Don’t Deny That Trump Is A Racist!

I have shared Eugene Robinson’s column before here, and today I do so once again as his words ring true … words that we need to hear and understand.


Trump’s only campaign promise is to make bigotry safe again

Eugene-RobinsonOpinion by

Eugene Robinson

Columnist

June 29, 2020 at 5:41 p.m. EDT

“White power!” shouted the elderly man, raising his fist as he drove his golf cart past a group of demonstrators advocating racial justice. On Sunday, President Trump offered an “amen.”

A white couple stood outside their St. Louis mansion aiming deadly firearms — the man wielding a semiautomatic rifle, the woman waving a handgun — at Black Lives Matter protesters who were peacefully marching past. On Monday, Trump joined that hallelujah chorus, too.

In both cases, Trump offered his encouragement to white tribal fear and anger in the form of retweets on his Twitter feed. There’s plenty of bad news the president might want to overshadow: the explosion in covid-19 cases in Sun Belt states he pushed to reopen prematurely, for example, or the reports that Russia offered bounties for killing U.S. military personnel in Afghanistan. But why choose “white power” as the bright, shiny object he wants everyone to focus on? Why not some other, less incendiary bit of nonsense?

The logical conclusion is that, in his desperate campaign to win reelection, Trump has decided to position himself even more explicitly as the defender of whiteness and all its privileges. Certainly, in his ideologically flexible career, maintaining the primacy of whiteness is a rare constant.

The “white power” incident took place earlier this month at The Villages, a sprawling retirement community near Orlando. Some residents were participating in the nationwide protests over police violence toward African Americans, and many were chanting slogans against Trump. Others came past the demonstration in their golf carts, and some defended Trump, including the man who called forthrightly for white racial solidarity.

Trump retweeted a video of the incident, appending the comment, “Thank you to the great people of The Villages.” The tweet was deleted a couple of hours later, with the White House claiming that Trump hadn’t heard the “white power” rallying cry. That is likely a lie, since the shouted slogan comes right at the beginning of the two-minute video clip. You can’t miss it — unless you’re just retweeting things you haven’t bothered to watch. Which if you’re the most powerful person in the world, behaving carelessly on an enormous platform, is a whole other problem.

And if Trump didn’t mean to amplify the “white power” message, then why — one day later — would he retweet a video of the St. Louis incident? You don’t have to be a semiotician to understand the message of that video, which reinforces a message Trump has repeated over and over again: White people, when you see a diverse crowd of protesters coming down your street, be afraid. Go get your guns. Be ready to shoot.

With Trump’s hope of reelection fading, I fear this is the gambit he has chosen: using this moment to exacerbate racial animus — rather than lessen it, as any responsible leader would try to do — by heightening white fear and loathing of the nation’s growing diversity.

“Black lives matter” does not imply some sort of zero-sum game. The whole nation will benefit if we can curb the kind of police violence that led to the deaths of George Floyd, Rayshard Brooks, Elijah McClain and so many others. The whole nation will benefit if we finally acknowledge and then address systemic racism. What makes this moment of upheaval and protest different is that so many white Americans see how racism is a ball and chain that holds all of us back — and see what a braver, fairer, stronger nation we can be if we confront our original sin with honesty and determination.

Trump encourages whites to see any reckoning with race as a threat: They’re coming for you and your family. Don’t listen or try to understand; assert your supremacy. Prepare to fight for your lives.

As a political strategy, this can work only if Trump motivates enough older, white, non-college-educated voters in the Sun Belt and rural Midwest to see the coming election as a matter of us vs. them — while the Republican Party simultaneously uses various techniques of voter suppression to limit Democratic turnout. Polls suggest that all of this is unlikely to work, and that Trump may be dragging the GOP’s Senate majority down with him.

As presidential leadership, Trump’s “white power” strategy is tragically irresponsible. His narcissism leads him unerringly to adopt any course of action he sees as beneficial to himself, no matter what the potential impact on the nation might be.

Look at the nation today — beset by the covid-19 pandemic, battered by economic crisis, roiled by widespread protests. Trump makes no sustained effort to solve any of these problems. His focus is on a despicable effort to make white people angry and frightened enough to give him a second term. If he sincerely wants anything beyond his own glorification, it is to make America safe again for bigotry.

25 thoughts on “Don’t Deny That Trump Is A Racist!

  1. The message actually has a code:
    “Make America Great (ie White Rich Tax Dodging Privileged Guys calling the shots) Again (ie and you poor shmucks fall for it every time, all we gotta do is play the bigotry/conspiracy cards)”

    Like

  2. Robinson is a liar about the couple in Missouri, I heard the video, I heard the screaming people, the banging of drums, the commotion, no, these were not peaceful protesters at all.

    The Washington post continues to lose credibility with blatantly false articles like this, though he has a right to write what he wants, it just isn’t honest reporting so don’t blog about this like it’s the gospel truth.

    Like

  3. Jill, of course the president is a racist has been long before his campaign in 2016. A quick reminder:
    – a judge twice ruled Trump was unfairly discriminating against Blacks in his real estate dealings (the second suit occurred because Trump ignored the first one)
    – he took a full page ad which falsely accused five Blacks in a Central Park killing
    – he used derogatory terms toward Native Americans in testimony as they set up casinos
    – he accused for several years that Obama was not born here
    – he called out four Congresswomen of color and told them to go back where they came from
    – he called immigration from sh**hole countries in Africa as undesirable.
    – he made a target out of Colin Kaepernick for peacefully protesting four years ago what is more evident to white people today.
    – the White power retreat, coupled with Charlottesville, coupled with numerous other racist remarks.

    Then there is Michael Cohen, who said under oath, “Donald Trump is a racist, he is a con artist and he is a cheat.” Why did Trump’s attorney lead with “racist?”

    Keith

    Liked by 1 person

    • Wow … what a laundry list of evidence. And I’m sure there is more … probably much more that we are not even aware of. Worse yet, it seems that this is a large part of why his base remain faithful to him. Sigh. Some days I feel like I’ve been dropped into an alien world in which I really don’t belong.

      Like

      • Jill, after I finished, I forgot his campaign launch calling Mexicans rapists, etc. The answer to those who question this is, of course, Donald Trump is a racist. Having Michael Cohen’s quote handy will help. Keith

        Like

  4. Reblogged this on CRAIN'S COMMENTS and commented:
    My wife found this and I like it.
    This can sound like an excuse, but it’s not. I don’t think in colors. People come in various shades, and half the time, I can’t identify what group they belong to, and it’s not worth the effort to figure it out. I treat people as I want to be treated — with dignity and caring — unless or until they prove they deserve something different.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. “Givers gain.” We can’t know what we will get in return. We can only be certain of what we do. However, every religion and every code of ethics values giving, not taking, except for the code of Wall Street. Can the value of a life be measured in money? I sure hope we’re more than that.
    By the way, and to some this sounds like an excuse, but it’s not. I don’t think in color. Humans come in an array of shades, and half the time I can’t figure out what group a person belongs to, and frankly, it’s not worth the effort to figure it out. I like a person or not based on their behavior. I trust a person or not based on behavior. I give a person respect until they prove they don’t deserve it, and I hope that proof never happens.

    Liked by 1 person

    • You’re right. Though I’m not religious, I still believe in the value of giving and try to give what I can, even if something as simple as a few minutes of my time, or a listening ear.

      Like you, I don’t think in colour, but prefer to judge a person by his actions, if I must judge at all. I believe that we each have strengths and flaws, and I look for the good in people. If I can’t find any, then I just walk away.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Pingback: Don’t Deny That Trump Is A Racist! | lyncrain

    • Hate to ask this, David but what happens if they don’t treat you the way they want to be treated, but they treat you the way they were mistreated by the last white men they saw? The “Golden Rule” is not really relevent here, is it?

      Liked by 2 people

    • Ahhhh … but even though sometimes they don’t treat you as they would like to be treated … neither do white people always treat one another well. Still, I know you, and you don’t judge people on their skin colour or any other superficial criteria. You are one of the least racist people I know. You’re right … we are all one and if we work together, we can accomplish so much.
      Cwtch

      Liked by 2 people

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s