Donald Trump And Racism: Is The Trump Campaign Racist?

It’s odd that it’s even necessary to ask the question: is the Trump campaign racist? Over the last year, Donald Trump has managed to offend virtually every minority group in the United States – and many outside as well. Most Americans have had the last year to become acquainted with Trump. Those few months have revealed an individual who seems perfectly willing to express disdain for racial and ethnic minorities, the disabled, and women. The evidence supporting Donald Trump’s innate racist tendencies is difficult to dispute, and occasionally trotting out Ben Carson is unlikely to remove this perception.

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks as former presidential candidate Ben Carson stands on stage.
Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks as former presidential candidate Ben Carson stands on stage. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

But this didn’t just start with Trump’s campaign. Donald Trump’s personal history of racist opinions goes all the way back to the early 1970s. In fact, in 1973, the United States Justice Department sued Trump because he refused to allow minorities to rent apartments in the buildings he owned.

Trump was also a principal figure in the “birther” movement. As Mother Jones News reports, in the months and years immediately prior to starting his campaign for the Republican nomination, Trump made repeated blatantly racist statements suggesting that Obama was not really an American. This was all seemingly part of an effort to delegitimize America’s first black president.

The frequent accusation by “many” – as Trump describes them – that President Obama was secretly a Muslim was – in reality – racist code speak. Obviously, the average racist did not like the idea of a black man in the White House. But they found that their racist views became more palatable to a wider audience if they couched them in terms of Obama being a Muslim.

But once the Republican primary campaign actually began, Trump’s racist opinions were presented to us in such rapid succession it was difficult to keep track of them. For instance, Donald Trump actually refused on camera to denounce a racist KKK leader named David Duke, suggesting that he didn’t even know who he was – although previous videos show Trump clearly did know.

Trump expanded his racism beyond black Americans by denouncing Muslims in general. Trump has frequently stereotyped all Muslim-Americans as being terrorists or terrorist sympathizers. Trump, on several occasions, repeated the story that Muslim-Americans in New Jersey celebrated the destruction of the World Trade Center towers on September 11, 2001, despite the fact this is been proven to be totally false. Trump has also suggested stopping further Muslim immigration into the United States.

For Hispanics, Trump suggests not only a wall built across our southern border, but the deportation of over 11 million people currently living in the United States. The fact that many of these people were born in the United States and have lived here their entire lives doesn’t stop Trump from using this tactic to appeal to his racist, right-wing base.

Since the very beginning of Trump’s campaign for president, a number of the people he has brought in as workers and supporters have revealed themselves to also be unbridled racists. Frequent tweets, statements to the press, and interoffice emails show many of them to be bigoted in the extreme.

Then there is Trump’s supposed “pivot.” While this was intended to represent a major shift in tone by Trump and the entire Trump campaign, the reality didn’t quite live up to the billing. As the Washington Post points out, Trump’s decision to bring in Stephen Bannon – a known anti-semite – didn’t help his image much. Trump’s tendency to refer to “the Blacks” made the new Trump seem very much like the old Trump. Trump’s question “what have you got to lose?” when addressing the black community is unquestionably a racist and patronizing thing to say.

Despite all of the above, Trump has made the laughable prediction that he will actually win the black vote this November. Worse, in a tone deaf tweet, Trump seized on the shooting of a young black woman in Chicago to suggest that black people would now vote for him. The truly amazing thing about this is that the tweet has not been removed. So is the Trump campaign racist? Judge for yourself.

[Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images]