Dr. Maya Angelou warned us that when a person shows you who they are, believe them, and believe them the first time.
In 1963, Fred Trump, Donald’s father owned a complex of seven 23-story towers, called Trump Village in Coney Island. For a decade the Trump family refused to rent to Black applicants. In 1973, the Justice Dept sued Trump Management for discrimination, naming both Fred and Donald Trump as defendants. The Trump’s fought this lawsuit, even going so far as to counter-sue the Federal government. The Trump’s finally signed a consent decree, even though they were cited later for violating the decree.
In 1989, five teenage Black and Latino boys were falsely accused and coerced into confessing to the rape of a white female jogger in Central Park. Donald Trump took out full-page ads in local newspapers calling for the execution of these boys. Their guilty plea was vacated in 2002, after DNA evidence proved their innocence. After, New York City settled a civil suit with these five innocent men; Donald Trump wrote an op-ed in the New York Daily News calling the settlement disgraceful. Even today, he still refuses to acknowledge that he was wrong about their guilt.
According to the New Yorker Magazine in an interview with a former employee of Trump Casinos in Atlantic City, whenever Donald and Ivana Trump visited the casino, all the Black employees were ordered off the casino floor and sent to the back.
Trump started his 2015 campaign for president accusing Mexican immigrants of being rapist and bringing drugs and crime into the country. For several years he led the birther movement against President Obama, accusing him of not being a legitimate president.
Trump has used the strategy of stoking racial resentment over and over again. He used his Twitter account to pick a fight in 2017 with Black football players for taking a knee during the singing of the national anthem. He accused former President Obama also in 2017, of wiretapping Trump Towers in a series of tweets.
It is clear that Trump uses his Twitter account, as a distraction for some of the egregious things his administration is engaged in, but it is also crystal clear that this is who he is, in his business dealings, his personality and in his lack of character. Donald Trump, the President of the United States is a racist.
He supported white supremacist and Nazi sympathizers in Charlottesville, VA after a young woman was murdered, when he stated that there were good people on both sides. President Trump called countries in Africa s-hole countries and said that people from Norway would be more acceptable immigrants. He proposed a ban on all Muslims entering the United states.
Trump’s hateful tweets and speech inspired Cesar Sayoc to mail 16 explosive devices to 13 people around the county. These devices were mailed to prominent Democratic politicians including Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, Cory Booker, Kamala Harris and Joe Biden.
On July 14th Trump tweeted that four Congresswomen of color, Ilhan Omar, Ayanna Pressley, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, and Rashida Tlaib should go back to their countries of origin, if they hated this country, because they challenge his policies. All of these Congresswomen have received death threats because of this president’s constant racist rants against them.
Trump recently used his Twitter account to make racist attacks against Representative Elijah Cummings, who chairs the House Oversight Committee, and has issued subpoenas for White House staff to appear before his committee.
Donald Trump is one of a long line of racist politicians that we have had to endure in this country. However, it is very dangerous for the most powerful man in the country, to not only hold these racist views, but to openly espouse them, without regard to the ramifications they bring.
Those of us of a certain age, remember Bull Connor, an ardent segregationist, who served as the Commissioner of Public Safety in Birmingham, AL. The Birmingham Fire Department, under Conner’s orders turned water hoses on protestors. Birmingham Police Officers pursued protestors with dogs, and beat men, women, and children alike with their batons.
We remember Governor George Wallace of Alabama, standing and blocking the entrance of James Hook and Vivian Malone, two African American students, who were attempting to register at the University of Alabama.
WE all know the story of the phenomenal Tuskegee Airmen, the first Black military aviators in the US Army. In the 1940’s military leaders did not believe that African Americans had the intellectual capacity to become military pilots. Tuskegee Institute was chosen to train these men, and almost 1,000 aviators were trained.
They flew in more than 700 bomber escort missions and were the only fighter group to have a perfect record protecting the bombers. Yet there were subjected to racial discrimination in the army, and there were numerous attempts to cancel the Tuskegee Airmen Program.
Today, the Justice Department Civil Rights Division, which is responsible for enforcing Federal statutes that prohibit discrimination on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, disability, and religion, is all but shuttered, thanks to the actions of former Attorney General Jeff Sessions.
We see the same indifference to civil rights with the current Attorney General, William Barr, who refused to pursue civil rights violations against New York police officer Daniel Pantaleo, who murdered Eric Garner by putting him in an illegal choke hold. Even though the Justice Dept. Civil Rights Division felt that there was sufficient evidence to pursue charges, Barr took the position of Eastern District of New York who didn’t believe the evidence was there.
This is a gut-check moment for our white sisters and brothers. Are you willing to accept what this country has become under this man, or are you ready to stand up and stand against the racist and evil policies that this president and many Republican leaders are now engaged in?
As Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. said, “In the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends.”