“Why are we having all these people from ****hole countries come here?” – President Donald Trump
Recently, we had the 50th anniversary of the murder of Martin Luther King, Jr. by a white supremacist. I lived in Atlanta at the time, and I remember the event very well. I also remember hearing his father speak to a small group of poverty program board members in 1970 about his son’s legacy and the progress that still needed to occur.
Our President sets the tone for this nation. With candidate Trump stoking the flames, there were 6,121 hate crimes in 2016 (Bureau of Justice Statistics).
We can expect hate crimes to rise so long as Trump, a divisive figure, is in office. When our President is bigoted then the white supremacy groups flourish, openly spewing hatred. We now have a Neo-Nazi group scheduled to have a rally in neighboring Newnan on April 21.
Along these lines, I recently had a discussion with a conservative Fayette County resident about immigration. An intelligent, educated man, he asked, “How can Trump be anti-immigration when his wife and mother were immigrants?” My response was that he is not against white immigration, only immigration by people of color (Mexicans, Asians, Africans, and so on).
We proceeded to have a discussion of the President’s racist past, which he denied. I realized that this topic has not been covered in sufficient detail by the media.
Judge for yourself. Here is brief chronological history of Trump’s best-known racist acts (pulled from a variety of sources):
• Housing discrimination: In the early ’70s, Trump’s company was sued by the federal government for violations of the Fair Housing Act. Trump hired Roy Cohn (Sen. McCarthy’s associate) as his defense lawyer. Trump ended up settling with the government and pledging to let black people rent his apartments in the future. However, in 1978 the Department of Justice alleged that Trump had ignored his pledge and was still violating the law.
• Central Park Five: Trump buys ads stating, “Bring back the death penalty,” implying that the five young black men charged with raping a white jogger should be executed. Years later, it is conclusively shown that they did not commit the crime. Trump does not accept the findings or financial judgment that they received.
• Casinos: From 1992–2000, Trump says and does several offensive things regarding Native Americans and blacks related to his casino operations.
• Birther movement: Stating that Obama was born in Kenya, the movement is sparked in 2011 by Trump, who also attacks Obama’s school record based on absolutely no data.
• Mexican rapists: Trump stated in 2015 that Mexico was exporting rapists and criminals to the U.S.
• Mexican-American judge: In the Trump University case, Trump asked that Judge Curiel, born in Indiana, recuse himself due to his heritage.
• Appeal to racism in campaign: Trump encourages and enthusiastically accepts support from racists in his Presidential bid. “Voting against Donald Trump at this point is really treason to your heritage,” stated former Ku Klux Klan leader and current white supremacy activist David Duke.
• Charlottesville: Trump equates anti-racist protesters with violent white supremacists and Neo-Nazi agitators, calling some “fine people.” He recants in a carefully read statement, but later goes back and says his original statements were correct. White power leaders openly rejoice at the President’s vocal support of their movement.
• Holocaust remembrance: Trump issues a commemorative statement which incredibly excluded any mention of the 6 million Jews who were targeted and died in Nazi extermination camps.
• NFL: Trump purposefully twists the NFL players taking a knee to protest police violence against blacks into disrespect for America, the rule of law, and first responders.
• ****hole: Trump says we should have immigration from Norway, versus non-white nations.
These actions speak for themselves. The best we can hope for is that the electorate will wake up, as they did in Alabama where Roy Moore, a Trump-supported racist, lost the Senatorial race to a moderate. Let’s hope that this positive trend continues in 2018 and 2020, refuting racism and bigotry.