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Trump’s Long History of Racism

Rolling Stone – By Jesse Berney – 8/15/2017

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Photo: Donald Trump and his father, Fred, were sued in 1973 for systematically discriminating against black people in housing rentals. The Trumps eventually settled on terms that were regarded as a victory for the government. Barton Silverman/The New York Times/Redux.

Of course his response to Charlottesville was late and insufficient – this is who he is.

UPDATE: Trump gave a press conference Tuesday during which he essentially unsaid all the good things he asserted in his speech Monday. While he claimed he still condemned neo-Nazis and white supremacists, he also said there were “many fine people” protesting alongside the people carrying swastika flags and shields bearing racist symbols. He expressed clearly his opposition to taking down Confederate monuments. He once again blamed both sides equally for the violence that broke out. He confirmed his complete inability to understand what systemic racism is and his own role in perpetuating it.

The moment that struck me in Trump’s make-up speech Monday afternoon wasn’t when he declared racism “evil” or finally name-checked the KKK, neo-Nazis and white supremacists. It was his remark about the flag. “No matter the color of our skin, we all live under the same laws,” he said. “We all salute the same great flag.”

Maybe Trump should have watched the news a little more closely this weekend. If he had, he might have seen large numbers of Americans carrying and saluting flags that weren’t the Stars and Stripes. Confederate flags, obscure racist insignia and straight-up swastikas were all on display.

The racists and Nazis and white supremacists of all stripes who carried that flag were heartened by Trump’s failure to denounce them or their ideology in the immediate aftermath of the violence in Charlottesville and the murder of Heather Heyer. And his tepid, reluctant, TelePrompTer-fed denunciation of racism days later appears to have done little to discourage their belief that he supports them in the deepest, darkest, most wizened recesses of his heart.

Though it’s technically true that no one but Donald Trump knows what’s in Donald Trump’s heart, he’s given us some pretty good clues. He likely thinks swastika-toting Nazis and hood-wearing KKK members are bad guys – those are the easy targets everyone knows we’re supposed to denounce – but the entitled, clean-cut, polo-wearing, torch-bearing racists chanting about how they won’t be replaced? Those are the people who put him into office. They’re his people. And they know he’s their leader because they know Donald Trump is, like they are, racist.

Oh, they wouldn’t put it that way. They think the real racism is the affirmative action that gives people of color a chance in a world that hands people who look like me privilege from birth. They believe the real racists are the ones who declare black lives matter. (“What, ours don’t?”) But like the president they cheer, they’re racist as hell.

You don’t even have to look into Trump’s heart to see his racism. You only have to look at all the things he’s done and said over the years – from the early Seventies, when he settled with the Justice Department over accusations of housing discrimination, to Monday, when just hours after his speech news broke he is considering pardoning anti-immigrant sheriff Joe Arpaio.

Arpaio was also Trump’s partner in crime in pushing the birther conspiracy that promulgated the ugly lie our first black president was born in Kenya. We’ve conveniently forgotten (if not forgiven) how Trump spent years – years! – pushing a conspiracy based on nothing more than the assumption that a black man with a funny name couldn’t possibly be a genuine American, not like we are.

Trump also has a weird obsession with the superiority of his own genes in the face of all evidence to the contrary. That may explain why racism so often seems like his default setting, like the time he took out a full-page ad demanding the execution of five kids of color accused of raping a jogger in Central Park. Even in 2016, years after they were proven innocent, Trump stood by his actions.

Last year was when Trump put his racism on full display for the country to see. From launching his campaign by calling Mexicans rapists, to going to war with the parents of a Muslim soldier killed in battle, to encouraging violence against minority protesters at his rally, to promising to build a wall and make Mexico pay for it, he built a presidential campaign on racial resentment and fear. Those were deliberate choices he made. His campaign stoked white entitlement and outrage at every turn, sending out dog whistles and sometimes glaring billboards that this was the campaign for angry white people.

Read entire article here

Posted by Teri Perticone

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