Say the word: "Racist"

Trump has left us no choice

By D. Watkins

Editor at Large

Published January 12, 2018 1:04PM (EST)

 (AP/Evan Vucci)
(AP/Evan Vucci)

At the end of 2017, a Worcester, Massachusetts, rapper dropped "I’m Not Racist." The Joyner Lucas song was about a black man sitting down with a supporter of President Donald Trump, in an effort to exchange ideas, share perspectives and enhance social relations. It instantly went viral.

Many loved the video, calling it genius — and giving a sense that the rapper took a creative approach to start a much-needed conversation on our race problem in America.

I wasn’t feeling it for a number of reasons. I wasn't interested in listing to a white person address me as "N*gger." Nor was I much interested in the black perspective the video offered. It was weak, poorly researched and reduced our American experience down to two-stepping and BBQ appreciation.

However, Lucas did make one valid point about racist people denying their racism. Racists have no trouble participating in racist actions. And still, they hate being called racist, just as we have seen President Donald Trump deny his racism on Twitter and in the press on numerous occasions.

On the other hand, here are a few quotes from the "the least racist person there is" that suggest he's anything but:

  • "Get that son of the bitch out of here" he said in response to Colin Kapernick’s National Anthem protests.
  • "They are bringing drugs, they are bringing crime, they're rapists and some, I assume, are good people," Trump stated about Mexican immigrants and his desire for a magic wall that would keep them out.
  • "Look at my African American over here. Look at him" he said about a black attendee who luckily survived a Trump rally (probably the only black person there other than Ben Carson).
  • "You have some very bad people in that group. You also had people who were very fine people on both sides," he stated about the riots in Charlottesville, which were triggered by racist Confederate statue defenders who caused the death of an innocent young women.
  • "We are building a wall, he’s Mexican, we are building a wall between here and Mexico," he said about an American-born judge presiding over a lawsuit against Trump tied to his Trump University scheme.
  • "I have a great relationship with the blacks. I've always had a great relationship with the blacks," he said, while noting that it was a "very sad thing" that a high percentage of African-Americans were supporting Barack Obama.

Trump’ latest and greatest racist comments surfaced yesterday. According to The Washington Post, the president had a meeting with some lawmakers about protecting immigrants from Haiti, El Salvador and African countries as part of a bipartisan immigration deal, where he allegedly stated, “Why are we having all these people from sh**hole countries come here?”

“Why do we need more Haitians?” Trump added, according to The Washington Post. “Take them out.”

Of course, Trump denied the claims, tweeting.

Sen. Dick Durbin attended that meeting and has since confirmed that the allegations were true, in a press conference Friday, telling reporters, "In the course of his comments, [Trump] said things that were hate-filled, vile and racist." He added, "I cannot believe in this history of the White House, in that Oval Office, any president has ever spoken the words that I personally heard our president speak yesterday."

He should believe it. There is an overwhelming amount of evidence suggesting that Donald Trump is nothing other than racist; his history of discriminatory renting practices in New York; his ad calling for the execution of the "Central Park 5," young men who ended up being conclusively innocent and who the president still believes to be guilty; statements he denied saying a few weeks ago about all Haitians having AIDS; others about Nigerians living in huts; his thirst for only wanting immigrants from Norway because they are of Norwegian decent (meaning white).

As well, Trump follows 45 people on Twitter, and only one of the accounts, Diamond and Silk belongs to African-Americans. Read their timeline; they are black. However, they aren’t really into black people.

And then there’s the world of sports. You notice how quickly Trump criticized Colin Kapernick and traded jabs with Lavar Ball but had nothing to say about the harsh words he received from Golden State Warriors head coach Steve Kerr who said, "We see what President Trump does with his words, with his actions, and it's difficult to reconcile that and just say we'll put all that aside. . . . He can make fun of handicap people. He can say a lot of nasty things, ugly things, whether it's about women, whomever. There can be a lot of things that happen that are just really difficult to just say, 'All right, we'll put that aside and go visit and shake his hand.' It doesn't feel right."

Greg Popovich, the head coach of the San Antonio Spurs, offered similar words. "This man in the Oval Office is a soulless coward who thinks that he can only become large by belittling others. This has of course been a common practice of his, but to do it in this manner — and to lie about how previous presidents responded to the deaths of soldiers — is as low as it gets."

"We have a pathological liar in the White House," Popovich continued. “Unfit intellectually, emotionally, and psychologically to hold this office, and the whole world knows it, especially those around him every day."

It's easy to think that the difference between Trump's reactions to all these sports figures is race. Popovich and Kerr are white. Ball and Kapernick are black.

At last, we must stop dancing around the obvious and start calling Trump and the right-wing Trump loyalists who stand for this for what they are: racists. This man has been participating in racist actions years before he became a famous public figure and will continue do so, because there are so many Americans who publicly and silently agree with him. Really, why would he change?

Trump is treating America like one of his gaudy apartment complexes. He's redlining America to keep whites in and black people out, running the country like a racist landlord. That is exactly what he is, and all of us should start saying the word: "racist."

By D. Watkins

D. Watkins is an Editor at Large for Salon. He is also a writer on the HBO limited series "We Own This City" and a professor at the University of Baltimore. Watkins is the author of the award-winning, New York Times best-selling memoirs “The Beast Side: Living  (and Dying) While Black in America”, "The Cook Up: A Crack Rock Memoir," "Where Tomorrows Aren't Promised: A Memoir of Survival and Hope" as well as "We Speak For Ourselves: How Woke Culture Prohibits Progress." His new books, "Black Boy Smile: A Memoir in Moments," and "The Wire: A Complete Visual History" are out now.

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Donald Trump News Politics Racism