Democratic Rep. Maxine Waters appeared on MSNBC on Sunday and accused President Donald Trump of stoking the flames of racial hatred in the U.S. amid the civil unrest that continues around the country.
As reported by Breitbart, host Alex Witt noted Trump’s Sunday retweet of a video that showed one of his apparent supporters shouting “white power.” Although Witt noted the tweet has been removed, she asked Waters whether she believed Trump was unaware of the supporter’s comment and if the amplification of the phrase was intentional.
“Well, you know, we have learned a lot about this president,” Waters began. “And so it’s not believable when he said he did not hear it.”
According to Waters, the Trump presidency has paved the way for an increase in racist comments.
“People, the white men who just did that, they felt empowered by this president, that it is all right to do this now, to talk like this. So he’s responsible for the growing division, the more racist comments that we are hearing.”
Waters claimed that America cannot progress so long as Trump is in the White House and said that the president is “dog-whistling” to white nationalists and making them feel as though their beliefs are acceptable.
“It is absolutely outrageous that we’re now living in a time when the president of the United States of America is responsible for this kind of division,” she said.
Watters accused Trump of promoting a message of “whites being in total power” via “total control” while Black Americans and other people of color live under the “domination of white power.”
According to Brookings, there is “substantial evidence” that Trump has both encouraged racism and benefitted politically from stoking its flames. Notably, the non-profit claims that data suggests racism, sexism, and anti-immigrant sentiment are more strongly related to Trump support than economic anxiety — a factor some believe drove his success in 2016.
However, the organization also noted that much of the data on the topic thus far is correlational and does not prove whether Trump leads to racism or vice versa. In terms of causal evidence, one 2017 survey linked exposure to Trump’s racist comments to an increased likelihood of expressing offensive views toward other groups of people, including Mexican people, Black people, and young people.
Waters has been openly critical of Trump many times throughout his presidency. As The Inquisitr reported, Waters previously called for Trump’s solitary confinement in prison. The comment came after Trump implied that the anonymous whistleblower that sparked the impeachment inquiry into his behavior should face capital punishment.