Racial Views Of Donald Trump
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Donald Trump, former president of the United States, has a history of speech and actions that have been viewed by scholars and the public as racist or white supremacist. Journalists, friends, family, and former employees have accused him of fueling racism in the United States. Trump has repeatedly denied accusations of racism, and some people he has worked with have stated that he is not racist.
In 1973, Trump and his company Trump Management were sued by the Department of Justice for housing discrimination against African-American renters he settled the suit, entering into a consent decree to end the practices without admitting wrongdoing. The Justice Department sued again in 1978, claiming continued racial discrimination in violation of the consent decree, but that settlement agreement expired in 1982, ending the case.
From 2011 to 2016, Trump was a leading proponent of the debunked birther conspiracy theory claiming president Barack Obama was not born in the United States. In a racially-charged criminal case, Trump continued to state, as late as 2019, that a group of black and Hispanic teenagers were guilty of the 1989 rape of a white woman in the Central Park jogger case, despite the five males having been officially exonerated in 2002, based on a confession by an imprisoned serial rapist that was confirmed by DNA evidence.
Mass Shooting In Texas
Following the mass shooting that took place in El Paso, Texas during the first week of August 2019, Trump’s anti-immigrant rhetoric was widely criticized, especially remarks regarding Hispanics and his repeated warnings about an immigrant “invasion”, the same wording used by the El Paso shooter in his anti-immigrant manifesto in which he wrote, “this attack is a response to the Hispanic invasion of Texas.” Representative Veronica Escobar, whose district includes a large part of the city, said “Words have consequences. The president has made my community and my people the enemy. He has told the country that we are people to be feared, people to be hated.” Presidential candidate Beto O’Rourke, who is from El Paso, stated: “Anyone who is surprised is part of this problem right nowâincluding members of the media who ask, ‘Hey Beto, do you think the president is racist?’ Well, Jesus Christ, of course he’s racist. He’s been racist from day one.”
In a speech on August 5 commenting on the recent shootings, Trump condemned racism and white supremacy, stating “These sinister ideologies must be defeated. Hate has no place in America.”
A Brew Of White Supremacy And Self
In short, those 71 million votes arent just a fad. The backbone of Trump support still very much stands. In racial terms, whiteness indeed is the most common denominator.Read on Vox: Election results: White people make up the majority of Trump voters in 2020 So there certainly is truth to the theory that racism, xenophobia and status preservation from that group are fundamental driving forces for voting for Trump.
But there are also other motivators that stem from voters immediate self-interest. From the 1%, to large corporates and publicly traded companies, to small business owners and those afraid of or in the grip of unemployment, Trump managed to either create economic benefits or capitalise on tailwinds of economic improvement, to really cut through.
In a political system that makes few other transformative offerings, economic prosperity is the most immediate benefit
For those who already secured employment, grew their businesses or received tax windfalls, the motivation to maintain these benefits is even more powerful than the motivation in 2016, when they were just promises. Biden and the Democrats can then be successfully cast as a threat to a persons economic fate.
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White Supremacist David Duke
In 1991, when Trump was asked about Duke receiving a majority of white votes in the Louisiana gubernatorial election , Trump reacted: “I hate seeing what it represents, but I guess it just shows there’s a lot of hostility in this country … People are angry about the jobs.”
In 2000, Trump refused the Reform Party’s nomination of him for president, because of other people who had joined the party: “a KlansmanâMr. Duke, a Neo-NaziâMr. Buchanan, and a CommunistâMs. Fulani.” Trump also called Duke “a bigot, a racist, a problem.”
In 2015, as a presidential candidate, Trump was asked about Duke’s “quasi-endorsement” of him, to which Trump replied: “I certainly wouldn’t want his endorsement”. During the same interview, Trump was asked if he would “repudiate” Duke, Trump said: “I would do that, if it made you feel better. I don’t know anything about him.”
On February 25, 2016, Duke said that he did “support” a vote for Trump. On February 26, Trump said that he “didn’t even know” Duke endorsed him: “I disavow, okay?”
The President Refused To Condemn White Supremacist Groups
On Tuesday, the president refused to condemn the violence of far-right and white supremacist groups during Black Lives Matter protests this summer, when moderator Chris Wallace, of Fox News, repeatedly asked him to.
Mr Trump initially tried to avoid the question by asking Mr Wallace for a specific group that he wanted him to condemn, but eventually chose to address the far-right, white supremacist group, the Proud Boys.
He said: Proud Boys, stand back and stand by! But Ill tell you what, somebodys got to do something about antifa and the left.
In reaction to the presidents comments, a key Proud Boys organiser wrote on the free speech social network, Parler: Standing by sir.
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Retreating From Civil Rights
Trump can point to policy initiatives that have benefited Black or other minority groups, including criminal justice reforms that reduced prison sentences for thousands of Black men convicted of nonviolent, drug-related crimes.
About 4,700 inmates have been released or had their sentences reduced under the First Step Act, an attempt to reverse the lopsided legacy of the drug wars of the 1980s and 1990s, which disproportionately targeted African Americans. But this policy was championed primarily by Jared Kushner, Trumps son-in-law, and former officials said that Trump only agreed to support the measure when told it might boost his low poll numbers with Black voters.
Months later, when that failed to materialize, Trump went s—house crazy, one former official said, yelling at aides, Why the hell did I do that?
Manigault Newman was similarly excoriated when her efforts to boost funding for historically Black colleges failed to deliver better polling numbers for the president, officials said. Youve been at this for four months, Omarosa, Trump said, according to one adviser, but the numbers havent budged. Manigault Newman did not respond to a request for comment.
White House officials cited other initiatives aimed at helping people of color, including loan programs targeting minority businesses and the creation of opportunity zones in economically distressed communities.
I dont believe there is systemic racism in police departments, Barr said.
Immigration Threatening White Culture
On Jan. 29, 2017, President Trump tweeted what would become a theme of his rhetoric when discussing immigration and predominantly white countries. He echoed the white nationalist talking point that immigration is ruining or even extinguishing the culture of predominantly white countries. Our country needs strong borders and extreme vetting, NOW. Look what is happening all over Europe and, indeed, the whole world – a horrible mess! Trump tweeted.
In a July 6, 2017 speech in Warsaw, Poland, Trump focused his remarks on the white nationalist theme of western civilization and culture being threatened by Islamic countries and immigration, generally. The fundamental question of our time is whether the West has the will to survive. Do we have the confidence in our values to defend them at any cost? Trump said. Do we have enough respect for our citizens to protect our borders? Do we have the desire and the courage to preserve our civilization in the face of those who would subvert and destroy it?
On June 18, 2018, amid the uproar over family separations discussed below, President Trump tweeted:
The people of Germany are turning against their leadership as migration is rocking the already tenuous Berlin coalition. Crime in Germany is way up. Big mistake made all over Europe in allowing millions of people in who have so strongly and violently changed their culture!
We dont want what is happening with immigration in Europe to happen with us!
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Rolling Back Civil Rights Protections
In January 2021, the Trump administration’s Department of Justice sought approval to end enforcement of the Civil Rights Act in cases of “disparate impact” on minorities. According to Civil rights groups, not being able to use disparate impact analysis would result in less accountability for organizations with policies that result in racially disparate outcomes, such as discipline for students of color, and treatment of residents of color by their city’s police force.
Some Of His Top Advisers And Cabinet Picks Have Histories Of Prejudice
Since winning the election, Trump has picked top advisers and cabinet officials whose careers are checkered by accusations of racially biased behavior.
Steve Bannon, Trumps chief strategist and senior counselor, was executive chairman of Breitbart, a news site that Bannon dubbed the home of the alt-right a euphemism that describes a loose coalition of white supremacists and aligned groups. Under Bannons leadership, Breitbart increased its accommodation of openly racist and anti-Semitic writing, capitalizing on the rise of white nationalism prompted by Trumps campaign.
Retired General Mike Flynn, who Trump chose as his national security adviser, has drawn scrutiny for anti-Muslim comments he has made over the years. In February, Flynn tweeted that fear of Muslims is rational. Over the summer, he said that there is a diseased component inside the Islamic world that is like a cancer. Flynn has defended Trumps past proposal of banning Muslim immigration and suggested he would be open to reviving torture techniques like waterboarding.
In addition, Trump has nominated Sen. Jeff Sessions to be attorney general of the United States. The Senate refused to confirm Sessions as a federal judge in 1986 amid accusations that hed made , including that the only reason he hadnt joined the Ku Klux Klan was because members of the extremist group smoked marijuana. Civil rights groups condemned Trumps nomination of Sessions, while leading white nationalists celebrated it.
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The Rise Of Dog Whistles
In the 1960s, the rise of new, anti-racist norms due to the Civil Rights movement meant that the overt use of white racial resentment as a political strategy was no longer acceptable. Of course, this didnt mean that racism disappeared from American politics. Rather, it began to be used implicitly in the form of dog whistles.
For example, rather than explicitly state his opposition to federally mandated racial integration, 1964 presidential candidate Barry Goldwater a conservative Arizona senator used the idea of states rights.
Similarly, Ronald Reagan curried support from white voters by invoking the image of the welfare queen, which played upon white antipathy to Black Americans.
As part of the rise of this kind of dog-whistle racism, direct references to white people largely disappeared from political campaigns. Instead, politicians like Richard Nixon famously referred to the silent majority.
He Trashed Native Americans Too
In 1993, when Trump wanted to open a casino in Bridgeport, Connecticut, that would compete with one owned by the Mashantucket Pequot Nation, a local Native American tribe, he told the House subcommittee on Native American Affairs that they dont look like Indians to me… They dont look like Indians to Indians.
Trump then elaborated on those remarks, which were unearthed last year in the Hartford Courant, by saying the mafia had infiltrated Indian casinos.
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When The Looting Starts The Shooting Starts
In May 2020, Trump was accused of racism for tweeting “when the looting starts, the shooting starts” and stating of the looters “these thugs are dishonoring the memory of George Floyd” in response to a third night of arson and rioting in Minneapolis, during which the Minneapolis Third Precinct police station was set on fire by rioters, over the police killing of the unarmed black man. The phrase had been used previously in 1967 by a Miami police chief, Walter E. Headley, that was widely condemned by civil rights groups and repeated in 1968 during the presidential campaign of segregationist George Wallace.
As protests continued, Washington, D.C. mayor Muriel Bowser criticised Trump for stating that protesters who climbed over the White House fence would be met by “the most vicious dogs and ominous of weapons”, saying it was “no subtle reminder to African-Americans of segregationists that let dogs out on women, children and innocent people in the South”.
Rational Trump Voter : High Earners
According to the Tax Policy Center, those who are in the top 20% of the income bracket benefitted from a 3% gain in income under the Trump administration. The average high-income household enjoyed a windfall of about $10,000.
The 2017 law was also full of loopholes that allowed high earners and the wealthy to keep more of their income. One particular deduction reduced the top tax rate on income from business for high-income earners by 10%. The deduction also included income from real estate for real estate owners. The top 1% of earners benefitted from these sorts of loopholes the most, gaining two-thirds of the windfall.
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Racial Accusations On Twitter And In Debates
Prior to and during the 2016 campaign, Trump used his political platform to spread disparaging messages against various racial groups. Trump claimed, “the overwhelming amount of violent crime in our cities is committed by blacks and Hispanics,” that “there’s killings on an hourly basis virtually in places like Baltimore and Chicago and many other places,” that “There are places in America that are among the most dangerous in the world. You go to places like Oakland. Or Ferguson. The crime numbers are worse. Seriously,” and retweeted a false claim that 81% of white murder victims were killed by black people .
During the campaign Trump was found to have retweeted the main influencers of the #WhiteGenocide movement over 75 times, including twice that he retweeted a user with the handle @WhiteGenocideTM. Trump also falsely claimed that, “African American communities are absolutely in the worst shape they’ve ever been in before. Ever, ever, ever,” that “You go into the inner cities and you see it’s 45 percent poverty, African Americans now 45 percent poverty in the inner cities,” and that “African Americans and Hispanics are living in hell. You walk down the street and you get shot.”
He Launched A Travel Ban Targeting Muslims
In an executive order since blocked by the courts, Trump restricted Syrian refugees and travel by immigrants from seven Muslim-majority countries.
While White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer later insisted that it was not a Muslim ban, Trump said the day he signed it that he would prioritize helping Syrian Christians and made an exception for admitting refugees who are religious minorities in those countries.
Trump has characterized people from that region of the world as being terror-prone, despite there having been zero fatal terrorist attacks on U.S. soil since 1975 by immigrants from the seven targeted countries: Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen.
A blanket ban on travel from those countries and anti-Muslim bigotry in general is essentially an extension of the fear and vilification of not only Muslims but everyone perceived to be Muslim thats been taking place for centuries, Khaled Beydoun, a law professor at the University of Detroit who also works with the Islamophobia Research and Documentation Project at the University of California, Berkeley, explained to Vox.
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He Attacked Muslim Gold Star Parents
Trumps retaliation against the parents of a Muslim U.S. Army officer who died while serving in the Iraq War was a clear low point in a campaign full of hateful rhetoric.
Khizr Khan, the father of the late Army Captain Humayun Khan, spoke out against Trumps bigoted rhetoric and disregard for civil liberties at the Democratic National Convention on July 28. It quickly became the most memorable moment of the convention.
Let me ask you, have you even read the U.S. Constitution? Khan asked Trump before pulling a copy of the document from his jacket pocket and holding it up. I will gladly lend you my copy, he declared.
Khans wife Ghazala Khan, who wears a Muslim head scarf, stood at his side during the speech but did not speak.
In response to the devastating speech, Trump seized on Ghazala Khans silence to insinuate that she was forbidden from speaking due to the couples Islamic faith.
If you look at his wife, she was standing there. She had nothing to say. She probably, maybe she wasnt allowed to have anything to say. You tell me, Trump said in an interview with ABC News that first appeared on July 30.
Ghazala Khan explained in an op-ed in the Washington Post the following day that she could not speak because of grief over her son.
Walking onto the convention stage, with a huge picture of my son behind me, I could hardly control myself. What mother could? she wrote. Donald Trump has children whom he loves. Does he really need to wonder why I did not speak?