POLITICAL REPORT 07/29/2019 12:14 am CST
B.A.W.N (WASHINGTON D.C.) — It is no secret that many Americans are certain President Donald Trump has routinely struggled with his own racist past. Even as of today President Trump targeted the head of the House Oversight committee for further criticism on Sunday, after a day earlier accusing Rep. Elijah Cummings of doing a “very poor job for his district and the City of Baltimore” and describing the district as a “disgusting, rat and rodent infested mess.”
The president’s weekend tweets followed a segment on “Fox & Friends” Saturday that showed the lawmaker criticizing conditions at the southern border during a recent congressional hearing. The segment then featured Republican commentator Kimberly Klacik describing a section of West Baltimore, which is part of Mr. Cummings’s district, as dangerous and filled with trash and rodents. “No human being would want to live there,” the president tweeted afterward.
Even as of today most Americans have grown use to the incredibly negative disposition of this President, but nevertheless most are still surprised by the level of displacement and immortality from someone who holds the esteem office of the President of the United States.
Here’s a breakdown of Trump’s history, taken largely from Dara Lind’s list for Vox and an op-ed by Nicholas Kristof in the New York Times:
The Long Term Racist History:
1973: The US Department of Justice — under the Nixon administration, out of all administrations — sued the Trump Management Corporation for violating the Fair Housing Act. Federal officials found evidence that Trump had refused to rent to black tenants and lied to black applicants about whether apartments were available, among other accusations. Trump said the federal government was trying to get him to rent to welfare recipients. In the aftermath, he signed an agreement in 1975 agreeing not to discriminate to renters of color without admitting to discriminating before.
1980: Kip Brown, a former employee at Trump’s Castle, (above) accused another one of Trump’s businesses of discrimination. “When Donald and Ivana came to the casino, the bosses would order all the black people off the floor,” Brown said. “It was the eighties, I was a teenager, but I remember it: They put us all in the back.”
1988: In a commencement speech at Lehigh University, Trump spent much of his speech accusing countries like Japan of “stripping the United States of economic dignity.” This matches much of his current rhetoric on China.
1989: In a controversial case that’s been characterized as a modern-day lynching, four black teenagers and one Latino teenager — the “Central Park Five” — were accused of attacking and raping a jogger in New York City. Trump immediately took charge in the case, running an ad in local papers demanding, “BRING BACK THE DEATH PENALTY. BRING BACK OUR POLICE!” The teens’ convictions were later vacated after they spent seven to 13 years in prison, and the city paid $41 million in a settlement to the teens. But Trump in October 2016 said he still believes they’re guilty, despite the DNA evidence to the contrary.
1991: A book by John O’Donnell, former President of Trump Plaza Hotel and Casino in Atlantic City, quoted Trump’s criticism of a black accountant: “Black guys counting my money! I hate it. The only kind of people I want counting my money are short guys that wear yarmulkes every day. … I think that the guy is lazy. And it’s probably not his fault, because laziness is a trait in blacks. It really is, I believe that. It’s not anything they can control.” Trump at first denied the remarks, but later said in a 1997 Playboy interview that “the stuff O’Donnell wrote about me is probably true.”
1992: The Trump Plaza Hotel and Casino had to pay a $200,000 fine because it transferred black and women dealers off tables to accommodate a big-time gambler’s prejudices.
1993: In congressional testimony, Trump said that some Native American reservations operating casinos shouldn’t be allowed because “they don’t look like Indians to me.”
2000: In opposition to a casino proposed by the St. Regis Mohawk tribe, which he saw as a financial threat to his casinos in Atlantic City, Trump secretly ran a series of ads suggesting the tribe had a “record of criminal activity [that] is well documented.”
2004: In season two of The Apprentice, Trump fired Kevin Allen, (above) a black contestant, for being over educated. “You’re an unbelievably talented guy in terms of education, and you haven’t done anything,” Trump said on the show. “At some point you have to say, ‘That’s enough.’”
2005: Trump publicly pitched what was essentially The Apprentice: White People vs. Black People. He said he “wasn’t particularly happy” with the most recent season of his show, so he was considering “an idea that is fairly controversial — creating a team of successful African Americans versus a team of successful whites. Whether people like that idea or not, it is somewhat reflective of our very vicious world.”
2010: In 2010, there was a huge national controversy over the “Ground Zero Mosque” — a proposal to build a Muslim community center in Lower Manhattan, near the site of the 9/11 attacks. Trump opposed the project, calling it “insensitive,” and offered to buy out one of the investors in the project. On The Late Show With David Letterman, Trump argued, referring to Muslims, “Well, somebody’s blowing us up. Somebody’s blowing up buildings, and somebody’s doing lots of bad stuff.”
2011: Trump played a big role in pushing false rumors that Obama — the country’s first black president — was not born in the US. He even sent investigators to Hawaii to look into Obama’s birth certificate. Obama later released his birth certificate, calling Trump a ”carnival barker.” (The research has found a strong correlation between “birtherism,” as this conspiracy theory is called, and racism.) Trump has reportedly continued pushing this conspiracy theory in private.
2011: While Trump suggested that Obama wasn’t born in the US, he also argued that maybe Obama wasn’t a good enough student to have gotten into Columbia or Harvard Law School, and demanded Obama release his university transcripts. Trump claimed, “I heard he was a terrible student. Terrible. How does a bad student go to Columbia and then to Harvard?”
2015: Trump launched his campaign in 2015 by calling Mexican immigrants “rapists” who are “bringing crime” and “bringing drugs” to the US. His campaign was largely built on building a wall to keep these immigrants out of the US.
2015: As a candidate in 2015, Trump called for a ban on all Muslims coming into the US. His administration eventually implemented a significantly watered-down version of the policy.
When asked at a 2016 Republican debate whether all 1.6 billion Muslims hate the US, Trump said, “I mean a lot of them. I mean a lot of them.”
2016: Donald Trump celebrated Cinco de Mayo by publishing a tweet that read: “Happy #CincoDeMayo! (above) The best taco bowls are made in Trump Tower Grill. I love Hispanics!” The tweet linked to a Facebook page, and more importantly, included a picture of Trump with one hand giving a thumbs up, and the other hand holding a fork resting on the edge of a fresh “taco bowl.” Here, see for yourself:
2016: Trump argued in 2016 that Judge Gonzalo Curiel — who was overseeing the Trump University lawsuit — should recuse himself from the case because of his Mexican heritage and membership in a Latino lawyers association. House Speaker Paul Ryan, who endorsed Trump, later called such comments “the textbook definition of a racist comment.”
2016: In a pitch to black voters in 2016, (above) Trump said, “You’re living in poverty, your schools are no good, you have no jobs, 58 percent of your youth is unemployed. What the hell do you have to lose?”
2017: In the week after white supremacist protests in Charlottesville, Virginia, in August 2017, Trump repeatedly said that “many sides” and “both sides” were to blame for the violence and chaos that ensued — suggesting that the white supremacist protesters were morally equivalent to counter protesters that stood against racism. He also said that there were “some very fine people” among the white supremacists. All of this seemed like a dog whistle to white supremacists — and many of them took it as one, with white nationalist Richard Spencer praising Trump for “defending the truth.”
2018: Throughout 2017, Trump repeatedly attacked NFL players who, by kneeling or otherwise silently protesting during the national anthem, demonstrated against systemic racism in America
2019: Trump tweeted that several black and brown members of Congress — Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY), Ayanna Pressley (D-MA), Ilhan Omar (D-MN), and Rashida Tlaib (D-MI) — are “from countries whose governments are a complete and total catastrophe” and that they should “go back” to those countries. It’s a common racist trope to say that black and brown people, particularly immigrants, should go back to their countries of origin. Three of four of the members of Congress whom Trump targeted were born in the US.
But when you put all these events together, a clear pattern emerges. Without a doubt Trump has a history of racist role to play to his base, but with that being said we doubt that history will award Donald Trump a President that most Americans believe is such a horrible person with any favorable honors. (glg)
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Gregg L. Greer a Public Speaker, Minister, Social Activist, and the Editor of the One World internet journal. Greer is the Founder of Freedom First International an world renown human rights NGO. As the Editor of Black America World News– Greer has written extensively about American politics, civil rights, and the intersection of money and politics. His stories have also appeared in CNN, and he is a frequent commentator on MSNBC online, Huffington Postt, and The Daily Kos. Listen to his international radio podcast at OneWorld Talks -if you are interested in interviews from from him and others of the brightest minds today, you can email him at firstname.lastname@example.orgHis website is www.gregglgreer.com