Of course, Donald Trump is a racist. The evidence is overwhelming dating well before he was president through today.* He is the president of our country, so we need him to be one of our better angels, not our worst. He sets the tone, as does any person in a leadership position. So, we must encourage him to act like a leader.
Yet, what his actions say counter his words condemning four women of color telling them to leave the country, a dog whistle racist remark, while saying he “does not have a racist bone in his body.”
His actions say it is OK for a white man to criticize our country, even distort the truth in so doing. Make America Great Again was sold on denigrating the way it was.
His actions say it is OK for a white man to call people names like loser, failure, and ugly who criticize or accuse him rather than push back on the issues.
His actions say it is OK for a white man to be untruthful and bully people including our allies and trading partners at the same time getting cuddly with non-benign autocrats.
His actions say it is OK for a white man to try to obstruct justice or have active and numerous conversations with nefarious foreign sources to help win an election.
His actions say it is OK for a white man to grab any woman by her private parts or walk in on them while they are changing clothes as he has bragged of and been accused of. I won’t even speak of other accusations.
His actions say it is OK for a white man to call Mexicans rapists, ban people coming from Muslim majority countries, equate people wanting to preserve their civil rights with white nationalists who want to take them away and claim we don’t want immigrants from “shithole countries.”
And, his actions say it is OK for a white man to mock disabled people, demean a war hero because he was captured and insult a Gold Star family because they dared to criticize him.
I am not condoning any politician for cursing at another or being unfairly critical of a group of people based on race, ethnicity, gender, sexual preference, religion, etc. We must demand civil discourse from our elected officials. But, it is OK to be critical of Israel policies just as it is OK to be critical of America’s just as the current president did when he was a private citizen.
We must call out racism when we see it. And, when someone has to preface that he is not a racist, look further. And, we need our leaders to be our better angels. Yet, that does not let us off the hook – we must be civil in our discourse.
*Note: A few items to ponder:
- Trump has settled the same court case twice for discriminatory renting practices to African-Americans, the second time when he was sued for failing to address items he promised to in the first settlement.
- Trump took out a full page ad to sway public opinion on five black teens and young adults who were convicted and later exonerated by DNA for raping and killing a jogger in Central Park.
- Trump made his political inroads by saying repeatedly for years that President Obama was not born in America. If this had been a white President, he would not have done such. When he finally said he was wrong years later, he blamed Hillary Clinton (I know the latter is not racist, it just shows that he is not accountable).
- Trump has said Mexicans are rapists, banned travel from Muslim dominant countries, and noted we do not want immigrants from “shithole countries” naming a few of them along the way.
- Trump equated people defending their rights to those of white nationalists who were saying the rights of non-whites do not matter during the Charlottesville protests – this led to the eventual resignation of Gary Cohn, his National Economic Advisor, who is Jewish and almost resigned immediately, but stayed onto get the Tax bill passed.
- Trump treated Puerto Ricans differently and condescendingly after the hurricane disasters than he did people from Florida and Texas.
- Trump is less concerned how refugees and immigrants trying to enter the US are treated once they are detained. It was thing to have a harder-line policy, but treat people like chattel is not very Christian-like.
- Trump’s latest efforts are dog whistle comments that have been hurled at people of color or non-WASP ethnicity for multiple decades.