Sunday, May 26, 2024

Plain and Simple



Actually, Jesse, blacks did not particularly like Donald Trump. Some admired Trump, as did many whites, because he was wealthy. Now they, and most whites, know better.

We don't have to go back to the '80s. Try these out for size:

The list of Trump's bigoted and near-bigoted remarks is long, even as of four years ago as of four years ago. In February, 2019, Trump

mocked Ms. (Elizabeth) Warren, Democrat of Massachusetts, for her claims to Native American ancestry, again calling her by the slur “Pocahontas.” Mr. Trump then appeared to refer to the Trail of Tears, the infamously cruel forced relocation of Native Americans in the 19th century that caused thousands of deaths.

“Will she run as our first Native American presidential candidate, or has she decided that after 32 years, this is not playing so well anymore?” Mr. Trump tweeted. “See you on the campaign TRAIL, Liz!”

A few months later

 


It's not always difficult to criticize Ilhan Omar, Rashida Tlaib, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, and Ayanna Pressley for their ideas, actions, or statements. Omar has an, ahem, unhealthy attachment to the nation of her birth, Somalia, and Tlaib, a Palestinian-American, to the fictional country of Palestine. However, Tlaib was born in Detroit, Ocasio-Cortez in the Bronx, NY, and Pressley in Cincinnati, Ohio. in Cincinnati, Ohio. Cincinnati, for goodness sakes.

Trump either knew 3 of the 4 are native-born and claimed otherwise or assumed they all were born abroad, whether because of their ideas, race, or color. Racist or ethnocentric, it was reprehensible.

Similarly


Kamala Harris was born in Oakland, California, the daughter of immigrants from India and Jamaica. Trump likely knew that Harris was born in California, USA but the inventor of birtherism saw that it worked against Barack Obama and figured he'd go with the hits.

Also in 2016, New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof explained

My view is that “racist” can be a loaded word, a conversation stopper more than a clarifier, and that we should be careful not to use it simply as an epithet. Moreover, Muslims and Latinos can be of any race, so some of those statements technically reflect not so much racism as bigotry. It’s also true that with any single statement, it is possible that Trump misspoke or was misconstrued.

And yet.

Here we have a man who for more than four decades has been repeatedly associated with racial discrimination or bigoted comments about minorities, some of them made on television for all to see. While any one episode may be ambiguous, what emerges over more than four decades is a narrative arc, a consistent pattern — and I don’t see what else to call it but racism.

Kristof recalled probably the closest connection between Donald Trump and actual racism when

In 1991, a book by John O’Donnell, who had been president of the Trump Plaza Hotel and Casino in Atlantic City, quoted Trump as criticizing a black accountant and saying: “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.” O’Donnell wrote that for months afterward, Trump pressed him to fire the black accountant, until the man resigned of his own accord.

Trump eventually denied making those comments. But in 1997 in a Playboy interview, he conceded “the stuff O’Donnell wrote about me is probably true.”

Trump's contention that "laziness is a trait in blacks" attributed the alleged laziness of blacks to an inherited, not cultural, attribute, nature not nurture, and fits the classic, textbook, conservative definition of racist. Yet, to be fair, the likely remark was made in decades ago and so does not negate Jesse Watters' claim that there is nothing in Donald Trump's recent past to indicate that the ex-President is racist.

Something is needed to seal the deal, to confirm that the last century's Man of Racism has not erased that horrid characteristic. And so we have Trump just last December speaking of migrants speaking of migrants (emphasis mine)

They're poisoning the blood of our country. That's what they've done. They poisoned mental institutions and prisons all over the world, not just in South America, not just the three or four countries that we think about, but all over the world. They're coming into our country from Africa, from Asia -- all over the world.

The last two sentences are relatively inconsequential. Focus on "They're poisoning the blood of our country. That's what they've done."

I know, I know. The left and the center have so often referred to merely bigoted statements and labeled them "racist." And as bad as some of them are, as Kristof understands, some of them are merely bigoted and haven't slipped into racist territory. But as applied to himself, Trump has erased that distinction. That's not nurture, but nature. "Blood" is not culture- it is inherited and denotes- not merely implies- inferiority because of race.

In a commentary in the Wisconsin Examiner a month after Trump's poisoning (our) blood speech, O. Ricardo Pimentel wrote wrote "That would mean my daughter's blood is poisoned because her father is the son of undocumented immigrants from Mexico and her mother white with mostly English and Scottish ancestry."

Legal immigrants and the sons and daughters, grandsons and granddaughters, of immigrants should be outraged. Admittedly, it's difficult, with "racism" weaponized through much of the political spectrum, to alert Americans to the danger posed by both the language and the speaker. However, it must be done and can be done. There is a whole lot of Pimentel(s) out there.






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