Understanding Mongo: What Would A Racist Do?

It’s not really hard to tell what President Trump will do on any issue. Just ask: What would a white racist do? If you can answer that question, you have a good idea which way Trump will go.

His record on the campaign trail and in office shows a clear pattern. He said Mexican immigrants are “bringing crime. They’re rapists.” He called for “a total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States.” He said the Indiana-born judge presiding over a lawsuit against Trump pu65qUniversity was unfair because “he’s a Mexican.”

He accused China and South Korea of stealing our jobs. His budget included cuts in funding for prevention of HIV and AIDS abroad. He wants to reduce legal immigration by half. He pardoned former Sheriff Joe Arpaio, who was found guilty of illegal racial profiling.

More recently, Trump exhibited a strong reluctance to disown the white supremacists who marched in Charlottesville, Va. After finally coming forth with a condemnation of neo-Nazis and their ilk, he backtracked, blaming “both sides” for the violence.

There is a single unmistakable thread running through this entire fabric: race. The people he attacks or shortchanges are almost always nonwhite. And the pattern is too consistent to be accidental. What has Trump done, after all, that a white racist would not have done?

Some of his views are not subtle at all. Last year, he insisted that five black teens were guilty of a brutal 1989 sexual assault in Central Park—even though DNA evidence had exonerated them. After David Duke endorsed him, Trump claimed he knew nothing about the neo-Nazi leader—whom he had publicly criticized as recently as 2000.

“Sad to see the history and culture of our great country being ripped apart with the removal of our beautiful statues and monuments,” he tweeted last month, referring to Confederate memorials.

“Culture”? Trump was born and raised in Queens and has lived most of his life in Manhattan. His cultural roots are far removed from the people who erected those monuments.

He’s never shown an affinity for things that are especially popular in the South—college football, church, NASCAR, hunting, fishing, country music, barbecue, you name it. What he has in common with the Southerners who worship trump-has-racist-vote3Robert E. Lee is not culture but complexion.

There is, of course, one person widely reviled by Republicans as well as Democrats who escapes Trump’s criticism. But then, Vladimir Putin is as pale as Siberian snow.

It’s not entirely clear whether Trump is a privileged ignoramus whose life has blinded him to the perspective of nonwhites or a conscious bigot who regards various minorities as inferior. But it doesn’t really matter what it’s in his heart. It’s enough that his public conduct is so consistent with outright racism.

You don’t have to be a white racist to be satisfied with Trump’s presidency. But it certainly helps.

Steve Chapman

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