Donald Trump is a bigot. There is no getting around that kind of a statement, as there is simply far too much evidence at this point to declare anything to the contrary. We’re talking about a man who repeatedly refers to Mass. Sen. Elizabeth Warren as “Pocahontas” in an effort to mock her Native American ancestry.
Of course, Donald Trump is still promising to build what would be a multi-billion dollar wall between the United States and Mexico to keep out the “rapists” and “bad people.” He also insists that Mexico will pay for his proposed wall, something that Mexican officials have staunchly denied.
Trump is known to regularly tweet hateful messages from his Twitter account targeting ethnic and religious minorities in the process. Not all of his offensive words began after his most recent run for president.
So it is very curious that after all the presumptive GOP nominee as said and done that he would tweet out an image aimed at rival candidate Hillary Clinton — and then delete it.
From the Hill.
“Donald Trump on Saturday tweeted an image accusing Hillary Clinton of being ‘corrupt’ with a six-pointed star, before deleting it hours later after a loud chorus of backlash.
“The presumptive GOP presidential nominee’s image showed the words ‘Most Corrupt Candidate Ever!’ on a red six-pointed star that many have pointed out resembles the Star of David, a symbol that appears on the Israeli flag and is commonly associated with Judaism.”
Trump deletes a tweet (only to replace it with one about as idiotic) under pressure from social media, but unfortunately for “The Donald,” the Internet’s memory is a long one.
Now, I could give Donald Trump the benefit of the doubt — the original hateful tweet is gone. And yet, I’m not going to. Just as with every other aspect of bigotry that the GOP candidate aligned himself with to get votes, he’s also well versed in anti-Semitic speech.
Haaretz writer Alexander Griffing warned that a Trump presidency would be disastrous for those of Jewish heritage. Griffing pointed to examples of anti-Semitic rhetoric to back up his claim.
“Trump managed to throw out some pretty anti-Semitic statements when speaking to the Republican Jewish Coalition back in December. ‘You’re not gonna support me even though you know I’m the best thing that could ever happen to Israel,’ Trump said. ‘You’re not going to support me because I don’t want your money. Isn’t it crazy?’
“He added, ‘This room negotiates deals. Perhaps more than any room I’ve ever spoken to.'”
Re-read the above quote, and please note the blatant implications of Trump’s statements. In the deleted tweet, Trump has Hillary Clinton against a background made of money. Next to her face, we get the word “corrupt” inside a Star of David. One of the most popular anti-Semitic stereotypes around involves Jewish people supposedly being corrupt bribers who are obsessed with money and power. If it had been anyone else not known to be familiar with this stereotype (as evidenced above), there would be room to call it a coincidence.
However, Trump has always known his target base and is well aware of their bigotry and pro-white sentiments. After all, Trump supporters were the intended target of the original tweet — and these are people who’ve attacked and insulted ethnic minorities on camera multiple times.
Trump voters have also acted out anti-Semitic behaviors online. Writer Michael Weiss wrote an article for the Daily Beast about being harassed by racist Trump supporters. The vicious attacks began after he called out Donald for his inappropriate response to the Orlando mass shooting.
“[I’m] used to hostile criticism and usually have fun with my online trolls. But I was unprepared for what greeted me on Twitter in the next 72 hours, namely a wave of anti-Semitic abuse that I’ve not experienced from Syrian or Iraqi jihadists in the three years or so I’ve been writing about them.
“After realizing that my social media had become a rallying ground for Der Stürmer cartoonists and semi-literate John Birchers, I poured myself a bracing cocktail and wondered: Where, exactly, did this come from?”
To answer Weiss’s question, it came from a man who allowed white supremacists to openly rally around his campaign platform. It came from his reluctance to refute his connection to white hate groups. Given Donald Trump’s family’s actual connection to the KKK, you’d think he’d be working extra hard to dismiss such a strong link.
He hasn’t and likely will not. Perhaps he deleted the tweet because he was concerned he’d revealed a little too much about himself — that he is either a white supremacist or white supremacist sympathizer. Yet, a man comfortable using such stereotypical imagery on the internet probably leans further toward the first label than the second.
The most disconcerting thing about Trump isn’t that he deletes racist tweets or that he feels comfortable posting them in the first place. No, it remains the fact that he is one off from possibly being our next president. That frightens me and you are not an ignorant xenophobe and racist, it should frighten you, too.
UPDATE: Mic traced the image tweeted out by Trump multiple white supremacists. Even with the “correction,” it remains the brain child of hate.
[Photo by Marc Piscotty/Getty Images]