In an effort to understand and perhaps explain some of Donald Trump’s behavior to voters before the upcoming election, the Washington Post ran a piece in their Wednesday edition that focuses on accusations of racism against the president. Inside that article were about a hundred things we actually didn’t yet know — despite the plethora of evidence of his racism in simple, everyday remarks he makes in any given situation.
The Post, in a joint effort among six contributors, interviewed “more than two dozen current and former officials, including some who have had daily interactions with the president, as well as experts on race and members of white supremacist groups.”
The results were astonishing. Or maybe not so astonishing, based on what you may have known or thought you knew of Trump already. Either way, despite some of the respondents still defending Trump’s racism as a part of his everyday smorgasbord of abuse doled out regularly to people of all protected categories — an equal opportunity hater, some paint him as — the overwhelming sentiment is that yes, Trump is a totally racist, uh, jerk.
But scattered among the racist comments about Black Americans, Jews, and Hispanics, who he routinely refers to as lazy, greedy, and criminals, was something that caught my eye while reading the very comprehensive summary of the kind of racism and systematic dismantling of civil rights protections that this administration has carried out.
In my mind, it’s actually uncommon to meet a person who doesn’t at least harbor some racial opinions that they may not even know are offensive. Good people are made aware of these things and work to correct them. But one almost side note in the WaPo piece illustrates another factor that, again, in my mind, indicates true, malicious racism: When someone expects everyone else they know to think as they do.
As the First Lady planned a trip to Africa, one or more of the interviewees for this article heard Trump complaining that he “could never understand why she would want to go there.” It makes sense that he would never want to go to Africa, considering he believes it’s full of “shithole countries.” But to project that hatred onto his wife is the mark of true racism.
Of course, that doesn’t negate the fact that Melania herself is a racist — her birtherism against Barack Obama alongside her husband could likely have predicted her behavior while ON the aforementioned trip to the continent, during which she donned essentially costumes that many saw as symbols of colonization and disrespect.
For some, the sight of Melania Trump on a Kenyan safari wearing a white pith helmet — a common symbol of European colonial rule — was a glaring mistake https://t.co/p7dq5ZpGIr
— The New York Times (@nytimes) October 5, 2018
As Mrs. Trump entered Malawi, she was greeted by protesters with signs quoting her husband’s insults:
Among signs of welcome for Mrs Trump in Malawi, press pool spotted a sign along her motorcade route: “Welcome to Malawi #notashithole” – a reference to the word reportedly used by Pres Trump in reference to immigrants from some African countries. He denied saying the word.
— Mark Knoller (@markknoller) October 4, 2018
The bottom line is, Trump is a racist to such an extreme that he expects others to hold the same racist views as him. November can’t come fast enough.
Featured image via composite/Flickr/The White House, public domain