Donald Trump is a bigot.
From the moment he rode down that escalator to announce his candidacy, people have tied themselves in knots explaining away all his racist statements toward people of color. He kicked off his campaign by calling Mexican immigrants rapists and criminals, and he hasn’t stopped offending people since.
On Sunday, Trump retweeted one of his supporters yelling, “white power,” before later deleting it, in his latest questionable incident. Trump famously referred to white nationalists as, “very fine people,” shortly after he took office in 2017, and he refuses to condemn white supremacists. He can’t because they’re a very important part of his voting base.
Being labeled as a racist or bigot is one of the worst tags you can place on a person in today’s America. It can cost an individual their job, their business, and lead to public humiliation and ruthless scorn. Frequently, racists are rightfully called out for their abhorrent actions, like when Amy Cooper called the police on Christian Cooper in Central Park last month, or when cops -- citing the flimsiest of provocations -- murder people of color.
But in a lot of cases, our society has become very quick to label individuals with this horrible tag for making what can sometimes be slight indiscretions. It’s a loaded word with a lot of firepower behind it, which is why white people, in particular, get militantly defensive against receiving this moniker.
To judge the president’s intolerance, we must examine his entire body of work. When doing so, Trump fails miserably. There are a laundry list of damning incidents beginning decades before his presidency.
For example, in 1973 the Department of Justice during the Richard Nixon administration sued the Trump Management Corp., for violating the Fair Housing Act, because Trump refused to rent to black tenants and lied to them about his apartments being available.
In 1989, he took out a newspaper ad calling for New York to reinstate the death penalty on five teenagers -- four black and one Latino -- who were ultimately cleared of attacking and raping a jogger in New York City. Even 27 years later, after the Central Park Five had been cleared through DNA evidence, Trump still said he believed they were guilty.
In 1992, the Trump Plaza Hotel and Casino paid a $200,000 fine after it transferred black and female dealers off tables because a high roller was intolerant of them. A year earlier, a book written by the former president of one of Trump’s casino properties alleged the future Commander in Chief once said: “laziness is a trait in blacks,” when referring to an accountant in his employ. Trump, at the time, allegedly said he would prefer to have Jews counting his money.
Since becoming president, his record has not improved. Most recently, Trump disparaged Asians at campaign rallies in Tulsa and Phoenix by calling COVID-19 the “Chinese Virus,” and the “Kung Flu.” Last week, he signed an Executive Order to protect monuments of Confederate generals, men who fought to defend slavery.
And, of course, when Colin Kaepernick and other NFL players kneeled during the national anthem to protest police brutality against people of color, Trump attacked them relentlessly.
Not all people who vote for Donald Trump are racist, but all racists vote for Donald Trump. Why? Because they see him as one of them.
His words and actions speak for themselves.