In my last column I asked why people believe Trump’s lies.
I posited it was either they’re stupid or profit from his falsehoods.
This week, I’m asking why people tolerate, support, or even vigorously encourage his divisive behavior, racist words, and white supremacist support.
Is it, again, stupidity? Or that they somehow profit from tax cuts and fewer federal regulations? Or do they fear of being “replaced” in the culture by non-whites? Or that they’ve been left behind and lose jobs? Or do they believe the “white” race is somehow superior to any other?
I’m not going to spend a lot of time reciting all Trump’s impossible-to-excuse racist comments. But here are some undoubted ones where he:
• Called Mexicans rapists and murderers.
• Claimed an “invasion” by brown hoards from the south (which was quoted in the El Paso killer’s manifesto to justify his murders).
• Tried to ban Muslims from the US because they are Muslim.
• Made false attacks on four Congresswomen, saying they “hate our Country.” And then beamed for thirteen seconds as a crowd chanted “Send her back.”
• Made his African “shithole-countries” remark.
• Characterized neo-Nazis in Charlottesville as “many good people.”
• Attacked an Indiana-born federal judge as biased because he has a Mexican surname.
• Made birtherism his rallying cry for years and years.
• Spent years and years trying to get the Central Park 5 executed; and refused to accept their innocence.
• Made attacks on Baltimore (where I worked for twenty-five years) as a place, “No human being would choose to live in,” thereby identifying residents as sub-human (and unworthy of living?) and trashing one of America’s great cities.
• Smiled, joked, and accepted the cry of “Kill them,” when he asked a crowd of supporters how to end the “invasion” of immigrants from the south.
• Has a history of federally charged racist housing discrimination when he and his father were (not) renting apartments he owned to blacks.
And then, of course, his silence, except for a clearly rote statement after El Paso, concerning white nationalism and attacks by domestic terrorists. (Words proven false by White House actions rebuffing Homeland Security’s efforts to identify and track domestic terrorists.)
A whole bunch of people have attacked Trump as racist and a white supremacist.
And it would be easy to write their criticisms off as simple election-year politics.
But it isn’t.
Because despite “what-aboutism;” the scripted sentences his staff thinks he should say; or denying his dog-whistles are anything but appeals to racists and plausibly-deniable, carefully-crafted sentences he can point to in defense of everything else he’s said and done…
History has demonstrated Trump is a coward (see Cadet Bonespurs); and a liar (10,000-plus provable lies or misstatements) and a sexual predator (Access Hollywood tapes).
And history has clearly demonstrated Trump is at least a white nationalist sympathizer, or worse.
Trump painted a target on the backs of Latinos. And other people have taken aim at those targets and murdered.
But this frightened, bitter, little man did nothing this past week to help the people he’s put in danger. (Or his reelection chances.)
He went to Dayton and hid. And Trump’s only public statements were false accusations against Dayton’s mayor and an Ohio senator, saying they mischaracterized his visit.
Folks, look at the tape and listen to their words and, bingo, another Trump easily-proven lie; except to those slurping so much Kook-Aid they’re on a sugar high. He was graciously received, the Mayor and Senator said so, and Trump lied about what they said.
And then El Paso. Another claim of victory by “Rock Star” Trump, who was too afraid to show his face. And the hospital said none of the eight people still recovering there would see him.
He bragged to hospital staff about his crowd size from his last El Paso trip; and knocked hapless Beto O’Rourke, a guy with zero chance of a presidential nomination, in direct contradiction to his Monday call for civility and unity. (Note: El Paso police officials, who he praised, say his crowd claims are false. And he owes the city over $500,000 for that visit.)
Trump did nothing, absolutely nothing, to reassure the people of El Paso, the greater Latino/Mexican population, or us we wouldn’t be targets again.
He did nothing to bring the country together or to heal our open wounds. He just hid; and tweeted rank and bitter criticism; and then whined bitterly to staff (who promptly leaked his tantrum) that he didn’t get the adulation he thought he deserved.
To close, let’s give Donald Trump the last word, “I am the least racist person there is anywhere in the world.”
On second thought, let’s give Joe Biden the last word, “Donald Trump is closer to George Wallace than George Washington.”
And there’s nothing stupid about that observation.