Trump In my opinion – as well as others – meets the classic definition of racist. To be clear, I’m not going to redefine what we should already know.
So when I read and watch his backers, supporters, flunkies, come out and dance like the well-trained jackanapes they are, it’s laughable, except for one reason, the hurt and pain Trump and his lackeys are inflicting. Along with their overall ignorance of the evil and sadistic impact, racism had – and still does – on the history of this country.
W. E.B DuBois provided us with a road map of what would follow with the freeing of over four million people held in bondage with virtually few skills to traverse the world of freedom they now had. His words, “the problem of the twentieth century is the problem of the color-line,—the relation of the darker to the lighter races of men in Asia and Africa, in America and the islands of the sea,” come to mind when I see someone like Stephen Miller make feeble attempts to justify his boss latest racist diatribes. So the prostrations from Miller Kellyanne Conway, Mike Pence, et al. claiming Trump is not a racist are like a single hand clapping in the wind.
Division and divisiveness are the devil’s favorite tools it appears, Trump’s as well. It’s a well-known fact he enjoyed using them in his business, would often hire people for the same job and pit them against each to see who would come out on top. To pull out another old saying, a leopard can’t change its spots, so, why would Trump? The fact he sits behind the Resolute Desk magnifies his bigotry and racism.
DuBois pen the words about the color line 116 years ago and is an immutable fact, the color- continues to be a problem in the 21st century.
Trump’s lackey’s claiming he’s not a racist are insulting. Just as those, attempts offered up Elaine Chao as an example of his supposed non-racist bent. As well as Ben Carson’s comment, Trump is not a racist because he claims not to have seen anything that resembles racism, laughable at best, total sycophancy at its worse, reminiscent of Samuel L. Jackson’s character Stephen in Tarantino’s Django Unchained.
When people start saying ‘he can’t be racist because he has (your minority of chose goes here) in his cabinet,’ I’m looking for something to Hulk smash. First, it’s one of the most ignorant things one can say, second, it’s insulting to the individual they are using in an attempt to prove Trump is not a racist. Third, no matter how one looks at it or attempts to deal with it, the color-line is an inescapable problem and the foundation of this country’s racism.
I wonder if King was thinking of DuBois when he penned his oft-quoted line around the content of their character and not the color of their skin.
When King made that statement in his, I Have a Dream speech, simple logic; informs us, he envisioned a world where African-Americans of all would contribute to society make their way and not considered a burden. For King and others, education would provide the catalyst in fostering that change. The very concept that children of color competitively competing would lead to the development of character, making one’s skin color a non-factor if it was only so.
For Donald Trump, skin pigmentation comes first. Trump’s racism prevents him from seeing past melanin. It didn’t stop him from trying to get Randall Pinkett, who by the way is both a Rhodes and Walter Byers Scholar and has five academic degrees, three of them from MIT (electrical engineering, computer science, along with MBA from the Sloan School of Management and a Ph.D. from MIT Media Laboratory) to share his rightful win with a white female.
Trump continued: “You two were so good, I have to ask your opinion. What do you think of Rebecca? If you were me, would you hire Rebecca also?” I thought, Is he serious? Apparently he was, and I was insulted and angered. No previous winner had ever been asked that question before.
After Trump declared Pinkett, the winner, he wanted him to agree to share the spotlight with a twenty-three-year-old white female, for one reason only, his bigotry and racism wouldn’t allow him to fully recognize that Randall Pinkett, was far more qualified than Rebecca Jarvis.
In Trump’s world, the accomplishments of black people are not in the classroom, boardroom, or in owning their businesses. He believes as DuBois wrote, “an educated Negro to be a dangerous Negro.” No doubt his reason for questioning President Obama’s citizenship and education as he became the titular head of the birther movement. There is no question in my mind that Trump is a racist right down the very bones he uses to deny the ugly truth about his white supremacy beliefs. To Trump, the only accomplished individuals of color are not those with an education that surpasses his, but, those in the entertainment arena.
For those individuals engaged in a debate whether Trump is a white supremacist I leave with the following words of James Baldwin;
“Yet they spent hours debating whether or not McCarthy was an enemy of domestic liberties. I couldn’t but wonder what conceivable further proof they were awaiting; I thought of the German Jews sitting around debating whether or not Hitler was a threat to their lives until the debate was summarily resolved for them by a knocking at the door.” – No Name In The Street, by, James Baldwin
twilson117, thanks so much for a thought-provoking and fascinating article. It’s such a pleasure to welcome you to the Planet.
Trump was so utterly brazen and crude when he made that “elevator descent” speech announcing his candidacy, that I (foolishly) thought that he must simply be an idiot who was cynically using dog-whistle language to promote his brand. It was hard to believe any adult could actually be that bigoted in this era. I naively thought he had almost no chance at that point of ever becoming the GOP nominee. How i underestimated the depths of the racism that still hung on in 21st century America, even after Barack Obama’s two terms! What an eye-opening last few years it has been. Not that I ever expected him to be a functional president… But he’s turned out to be so much worse than many could have anticipated. To state the obvious: he has absolutely zero respect for anyone who is not a white, male, wealthy person of northern European ancestry — and probably for relatively few of them when it comes down to it, since as a narcissist, he only genuinely admires one person — himself.
At the moment, the only small consolation I have is that time and demographics are working against him and his ilk. My son-in-law is Hispanic. My daughter-in-law is Chinese. And just about two weeks ago, I became the proud aunt of the first Black boy to be born in our family. Our family is looking more and more like what America really is. We don’t need or want people like Trump setting the tone for our future. Racism needs to go the way of the swastika and the Confederate flag. Banished, period.
Spot on — and very well said, sir!
I think we’ve learned early on that the Trump lackeys who come out to defend him no matter how heinous his words or actions are as devoid of honesty and principles as their cult leader.
Trump is clearly racist and at the same time, he pushes his racism more aggressively because he recognizes the political power it gives him. Like a political version of drug addiction, he is an addict to racism and needs to keep chasing that high.
It is not a new proposition but I think it would do the 60% of Americans who aren’t actively supporting racism (tolerance of racism, even with lame excuses of, “I support Trump because I like many of his economic policies but oppose his racial statements”, is still racism) to confront and absorb the reality that at least 40% or so of this country is racist to one degree or another.
It’s a bigger swath of the nation that’s infected with racism than we would have imagined a decade ago but the numbers don’t lie.
I’m a California native and while racism is everywhere including in CA, as the Obama Era was approaching, I naively believed we had really evolved as a nation away from the ugliest and most intense racism of the past. CA’s major cities have been so diverse and accustomed to it that it can be deceiving about the true state of the country and racism’s reach.
I spent a lot of time in Louisiana at that period of time and it was a bit of a shock to see such institutionalized and open racism there. A colleague of mine who worked as a political consultant, a white woman, confided in me that she had to sneak around and hide her relationship with her black boyfriend who was also in local politics, or her career would be destroyed, she would never be able to continue lobbying state legislators, which included many racists, if they found out.
I felt like I was stepping back into the past before realizing that this was just the real world that my surroundings in Los Angeles didn’t reflect. We can discover that we’re living in bubbles even if that’s the last thing we want to do.
So I don’t have any hesitation accepting the self-evident truth that around 40% of the nation don’t believe all men (and women) are created equal.
This is why I strongly oppose this misguided meme by establishment/moderate Dems that the thrust of the 2020 campaign should be trying to convert Trump voters into Dem voters.
Racism can’t be “convinced” out of racist people with campaign speeches and ads. It is far more advantageous to rally more principled voters in that 60% to come out to support the Dems and oppose Trump and the GOP.
Here we are, 243 years after declaring the independence of our country (despite instituting slavery into our Constitution), 154 years after the end of the Civil War and some think that in a matter of months we can just talk millions of Americans out of being racist and supporting racists? It is naive and self-defeating.
I think there is a bit of elitism and a shade of racism in that perspective anyway, the idea that what Dems need to value more and see as their only path to victory, gaining the approval of white people who have been supporting an open racist. We actually don’t need them and haven’t won them in recent times anyway. They are the real minority in this country, a strong turnout of the majority of Americans who are equality-minded will be more than enough to defeat Trump and the GOP.
I am all for education, reaching out and campaigning to reduce racism but we live in the present and are nearing an existential election. I think it’s important to understand the difference between people who have used reason to arrive at a political opinion and those driven to opinions by exacerbated fears and mindless hatred.
Simply put, I think that it’s politically constructive to recognize that the racist-supporting Trump voters are plain and simple, our adversaries. They do not support equality, respect or morality. Thinking that we should devote our resources to trying to instill these concepts into such people is an oblivious and losing strategy.
I think we need to stay focused on the goal of taking away power from those aligned with racism by energizing and activating the majority of American voters who oppose racism. First things first, we need to take back power out of their hands THEN we can use that power to try and educate and enlighten people so absorbed by hatefulness as we make strides to repair the damage the racist in the WH has wrought on the nation.
Please name the major Dems you accuse of wanting to base our electoral efforts only on attracting White racist diehard Trump supporters. If any did that I assume our non-White voters are smart and aware enough to not support such a candidate. So by the numbers you can’t be talking about Biden but might be talking about Warren, Sanders and Mayor Pete. And if you were seriously concerned with this issue you wouldn’t be putting near lily White little Iowa as the bell weather but the first actual popular election primary in S.C. as way more representative of where the Dem Party should be in terms of its major base of non-White voters who have the most personal concern about racism. Forgive me if I think you may not be the best to determine for non-White voters what is and what is not a racist approach or who is and who is not a racist catering to racists.
AdLib, really appreciate you taking the time to respond to my post. You raised several points in your response. I wish to address them all, but I feel you summed them up with your reference to the institutionalization of racism.
Your statement brought to mind several passages I often find myself thinking about, the one I used in the article DuBois statement that the color line would be the problem for the 20th century. I guess or hoped it would at some point be resolved. Yet here we are in 2019 still dealing with it.
The next also from DuBois and his point on how three convening factors would have to come together for the country to effectively deal with slavery and the ooze racism it generated. He put these forth in his thoughts on how it got started and what it would take to end it. I would refer you to his work entitled The Suppression of the African Slave Trade, chapter 12 where he lays out three things that need to address to resolve this, moral, political, and economic movement.
My final quote from DuBois has to do with education and how white felt about an educated Negro:
The opposition to Negro education in the South was at first bitter, and showed itself in ashes, insult, and blood; for the South believed an educated Negro to be a dangerous Negro. And the South was not wholly wrong; for education among all kinds of men always has had, and always will have, an element of danger and revolution, of dissatisfaction and discontent.
To the above quote I add this from Fredrick Douglass, the person that Trump thinks is still alive.
“Nothing appeared to make my poor mistress – after her turning toward the downward path – more angry, than seeing me, seated in some nook or corner, quietly reading a book or a newspaper. I have her rush at me, with the utmost fury, and snatch from my hand such newspaper or book, with something of the wrath and consternation which a traitor might be supposed to feel on being discovered in a plot by some dangerous spy.”
“Mrs. Auld was an apt woman, and the advice of her husband, and her own experience, soon demonstrated, to her entire satisfaction, that education and slavery are incompatible with each other. When this conviction was thoroughly established, I was most narrowly watched in all my movements. If I remained in a separate room from the family for any considerable length of time, I was sure to be suspected of having a book, and was at once called upon to give an account of myself.”
I have one last quote this on also from Douglass he had mastered the trade of ship caulking and was hired by a Rodney French and sent to work on one of his ships, here is accounting;
“[B]ut upon reaching the float-stage, where other calkers were at work, I was told that every white man would leave the ship in her unfinished condition if I struck a blow at my trade upon her. This uncivil, inhuman and selfish treatment was not so shocking and scandalous in my eyes at the as it now appears to me. Slavery hand inured me to hardships that made ordinary trouble sit lightly upon me. Could I have worked at my trade, I could have earned two dollars a day, but as a common laborer, I received but one dollar. ”
For me both DuBois and Douglass provided a framework of sorts. DuBois pointed out for slavery to end three things needed to happen a moral, political and economic movement was required, the need to get past the color line, along with education of those once enslaved.
Douglass, helps us understand that for whites of his time, knowledge and having a skill was not something white people were comfortable with especially in the hands of those once enslaved and seen a beneath them. What we call today, Institutional Racism.
Hamilton warned us: “History teaches us that of the men who have overturned the liberties of republics, most began their career by proclaiming their devotion to the people. They gain position by arousing people’s prejudices and end as tyrants.”
Yes, and the first part of your quote also applies; “And dangerous ambition more often lurks behind the specious mask of zeal for the rights of people than under the zeal fore a firm and efficient government.” – Federalist One.
Trump clearly puts his ambition above that of having an efficient government.
Appreciate your comment and taking the time to read my post.
No problem. I’ve long been fascinated with how people justify their prejudices. We all have them to a certain extent, some of which aren’t about race but are about other things, but I think the most damaging prejudice is against people of color. It’s doubly aggravating when science clearly indicates from vast amounts of research that we are almost entirely the same DNA, every human being on the planet, which makes us all at the very least 50th cousins.
So, okay, forget science, and look at what the holy books of all the world’s religions say. They have different creation myths, but they all basically start with one couple, right? Again, we’re all at the very least 50th cousins—family! That started in Africa, btw.
You probably know this already, but propaganda against Africans began in Portugal around 500 years ago in order to justify enslaving them to work on plantations in the Americas since landowners didn’t have enough labor to produce cotton, sugar, and other crops. Before that, Europeans didn’t regard black Africans as anything other than different from them, not inferior to them. It was that noxious propaganda that said Africans were stupid, immoral, lazy, criminals, etc., everything negative, and somehow these lies have continued to take root among a lot of European descendants still. Go figure. If people would just open their eyes, they would see the accomplishments of African-Americans that disprove these negative attributes, including one president for God’s sake, and understand that all this hatred is unfounded. Well, perhaps the disastrous results of the racism we see in this maladministration will wake some people up. We can only hope.
I am familiar with the references you have provided. Continuing to hate because of skin color is a self-defeating exercise. You would think people would come to realize – as you put it – we are of all one race the human race.
The fallacy of racial classification is just that a fallacy. No much how one attempts to promote racial or gene superiority, it doesn’t hold up scientifically. Here is a link to an interesting article I’m reading over on Medium https://medium.com/@NoahCarl/are-racial-classifications-arbitrary-ac53cb43de90.
As I wrote in my article, DuBois points out that the color line would be a problem in the 20th century. Most cite the first part of the sentence, but one needs to pay attention to the entire sentence, “The problem of the twentieth century is the problem of the color line, the relation o the darker to the lighter races of men in Asia and Africa, in America and the islands of the sea.” This part of the sentence is most critical as it is an indicator color would be a problem beyond the 20th century.
Here we are in the 21st century and still dealing with DuBois prophetic statement. I would ask, take a moment and sit and ponder his words, while you are doing that also ask, ‘what has the country color line problem – racism, racist behavior, bigotry, cost us as a nation in overall GDP?’
As a bit of assistance with that here is what the late economist Andrew Brimmer found:
“[I]n 1993 that disparate treatment of blacks cost the US Economy 241 billion 3.8 percent of gross domestic product a cost that has grown over time.”
That was 24 years ago. One can only imagine what the number would be today, or better, but for discrimination, how much robust the economy would have been if as a country, we collectively have put our bigotry and racial hatred aside.
Again thank you for reading the post. As I said, I’m working on a follow-on along with my thoughts on Stephen Miller, who in my opinion, is Trump’s czar and propagator of the current uptick in racial hatred.
Thank you! I’ll check out your link and look forward to more from you, although as a half-Jewish person, I have a hard time dealing with Stephen Miller. Ugh.
And as a 99% Ancestry determined Ashkenazi Jew with 100% Jewish upbringing, I puke every time I see him. He looks like a young Eichmann to me. He is a Kapo with no reason to be one.
I don’t get him. I always wonder what his parents must think. Do they talk to him? Yell at him? Cry when they see him? What? Strange.
No idea but I knew Jewish kids like him when growing up in New York. They generally were Incel nerds who went ultra-Right contrarians. Something like Roy Cohn and Ron Unz.
As the numbers guy over at Yabberz I made an estimate of just that. At the least, racist discrimination today was costing our economy at least a trillion a year, about 5% of GDP. But with multipliers and indirect losses it would be more like two trillion a year or almost 10% of GDP.
Just getting to this. Your findings are indeed interesting. I would be very interested in your process on how you got to those numbers. I always believed there was a way, but, just didn’t know how to go about it.
About the best initial estimate is to just look at the individual personal income differential between Blacks and Whites. Then calculate what the US GDP would be if Blacks had the same personal income on average as Whites. Just that one calculation would show an increase in GDP of almost a trillion a year.