Since Donald Trump treats the American presidency as if it were an actual reality TV show, we know we are in for some surprises every time a debate rolls around. And last week’s was no exception. Although the microphone muting accommodation did provide a bit more decorum, the president was still his corrupt, compulsively lying self, which is exactly what we expected. (I mean, imagine if he started telling the truth at this point?! I am a failed businessman, millions of dollars in debt. I have no idea what I’m doing and rely on a team of people around me to stroke my ego just so I can function. I don’t care how many Americans die of COVID as long as I get elected… That would really turn this election on its head.)
But no, truth and facts and science and accepting responsibility aren’t part of our president’s vocabulary, so, as predicted, the lies continued to flow at this debate.
And one in particular really had us scratching our heads in disbelief.
When prompted by debate moderator Kristen Welker, a Black woman, to address racial strife in America, Donald Trump came back with this quip: “I am the least racist person in this room.”
ICYMI (and we don’t blame you if you did), here’s how this ridiculousness went down. “You have to understand, the first time I ever heard of Black Lives Matter, they were chanting, ‘Pigs in a blanket,’ talking about police,” his response to Kristen Welker began (despite “pigs in a blanket” being associated with BLM in no way at all). “As far as my relationships with all people, I think I have great relationships with all people. I am the least racist person in this room.”
But wait, there’s more. (There’s always more, isn’t there?)
“I don’t know what to say,” his word salad continued. “I have criminal justice reform done, and prison reform, and opportunities, I took care of Black colleges and universities. I don’t know what to say. They could say anything. I mean, they could say anything. It makes me sad. I am the least racist person. I can’t even see the audience, because it is so dark, but I don’t care who’s in the audience, I’m the least race in person in this room.”
This latest incoherent rambling proves that Donald Trump has no idea how to defend himself with regards to racism because he knows that his entire platform is based on racism and bigotry. Because what do you say when you’ve intentionally fanned the flames of white supremacy in order to win an election and you’re backed into a corner like this? It’s like when you catch your toddler eating a cookie they aren’t supposed to have and they try to deny it with a giant chocolate smear on their face. They string a bunch of words together that actually say nothing at all, just as our president did.
Of course this question was tough for him, as everyone knows Donald Trump is actually the most racist person in any room, anywhere. But for the few “Prove to me he’s a racist!” Susans left out there, let’s break it down with some examples of why, in fact, Donald Trump is a blatant, orange-faced bigot who loves three things, and three things only: himself, his money, and white people who make him more money.
1. His stance on immigration.
The cool thing about television and social media is that once something is recorded, it’s not going to go away ever. So Trump’s horrific accusations that immigrants (specifically with dark skin) are “rapists” and “drug-dealers” who “all have AIDS” and are from “shit-hole countries”—lies he uses to justify his obsession with building a wall and separating families as a way to keep them out—will forever tarnish the Trump campaign and presidency. Immigrants have always been a definitive piece of the fabric of the United States, including Trump’s ancestors, but those types of immigrants don’t bother him. Because it’s not just any people coming in to our country that he dislikes. It’s people trying to come in to our country with black or brown skin that bother him.
The truth is, this rich white man who is accused by multiple women of sexual assault and rape himself wants to make America “great again” by making America whiter, because to a racist and white supremacist — that’s what “great” means. The rest of us, who love the diversity of America, know that the sooner this 2020 version of Adolf Hitler is gone, the better — and only then will we start to be great again.
2. His refusal to condemn white supremacy.
How many times have we seen over the past few years white Americans do or say evil, racist things and chant his name while they do it? I’ve lost count, but this viral video of an encounter in a San Diego Starbucks is the most recent example.
But that’s what happens when our president refuses to denounce The Proud Boys (an openly misogynistic, anti-Muslim, anti-immigrant, violent, all-male group who’ve repeatedly endorsed his candidacy) in a presidential debate and instead, addresses them directly, telling them to “stand by.” Or when a Neo-Nazi drove into a crowd people, killing one and injuring 19 others, he says, “You also had people that were very fine people, on both sides” and adds, “Like or not, Robert E. Lee was a great general.”
When your president thrives on the love of his cult followers, including Nazis and white supremacists, and takes zero measures to distance himself from or condemn their hate for Black Americans or Jewish Americans or immigrants or Muslims, he’s a racist. And as a result, his supporters do racist things in his name.
3. His tweets.
Perhaps the most damning evidence against his claims of being the “least racist person in the room” is his own Twitter feed. Here, he tells four Congresswomen of color to go back to their “broken and crime infested” countries, simply because they dared to challenge his policies.
….and viciously telling the people of the United States, the greatest and most powerful Nation on earth, how our government is to be run. Why don’t they go back and help fix the totally broken and crime infested places from which they came. Then come back and show us how….
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 14, 2019
Or how about the infamous tweet just post this summer about how he’s protecting suburban America from low income housing?
I am happy to inform all of the people living their Suburban Lifestyle Dream that you will no longer be bothered or financially hurt by having low income housing built in your neighborhood…
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 29, 2020
Or when he retweeted videos of racists shouting their support for him while also shouting “White power!” with the caption: “Thank you to the great people of The Villages.” (This retweet was later deleted.)
He doesn’t even try to hide it, folks. Donald Trump is not secretive about his bigotry—he’s allllll the way out of the closet, fueling the flames of hatred in cities and states across our nation with his Twitter feed alone.
4. His hateful commentary about the Central Park 5.
In 1989, Trisha Meili, a white female jogger was sexually assaulted in Central Park. A group of five Black and Latino men were wrongly accused and convicted of the crime, but were later exonerated when Matias Reyes, who had already been convicted of murder, confessed to attacking Meili. His confession was confirmed by DNA evidence, meaning the case against the “Central Park 5” was closed.
Our racist president, however, who had taken out newspaper ads years ago calling for their execution, was unable to accept this concrete, factual, scientific evidence. Because he’d have to admit that he was wrong and maybe apologize, which he’s proven time and time again that he’s incapable of doing.
This is the full-page advertisement Donald Trump took out calling for the execution of the Central Park Five.
They were later exonerated by DNA evidence, although President Trump maintains that they are guilty. pic.twitter.com/vspZemnW93
— Scott Bixby (@scottbix) February 10, 2018
So while the rest of the world feels remorse for the unimaginable pain and suffering these five innocent men endured, Trump is still saying things like “You have people on both sides of that” and “If you look at some of the prosecutors, they think that the city should never have settled that case. So we’ll leave it at that.”
Yes, there were two sides, and one side has been proven wrong by DNA evidence. But when your main priority is to execute innocent Black men and “BRING BACK THE DEATH PENALTY” you won’t be swayed by silly things like scientific evidence.
When pressed for an apology last year, he, of course, responded defensively. “Why would you bring that question up now? it’s an interesting time to bring it up,” he retorted to reporter April Ryan from American Urban Radio Networks.
Well, for one, Netflix aired a documentary on the case, bringing it back into the public eye after all these years. But more importantly, Mr. Trump, the country has been reeling from racial violence that you’ve done nothing but incite. So is this an interesting time to bring up your choice to take out an $85,000 ad calling for the deaths of five innocent men of color? And for calling out your tweets like this one, from 2013, that called these men who had been proven innocent of this crime “muggers”?
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 30, 2013
Yes, this is an interesting time to discuss your racism. And an appropriate one. But once again, you deflect and never take ownership and responsibility, even though you’re the President of the United States. Once again, you continue to promote racism and bigotry and “law and order” that unfairly targets those with dark skin. And you further prove that you’re not a president for all Americans, but rather, you’re a president for white Americans only. (Specifically, those who feed your fragile ego.)
Because although we remember you saying this about the Central Park 5 (who are innocent): “They should be forced to suffer and, when they kill, they should be executed for their crimes. They must serve as examples for their crimes. They must serve as examples so that others will think long and hard before committing a crime or an act of violence” … we don’t recall you ever saying the same about white supremacists like the Proud Boys who boast of their violence, or Neo-Nazis who drive into crowds of protestors, do we?
5. His refusal to acknowledge the reality for Black Americans.
As Joe Biden says, a president needs to represent all of his people—a philosophy Donald Trump sadly does not subscribe to. As evidence continues to mount that even in 2020 (especially in 2020), Black Americans face constant violence and racism, often at the hands of police, and often in the name of our president himself, Trump continues to deny any responsibility. As the BLM movement advocates for police reform and rallies for justice to be served for the deaths of unarmed Black men, women, and children like Breonna Taylor, George Floyd, and Elijah McClain, our president offers no support.
In fact, at a rally in September, he condemned the BLM organization entirely—an organization committed to “a world where Black lives are no longer systematically targeted for demise” (which you would think the U.S. president would want). Instead of supporting the work BLM is doing to ensure Black Americans have the right to exist peacefully and achieve their dreams and goals as all Americans deserve, he claimed that Black Lives Matter wants to “achieve destruction of the nuclear family” and “abolish the police, prisons, border security, capitalism and school choice”—which is untrue.
The Hill reports that he called BLM “a Marxist, communist organization that is hurting the Black community” and, that at one point, “Trump referred to Black Lives Matter organizers as ‘fools’ — prompting cheers from the crowd.”
Instead of supporting a better life for Black Americans, our president continues to call for “law and order!”—the same system of racial oppression that allows for mass incarceration of Black men, unfair and violent arrests of people of color, and the killing of Black Americans at the hands of police.
Perhaps the most disturbing thing about having an overtly racist president is that so many Americans have been fooled into supporting him. And Trump is proud AF of getting away with it, too. In fact, when asked about Fox News pulling one of his campaign ads, because even they deemed it too racist, his response? “We have a lot of ads, and they certainly are effective, based on the numbers that we’re seeing.” Because that is what matters, folks. Winning. And he’s openly and intentionally using racism to try to do just that.
After all, as Congresswoman Ayanna Pressley stated, “He is, if nothing else, predictable.” Like all racists, he’s a bigot all the time, every minute, of every day. And if you vote for him, that’s the choice you’re making—to willingly cast your vote for the most racist president in history, and the most racist person in the room.