I dislike the character assassinations that are inherent in partisan politics. It seems like people become so entrenched on their “sides” that the politicians serving the other side can do no right. It’s easy to demonize the people in the opposing party. . . to assume ill intent, or to dig for flaws in an effort to discount someone who doesn’t share our own views.
However, there does come a time when a politician’s behavior is so objectively bad that it’s no longer about ideology difference . . . it’s about character. When you strip away the differences over political framework, if there are still glaring red flags about their personhood and integrity, this should be a red flag regardless of your political views.
With that in mind, I think it’s time for people on both sides to take a serious look at Donald Trump’s racism.
This isn’t about his political views, and I’d like to set that aside for the moment. This is about his consistent display of stereotyped and negative views of minorities.
Trump’s racism reached a fever-pitch with a factually incorrect tweet earlier this week, citing completely fabricated statistics around crime and race. The subtext? Black people are murderous thugs, and violence from police against black people is not a thing.
The problem is that these numbers are totally made up. And yet he posted them, was called out for the inaccuracies, and never corrected it. And so these “facts” are circulated by his supporters, and false narratives around black crime are perpetuated.
The fact-checking website Politifact just released the most recent date from the FBI, and compared it to the table that Trump posted.
As Politifact points out, Trump cast blacks as the primary killers of whites, but the exact opposite is true. By overwhelming percentages, whites tend to kill other whites. Similarly, blacks tend to kill other blacks. These correlations have been consistent for decades.
This isn’t his first time to lie about the behavior of minorities: Arabs were cheering as the buildings came down on 9/11, which is untrue and a blatant attempt to fan the flames of suspicion towards Arab people.
Allegations of racism towards Donald Trump are nothing new. In 1973, the Department of Justice sued him for housing discrimination for refusing to rent to black tenants. In 1988, Trump gave a commencement address in which he made racist comments about the Japanese. In 2004, he fired a black contestant on his television show The Apprentice for being "overeducated." In 2011, he was leading the charge in creating suspicion around Barack Obama's birth certificate.
During his speech announcing his bid for presidency, Trump said the following about Mexicans:
"They're bringing drugs. They're bringing crime. They are rapists. And some, I assume, are good people."
He has taken jabs against Jeb Bush for having a Mexican-born wife. He kicked professional journalist and American citizen Jorge Ramos out of a press conference, telling him to go back to Univision. In a tweet in 2013, he said that the overwhelming amount of violent crime in our major cities is committed by blacks and Hispanics.
Earlier this month, Trump suggested the country consider a Muslim registry. He has also been vocal about the idea of closing down mosques.
During a recent rally, a Black Lives Matter activist was beaten up, and Trump supported these actions, indicating the man got what he deserved.
Donald Trump has revealed that he holds negative views against minorities, but he has also demonstrated that he’s not afraid to lie in order to confirm his prejudice. Lying about black crime statistics, lying about the behavior of Muslims at 9/11 . . . this is abhorrent and wrong. It is the opposite of presidential behavior, and this behavior will be a major liability for our country should he ever be at the helm. This is terrible for foreign relations, terrible for homeland security, and terrible for race relations in our own country. Trump likes to stir the pot, and something who enjoys doing this combined with prejudice beliefs and a willingness to present false narratives is not someone who should be leading in any capacity.
I’m scared that Trump has so many supporters. I’m scared that so many people are being persuaded by his ideas around race. And that has nothing to do with politics.
It’s time for everyone to speak up. Republicans with a conscience around race, please get loud. Our country needs your voice on this.