Even though President Donald Trump has told reporters on more than one occasion that he is "the least racist person you will ever interview," it seems the majority of Americans don't agree with that assessment. According to a new poll released Wednesday by the Associated Press, 57 percent of all Americans and roughly 80 percent of African-Americans, as well as three quarters of Hispanic-Americans, believe that Trump is a racist.
The new poll of 1,337 adults, which was undertaken by the AP to gauge minority opinion about the president at the conclusion of February's National Black History Month, is starkly divided along partisan lines, as might be expected. According to an article Thursday in the Washington Post, 85 percent of Democrats say that Trump is a racist, while only 21 percent of Republicans make a similar claim.
Though previous polls have given a number as high as 52 percent of Americans thinking the president is racist, this new poll represents the highest number that has been registered so far.
According to the Washington Post, the genesis of the idea that Donald Trump could be a racist goes all the way back to the 1970s when he was sued by the U.S. government for housing discrimination, with the charge being that he refused to rent apartment space to African-American tenants.
The racist charge has continued to dog him as president. He was widely criticized for refusing to condemn the so-called Alt-Right, a loose knit conglomeration of nationalist and racist organizations after the "Unite the Right" rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, sparked violence with counter-protestors, resulting in the death of Heather Heyer. Trump, at the time, said that there were "good people on both sides." He also allegedly referred to African countries as "s**thole countries" in an Oval Office meeting with lawmakers.
Digging deeper in the poll, 90 percent of African-Americans disapprove of the job Trump is doing as president and the same 90 percent believe that the country is headed in the wrong direction. Three quarters of African-Americans believe the direction the country is going has gotten worse in the past year and two-thirds believe that race relations have gotten worse. Seventy-five percent of African-Americans think that the Trump presidency is bad for them.
It should come as no surprise that fewer whites than African-Americans believe the president is a racist or disapprove of the job he is doing, but still only 45 percent of whites approve of Trump's performance as president and 65 percent don't think the country is improving.
The Associated Press article on the poll quotes Houston resident Ralph Loud, summing up the feeling of many African-Americans.
"He makes my blood boil because of the things he does and the things he says. We ain't going to get better as a country. We need new leadership."