elect him. There are enough people in Washington willing to accept Trump’s racism to defend him. Not only is Trump racist, the entire architecture of his support is suffused with that racism. Racism is a fundamental component of the Trump presidency.

As I have previously posted, The GOP is now Trump’s party of white identity and white grievances. Sadly, Trump and the GOP are regressing this country backwards to the days of its inglorious racist past. This is where we are today.

So when the DACA negotiations fail and we have a government shutdown this Friday as a result, the blame will lie squarely with the racism of Donald Trump and his enablers in the party of white identity and white grievances. Period.

Charles Blow’s question remains: “What are we going to do about it?” And I would add “What kind of country do we want to be?” We are at a tipping point. What happens next is up to you.

14 responses to “America’s racism runs deeper than racist Donald Trump

  1. Frances Perkins

    I rejoiced when Obama was elected declaring that America was finally growing up. Hopefully Trump, will be in history, a mere bump, in the overall trendline. The thing that frustrates me is the Trumpites’ attitude is that anything someone gets, is taking something away from them, rather than raising us all up. MLK said that for years until they killed him.

  2. Alice Johnson

    So true everything I just saw in writing….things I feel & think…it’s a scary group running this country…..still unbelievable to me that such a man- child could be in the Dark House…..no longer the White House in my eyes.I look forward to the investigation to be over and we the people are rid of that crew of greedy self-serving power hungry shitholes.

  3. Joe Biden
    ‏Verified account

    @JoeBiden
    1h1 hour ago

    Dr. King said that change “comes through continuous struggle.” As we celebrate his legacy today, we’re once again living through a battle for the soul of this nation. We’ll win this battle by following his example: standing up, getting involved, and demanding our voices be heard.

  4. Rep. Keith Ellison
    ‏Verified account

    @keithellison
    2h2 hours ago

    “Our only hope today lies in our ability to recapture the revolutionary spirit and go out into a sometimes hostile world declaring eternal hostility to poverty, racism & militarism… Let us rededicate ourselves to the long and bitter—but beautiful—struggle for a new world.” #MLK

  5. Barack Obama‏Verified account
    @BarackObama

    Dr. King was 26 when the Montgomery bus boycott began. He started small, rallying others who believed their efforts mattered, pressing on through challenges and doubts to change our world for the better. A permanent inspiration for the rest of us to keep pushing towards justice.

    7:46 AM – 15 Jan 2018

    • Trump retweeted this. Of course it is actually contradictory for him to honor Dr. King, plus it is doubtful he knows much about him.

      Donald J. Trump Retweeted
      The White House
      ‏Verified account

      @WhiteHouse
      5h5 hours ago

      “Dr. King’s dream is our dream. It is the American Dream. It’s the promise stitched into the fabric of our Nation, etched into the hearts of our people, and written into the soul of humankind.”

    • Another hypocrite right here…

      Vice President Mike Pence
      @VP

      Honored to lay a wreath at MLK Jr. Memorial w/ @SecondLady. He was a great American leader who inspired a movement & transformed a Nation. He took the words of our Founders to heart to forge a more perfect union based on the notion all men are created equal & in the image of God.

      12:45 PM – Jan 14, 2018

    • Bonus hypocrite for today, Melania Trump…

      Melania Trump‏Verified account
      @FLOTUS

      Today we honor Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. & his service to this great country. I am honored to be First Lady of a nation that continually strives for equality & justice for all. #MLKDay

      8:36 AM – 15 Jan 2018

  6. Charles Blow’s op-ed, “Trump is a Racist. Period” is excellent. The fact that Mr. Blow and others have to spell this out nearly 20 years into the 21st century is shameful and sad, but apparently necessary.

  7. And, of course, there is always Trump’s years long campaign to delegitimize the election of the first African American president…

    • And this…
      Donald Trump’s 30-year crusade against the Central Park Five

      Jeva Lange
      October 7, 2016

      When a Central Park jogger was brutally raped and beaten nearly to death in 1989, Donald Trump was at the front of the pack calling for literal blood. Four black teenagers and one Latino teenager were charged and jailed on shaky evidence after confessing to the crime under intense questioning, and two weeks after the attack, Trump took out a full-page ad in four city newspapers advocating for the reinstatement of the death penalty.

      But the so-called Central Park Five were vindicated in 2002, when their convictions were vacated after a convicted murderer and rapist confessed to the crime — a confession that was corroborated by DNA evidence. (DNA was never found connecting the Central Park Five to the crime.) The Central Park Five were eventually awarded a $41 million settlement from New York City in 2014.

      But over the decades, even as it became increasingly clear that the Central Park Five were innocent, Trump has continued to call for their deaths, and even criticized the city for its multi-million dollar settlement — all without any actual evidence that the Central Park Five were involved in the rape.

      http://theweek.com/articles/653840/donald-trumps-30year-crusade-against-central-park-five

  8. “I’m tired of marching for something that should have been mine at birth”.

    -Dr. Martin Luther King, 1967

    • For Sure Not Tom

      Damn, that’s a painful quote to read.

      Here’s what Trump supporters don’t get (among other things). While America stares blinking in disbelief at a brazenly racist and openly fascist Trump his administration is eliminating brown people from the country by the hundreds of thousands.

      Limiting immigration, threatening DACA, ending TPS and dozens of similar programs, and because of these actions and his White Nationalistic talk, millions of people have been discouraged from even visiting America, let alone moving here.

      The Trump Slump is a real thing in the tourism industry. It’s costing us billions.

      The Trump Slump in tech will show up in a few years, if not sooner. We’re going to lose our edge quickly, because tech moves quickly.

      Most tech companies have no “factories”, they sub out the actual manufacturing of chips and phones and everything else. They can pack up their patents and be gone overnight.

      They need every engineer America can produce, and they need all the engineers the rest of the world can produce, too, and they can produce their product from anywhere, they don’t need the US.

      So in a few years, when the best and brightest people from all over the world who would have moved to Silicon Valley and similar places where the best and brightest minds are needed, will have moved to China, and the American companies who need those best and brightest minds will have followed them to China, because it will be the only way they can compete.

      Because Trump has backed out of trade agreements and treaties, and threatens to back out of even more, the world no longer trusts America to honor her word.

      The damage racism does will linger long after Trump is dead and rotting in the grave.

      And when the economy notices the best paying jobs have moved overseas, Trump’s supporters will blame everyone but themselves, and more than likely they’ll blame anyone who doesn’t look like them.

      And Obama.

      • Interesting.

        Tech has been our salvation for decades. It’s really difficult to imagine the US economy without that advantage, but I understand what you’re saying. Wow.

        And then there’s “infrastructure”. Trump and the GOP are going to act on that when they are sure they can make it into the gold rush for their corporate buddies and other wealthy donors.