A Racist in the Oval Office
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White Trash Out Of America
2018-09-08 18:49:16 UTC
A Racist in the Oval Office

Trump grew up in a wealthy white enclave in Queens, and he first came to
public attention in 1973, when the Justice Department sued his father’s
real-estate company for refusing to rent apartments to people “because of
race and color.” (Trump strongly denied the charges, which eventually led
to a consent decree.) In the nineteen-eighties, when Trump owned casinos
in Atlantic City, some of his managers got the strong impression that he
didn’t like black employees. In a 2015 story about the faded resort town,
my colleague Nick Paumgarten quoted a former busboy at the Trump Castle,
who said, “When Donald and Ivana came to the casino, the bosses would
order all the black people off the floor.”

In a 1991 book about his experiences running Trump Plaza, in Atlantic
City, “Trumped! The Inside Story of the Real Donald Trump—His Cunning Rise
and Spectacular Fall,” John R. O’Donnell, a veteran casino executive,
recalled a conversation that he had with his boss about an employee in the
Plaza’s finance department who happened to be African-American. I cited
the passage last fall, after Trump attacked Myeshia Johnson, the widow of
a black soldier in the U.S. Special Forces who was killed in Niger, but it
is worth reproducing it now. (The quote below begins with Trump speaking
about the black employee. The “I” at the start of the second paragraph is

“Yeah, I never liked the guy. I don’t think he knows what the fuck he’s
doing. My accountants in New York are always complaining about him. He’s
not responsive. And it isn’t funny. I’ve got black accountants at Trump
Castle and at Trump Plaza. Black guys counting my money! I hate it. The
only kind of people I want counting my money are short guys that wear
yarmulkes every day. Those are the kind of people I want counting my
money. Nobody else.”

I couldn’t believe I was hearing this. But Donald went on, “Besides that,
I’ve got to tell you something else. I think that the guy is lazy. And
it’s probably not his fault because laziness is a trait in blacks. It
really is. I believe that. It’s not anything they can control. .?.?. Don’t
you agree?” He looked at me straight in the eye and waited for my reply.
“Donald, you really shouldn’t say things like that to me or anybody else,”
I said. “That is not the kind of image you want to project. We shouldn’t
even be having this conversation, even if it’s the way you feel.”

“Yeah, you’re right,” he said. “If anybody ever heard me say that .?.?.
holy shit .?.?. I’d be in a lot of trouble. But I have to tell you, that’s
the way I feel.”

Is there any doubt that Trump still holds these kinds of views? Even
before his latest racial slur—it was reported on Thursday that he referred
to Haiti, El Salvador, and certain nations in Africa as “shithole
countries” during a meeting with lawmakers in the Oval Office—the answer
was clear. During the 2016 Presidential campaign, Trump described Mexican
immigrants as “in many cases criminals, rapists, drug dealers, etc.”;
questioned the fitness of a U.S.-born federal judge by referring to him as
“Mexican”; mocked the mother of a Pakistani-American war hero; and, for a
time, refused to condemn David Duke, the former Klansman.

Since taking office, Trump hasn’t changed much, if at all. He has embarked
on a public crusade against black football players who kneel during the
national anthem, suggested that some of the neo-Nazis who marched in
Charlottesville, Virginia, were “good people,” and boasted about calling
Don Lemon, the African-American CNN host, “the dumbest man on television.”
While some might try (lamely) to argue that Trump took some of these steps
to rile up his disaffected white voting base, no such reasoning can be
applied to his statements in internal meetings, where, according to a
report in the Times, he has said that recent immigrants from Haiti “all
have aids” and that immigrants from Nigeria, once they had seen the United
States, would never “go back to their huts.”

Evidently, the subject of immigration brings out Trump’s inner Archie
Bunker. His latest awful utterance—the “shithole” comment—came during a
meeting with Republican and Democratic lawmakers who are trying to reach a
deal to extend legal protections for Dreamers, undocumented immigrants who
were brought to the United States as children. The deal being discussed
would grant these protections while also including changes to the
immigration system intended to attract conservative votes in Congress.
According to the Times (though it was the Washington Post’s Josh Dawsey
who first broke the story), the Republican senator Lindsey Graham and the
Democratic senator Dick Durbin presented Trump with a plan that would cut
the current visa lottery program and reallocate some of those slots to
immigrants from troubled places like Haiti, El Salvador, and a number of
African nations whose citizens have been granted so-called Temporary
Protected Status in the United States. The Administration has in recent
months begun cancelling the protected status of several groups of
immigrants—most recently, Salvadorans—and it seems that the mention of
Haiti irked the President. When the discussion moved on to African
countries, he reportedly said, “Why are we having all these people from
shithole countries come here?” And he added that the United States should
admit more people from places like Norway.

Rather than denying that Trump had made these remarks, the White House
press office dispatched Raj Shah, the principal deputy press secretary,
who is Indian-American, to try to rationalize them. “The president will
only accept an immigration deal that adequately addresses the visa lottery
system and chain migration—two programs that hurt our economy and allow
terrorists into our country,” Shah’s statement said. “Like other nations
that have merit-based immigration, President Trump is fighting for
permanent solutions that make our country stronger by welcoming those who
can contribute to our society, grow our economy and assimilate into our
great nation.”

In appearing to suggest that immigrants from places like El Salvador,
Haiti, Liberia, and Sierra Leone couldn’t become productive and
assimilated American citizens, the press-office statement demonstrated
that deep racial prejudices extend beyond the Oval Office to other parts
of the White House. For now, though, the focus should remain on the
principal offender rather than his apologists.

On Friday morning, Trump tweeted, “The language used by me at the DACA
meeting was tough, but this was not the language used.” In a subsequent
tweet, he said, “Never said anything derogatory about Haitians other than
Haiti is, obviously, a very poor and troubled country .?.?. Made up by
Dems.” Neither of these tweets specifically addressed the reported use of
the phrase “shithole countries.” Later in the morning, Senator Durbin told
reporters that Trump said “things which were hate-filled, vile, and racist

For the past year, Republicans, senior Democrats, and many media
commentators have held back from applying the R-word to Trump. In some
circumstances, there are good reasons for exercising such caution. Calling
someone a bigot is not a step to take lightly. Often, it can shut down
discourse and fuel animosity. With Trump, there is the added consideration
that, as long as he’s the President, other politicians in Washington have
little choice but to deal with him. Also, he runs his mouth so much that a
lot of what comes out of it doesn’t merit serious consideration. After
this latest outburst, however, the arguments for being reticent seem
absurd. The obvious truth can no longer be avoided or sugarcoated: we have
a racist in the Oval Office.

This post has been updated to include comments by Trump and Durbin on
Friday morning.

John Cassidy has been a staff writer at The New Yorker since 1995. He also
writes a column about politics, economics, and more for newyorker.com.

2018-09-09 14:03:19 UTC
Post by White Trash Out Of America
A Racist in the Oval Office
We just got rid of one: https://tinyurl.com/y7zouyfc
2018-09-09 14:13:37 UTC
Post by Byker
Post by White Trash Out Of America
A Racist in the Oval Office
We just got rid of one: https://tinyurl.com/y7zouyfc
indeed, o'barmy was an obvious racist...
the leader of the uk socialist party is also a 'racist'...

indeed one of their law makers has just called (his own)
party 'institutionally racist'
Dhu on Gate
2018-09-12 22:04:13 UTC
Post by abelard
Post by Byker
Post by White Trash Out Of America
A Racist in the Oval Office
We just got rid of one: https://tinyurl.com/y7zouyfc
indeed, o'barmy was an obvious racist...
the leader of the uk socialist party is also a 'racist'...
indeed one of their law makers has just called (his own)
party 'institutionally racist'
Babies are racist: they prefer their own.
With the advent of Civilization we've found that inbreeding has drawbacks.

Je suis Canadien. Ce n'est pas Francais ou Anglaise.
C'est une esp`ece de sauvage: ne obliviscaris, vix ea nostra voco;-)