President Donald Trump has antiquated views on race and nationalities that are unquestionably bigoted, according to dozens of people who shared their experience with him.
The Atlantic interviewed numerous individuals who’ve interacted with Trump, and they all agree he’s essentially racist.
“America’s always trying to find this gotcha moment that shows Donald Trump is racist — you know, let’s find this one big thing,” said Kwame Jackson, the runner-up in the first season of NBC’s “The Apprentice.” “Let’s look for that one time when he burned a cross in someone’s yard so we can now finally say it. People refuse to see the bread crumbs that are already in front of you, leading you to grandma’s house.”
Timothy O’Brien, author of the biography Trump Nation, said the president’s racism is obvious, but journalistic norms resist such labels.
“This is the same debate we have about whether or not he’s a liar,” O’Brien said. “And I get the journalistic need to be really clear about how we use terms. You know, lying implies volition and knowledge. But I’m very comfortable saying I think he’s got a pathology around lying. And when it comes to race, I don’t think it’s merely using racial animosities or race-baiting as tools to promote his business. I think it’s a deep-seated reflection of what he thinks about how the world works.”
O’Brien explained that Trump believes that genetics determine personal value, and he firmly believes in racially bigoted stereotypes.
“He trusts his gut on issues surrounding race, because he’s got a simplistic, deterministic, and racist perspective on who people are,” O’Brien said. “I think at his core he has a genetic understanding of what makes people good and bad or successful. And you see it all the time — he talks about people having good genes. He looks at the world that way. He’s got a very Aryan view of people and race.”
Barbara Res, who worked as a senior executive in the Trump Organization for years, agrees the president sorts people into bigoted categories based on their race, religion or nationality.
“Trump talked about how he didn’t want black people handling his money, he wanted the guys with the yarmulkes,” Res said. “He was very much the kind of person who would take people of a religion, like Jews, or a race, like blacks, or a nationality, like Italians, and ascribe to them certain qualities. Blacks were lazy, and Jews were good with money, and Italians were good with their hands — and Germans were clean."