Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Is Donald Trump a racist?

By Casey Lartigue Jr. (Lartigue is a black American journalist)

Leading up to the US presidential election, there were news reports about white supremacists supporting a candidate. Yes, in 2008, white supremacist David Duke said Barack Obama as president would be "a visual aid" and "indisputable proof" that whites had lost control of the U.S.

I was then a regular commentator on National Public Radio's "News and Notes," the man-bites-dog topic of our Roundtable discussion on August 13, 2008: "White Supremacists Voting For Obama?"

Fast-forward eight years, Donald Trump is replacing Obama in the White House and as the poster boy for racists angling to make themselves newsworthy.

White hate groups have lost relevance, but they know how to market themselves to media focused on conflict and crazies. Reflecting eight years later: Did white supremacists recruit well during the Obama years? Should voters have been concerned about their endorsement? Although Americans tell pollsters that the country is headed in the wrong direction, Obama, the most visual aid of hate groups, remains popular in polls and easily won re-election in 2012.

It is now an American ritual to charge presidential candidates as being racist. In 2012, Democrat vice-president Joe Biden said Republican nominee Mitt Romney wanted to put black people "back in chains."

In 2008, the Republican ticket of McCain/Palin was accused of "racist fear-mongering."

In 2000, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) ran an ad tying Republican candidate George W. Bush to the dragging death of a black man in Texas.

In 1996, Republican candidate Bob Dole was accused of providing "aid and comfort" to racists with his tough talk.

During the 1980s, Republican Ronald Reagan was allegedly turning back the clock to slavery and his successor George H. W. Bush was a kinder, gentler bigot using racist code language.

Even Democrat Bill Clinton briefly had some explaining to do, for not opposing use of the Confederate flag as governor of Arkansas and because of his close relationship to segregationist J. William Fulbright (yes, the Fulbright Program bears his name).

It will upset those grieving over the 2016 election, but I do not believe Donald Trump is a racist. Insensitive, combative, arrogant, yes, but being politically uncouth does not mean racist.

Trump's critics point to a 1970's discrimination suit filed against Trump's company, his campaign against young black men (falsely) accused of rape in Central Park, and numerous incendiary comments.

Trump struck the nest of angry bees ready to attack. He will need to feed the swarm some honey by instructing the Justice Department to investigate hate groups.

Critics who see racism spelled in their morning cereal are likely to see racism even in sensible things Trump does. Trump has nominated a school choice advocate as his secretary of education. I briefly met Betsy Devos years ago, she is an education reformer who is for change, and she will not change the subject. The Black Alliance for Educational Options immediately hailed her nomination.

George Mason University economist Walter Williams has said, "If the Grand Wizard of the Ku Klux Klan wanted to sabotage black academic excellence, he could not devise a more effective way of doing so than the schools serving black children."

Black high school graduates read and do math at the level of white and Asian middle school children, have much higher dropout rates, and attend dangerous public schools. You may disagree with charters and vouchers, but is increasing educational choices for children in bad situations the work of an undercover white supremacist?

I predicted Trump would defeat Clinton, I believe he will be an adequate president, and hope he will come to his senses with some of his proposed policies. His harsh campaign language may have been his bargaining tactic with international leaders. As a businessman who has negotiated incredible deals over the past four decades, is he really for cutting off trade and possible deals?

Ah, the point is not to reason with or about Trump. The rioters and strategists trying to block Trump's inauguration will find out in four to eight years that he did not destroy the U.S. or the world.

By then, they will be accusing another candidate of being racist and quoting white supremacists trying to make themselves look relevant.



Bird of Paradise said...

Jessie Jackson,Al Sharpton Calypso Louie all of them as racsists OBAMA IS RACSISTS

Anonymous said...

It's funny that a black man would do a whitewash on the person whose name must not be mentioned.

Anonymous said...

The only reason the great zero has high approval ratings is that when asked people unconsciously believe it is racist to not approve a black president even if they do not. When other questions like has he helped you economically are asked only one in five say yes. This is also one reason lying Hillary had such stilted pole ratings, when asked, some people unconsciously believed it was sexist to say they were not voting for her even when they were not.


Anonymous said...

What they are trying to do is hang him with a charge of "Guilt by association" even though he has repeatedly disavowed the support of the supremacists groups and people they are trying to associate him with.

These are the same people who readily forgave Obama for listening to decades of racist crap from Jeremiah Wright despite his having explicitly said he looked up to Wright for guidance.

Frankly their hypocrisy is appalling.

Dean said...

4:32 AM - Funny 'ha-ha' or funny 'strange'? Actually it is neither. Mr. Latrigue's comments are those of an educated, rational person. He is proof that there are rational liberals out there. I suspect there are many more who stay quiet to avoid the vitriol of more radical, unreasoning liberals just as many Trump supporters stayed quiet to avoid that same vitriol.

Strange, isn't it. That tactic of mindlessly attacking any who had a different opinion was a significant factor in Trump's win. By silencing their opponents the Democrats were unable to identify and aim their campaign efforts at the very people they needed to convert to their cause.

Perhaps that shouldn't be said. On the other hand, those who are highly emotional and irrational tend to not learn from their mistakes. Even when hit over the head with them.

ЯΞ√ΩLUT↑☼N said...

I thought the primary reason blacks were attending dangerous schools is because blacks were attending them.

Easy way to find out is let them all play hookey, or whatever you call it over there.

Anonymous said...

I find it funny that Trump was not a racist or a sexist till he ran as a republican!