How much more evidence do people need in order to come to grips with the staggering reality that the President of the United States is a white supremacist? That he is a man who believes the most worthy Americans are white? That actions must be taken by his administration to affirm the paramountcy of the country’s white patriarchy?
His sycophantic Republicans, the great majority of whom gather on his coattails like cockroaches, refute this. They say no, Donald Trump is not anti-black, not anti-Muslim, not anti-Hispanic, not anti-immigrant. But as he has shown yet again with still more racial demagoguery – this time his outburst telling a group of congresswomen who are visible minorities that they should return to their own countries – his record bristlingly defies such claims.
He leaves no doubt as to whom he considers good Americans – and those he thinks the country can do without. It’s as backward a mentality as can be imagined for an America coursing demographically toward having a non-white majority.
There are his words in the wake of the Charlottesville confrontation; there’s his birtherism campaign against Barack Obama; his stoking fears of Mexican “rapists” crossing the border; his call for a travel ban on people from Muslim-majority countries; his complaint that African visitors would never “go back to their huts”; his plea that instead of immigrants from Haiti (“all have AIDS”) and African countries, there should be more Norwegians.
The latest Twitter provocation, which came Sunday, is one of the most appalling. It isn’t the last straw with this President. It never is with Mr. Trump. It likely won’t hurt him with his antediluvian base. But if he had any delusions of broadening his appeal to moderates, many of whom he needs to win the election, this will sting. It increases the degree of revulsion toward him and intensifies the desire of opponents to crush him.
It further aggravates divisions in an already bitterly divided country. It also sends a stark message to the international community that this President’s bigotry is inalterable.
On Monday, despite waves of criticism (which included Prime Minister Justin Trudeau saying, “That’s not how we do things in Canada”), the President doubled down against the Democratic lawmakers who had been damning of his immigration policies. The previous day he had tweeted, “You can’t leave fast enough.” Now he demanded that they apologize to the U.S., accusing them of trying to turn the tables of “racist hatred.” He also announced new measures to restrict asylum in his country.
There’s a school of thought that says Mr. Trump is just playing the racial card for political purposes, that he is so crass that he is purposely stoking racism in the country to achieve electoral victory. After all, he won in 2016 by playing heavily to prejudices on the right and to less-educated Americans.
He can read polls. While the mainstream media are repulsed by his offerings, including his race-baiting, his numbers have been improving of late.
But his history shows that there is more than politics driving his race-baiting. The evidence of his prejudices dates back well before he entered politics. In the 1970s, he and his father’s real estate company were accused in a Justice Department lawsuit of discrimination against black people looking to rent apartments.
Jack O’Donnell, a former president of his hotel and casino enterprises in Atlantic City, says Mr. Trump did not want black men managing his money. He told The New York Times on Sunday that Mr. Trump has always been racist and that anyone who denies it is lying. “Donald Trump makes racist comments all the time. Once you know him, he speaks his mind about race very openly.”
There’s a combination of factors at work in the Trump playbook. His political motivations, his lifelong modus operandi of hitting back harder at critics, his narcissism, which demands that he make outrageous declarations so as to totally dominate the news cycle. These and, as per minorities, his real beliefs.
His attack on the Democratic congresswomen came as officials prepared to conduct raids in cities around the country to round up individuals who had received deportation orders. It came shortly after playing host to and saluting right-wing media supporters at the White House.
The temperature rises. As his presidency progresses, Mr. Trump is hardening his approach to minorities. His America First policies mean white Americans first. It isn’t about pleasing his political advisers. It’s about who he is.
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