Here’s the thing: Trump has been a racist for a lot longer than he has been President of the United States. He was a racist in the classic sense. You know, the kind of guy who thinks that all people with skin not like his are beneath him. As an apartment building owner, Trump screened people for race way back in the 1970s. I’ll give you one guess as to the targets of the screening, and no, it wasn’t white males.
Trump went on to the notorious hot take with regard to the Central Park 5. They were exonerated but that didn’t stop President Trump from doubling down as recently as last month on their “guilt.” They were exonerated not just by run of the mill prosecutorial malfeasance, but by DNA evidence.
Moreover, there are the litany of racist quotes attributed to Trump. As a Jew, here is my personal favorite: “Black guys counting my money! I hate it. The only kind of people I want counting my money are short guys wearing yarmulkes. . . Those are the only kind of people I want counting my money. Nobody else. . . Besides that, I tell you something else. I think that’s guy’s lazy. And it’s probably not his fault because laziness is a trait in blacks.”
Trump admitted to the above comment, only to refute it later on. And he would assuredly refute saying that comment now. However, in today’s world, for his base, would he even have to deny making those comments?
Getting back to the President’s tweets from over the weekend, I believe that hate of all kind should be called out. People like Reps. Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib should be called out for anti-Semitic statements and beliefs. I’ve done so here before. But they shouldn’t be condemned because of their race, religion, sex, or nation of origin. Their policies deserve to be attacked. Not their humanity. But that’s where we’re at unfortunately.
It’s an old story and a disgusting one. Debase and dehumanize the other to maintain power, which gets us to what really drives Trump. He doesn’t give two shits about white supremacy and he cares even less about Israel. What he really cares about is himself. If you told Trump he could make money or keep himself out of prison and all he had to do was give amnesty to illegal immigrants or turn his back on Israel, he’d do both in a freaking heartbeat. He’d dress up like Speedy Gonzales, yell “Viva Mexico” and then go about calling the Holocaust “fake news” and a “hoax.”
So what this is really about is Trump’s making a shrewd move to keep his rear end out of prison. How can he do that, for four years at least? By winning the election in 2020. Remember, the Department of Justice has said it won’t indict a sitting President. Trump and his people *cough* Stephen Miller *cough* have made the calculation that Trump’s best way to win is to be as racist as possible, without using the n-word. The Republicans in Congress either back him, stay silent, or release Mitt Romney/Susan Collins-esque statements.
What about the rest of us as citizens though? Where are we on Trump and his racist endeavors? More broadly speaking , what does Trump’s shrewd calculation say about the electorate? What does that say about us as a nation?
An incumbent President of the United States is running for re-election with a white nationalist platform. It’s not new either. Trump entered the world of politics as a Barack Obama birther. He announced his first campaign with the Mexicans are rapists, but some are nice people too, filth. And now he’s going full racist by telling Americans of another race, three-fourths of whom were born here, to go back to their countries. None of this is surprising but it is all terrifying.
We as a nation, and especially those of us who are white people, need to take a good look in the mirror. Think about what it says that this is how a President of the United States is trying to appeal to us. Donald Trump didn’t come out of a vacuum. He’s a reflection of our electorate. He’s a reflection of us, whether you like it or not.
So please, spare me the righteous indignation. Don’t tell me in nine months that you didn’t get the candidate you wanted out of the primary. Get out there, and vote this vile human being and those who support him out of office in 2020.
P.S. As a Jew, it offends me that Trump uses Israel as a shield for his racism.