Donald Trump Is a Racist

[Content Note: White supremacy; nativism.]

Of course Donald Trump is a racist. He has an explicitly white supremacist, nativist agenda. His moniker for that agenda, "America First," is anti-Semitic. He surrounds himself with racists. He has lived a life full of demonstrable racism, a public record of which begins with a campaign of housing discrimination in the 1970s. He announced his candidacy with a speech that was openly racist. He doesn't even bother using dogwhistles.

That Trump is racist is a fact as obvious and certain as the existence of the sun.

And yet.

Yesterday, after it was reported that, during a White House meeting with lawmakers about "protecting immigrants from Haiti, El Salvador, and African countries as part of a bipartisan immigration deal," Trump asked "Why are we having all these people from shithole countries come here?" and then suggested that the U.S. should instead get more immigrants from countries like Norway, the political press is behaving as though he suddenly and unexpectedly crossed a line.

The most egregious offender is the New York Times, for which David Leonhardt penned a column headlined: "Time to Say It: Trump Is a Racist." The column itself documents Trump's history of racism, but the headline (almost certainly written by someone other than Leonhardt) is awful — because it is long past time to say it. The headline, however, is also accurate — because the political press has been appallingly reluctant to say it.

And a reluctance to say it would be one thing. But those of us who have been saying it, loudly and unapologetically, for years were silenced — or, worse, demeaned as hysterics — often by members of the same political press now declaring that Trump has crossed a line.

I'm old enough to remember when Hillary Clinton gave an entire speech about Trump's white nationalism, and the political press barely cared.

This isn't about credit. This is about the fact that people have been saying Trump is a racist, and if the political press had listened to us, instead of treating us like fringey crackpots while fetishing white Trump voters and misrepresenting their own bigotry as "economic anxiety," maybe we wouldn't be in a situation where the President of the United States is a malicious, reprehensible racist in the first place.

And that's important. Because the President of the United States being a white supremacist, nativist dirtbag has consequences. And they are rather more serious than the cringing embarrassment the cishet, American-born white men who run most newsrooms feel when the president refers to countries populated with brown people as "shitholes." They are consequences like getting kicked the fuck out of the country you call home.

Anyway. I liked Don Lemon's take. Not coincidentally, I might add. This is how he opened his show last night.

This is CNN Tonight. I'm Don Lemon. The President of the United States is racist. [pause] A lot of us already knew that. [pause]

Today, President Trump, talking with lawmakers in the Oval Office about immigrants from Haiti, from El Salvador and Africa, said, and I quote, "Why are we having all these people from shithole countries come here?" But you know who he did say he would welcome here? He said the U.S. should bring in more people from countries like Norway.

And CNN is told that he went on to say, "Why do we need more Haitians? Take them out." [pause]

Those comments are frankly disgusting. There's other language I'd like to use, but we are on television. But you know what? They're not shocking. Not even really surprising. Because this is who Donald Trump is. This is what he thinks.

Shakesville is run as a safe space. First-time commenters: Please read Shakesville's Commenting Policy and Feminism 101 Section before commenting. We also do lots of in-thread moderation, so we ask that everyone read the entirety of any thread before commenting, to ensure compliance with any in-thread moderation. Thank you.

blog comments powered by Disqus