Trump and the GOP Are Racist

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Racist in Chief

Donald Trump is the paradigmatic Republican. He and his Party are racist.

“Conservatives” delight in pointing out that it was Republicans who wrote and forced ratification of the Reconstruction Amendments, the Thirteenth, Fourteenth, and Fifteenth, which ended slavery, tried to ensure some measure of equality for the freed slaves, and prohibited discrimination in voting on the basis of “race, color, or previous condition of servitude.”

All correct.

Between then and now, however, Democrats have taken the lead in reducing the amount of racial discrimination in the United States. In 1948, when Harry Truman decided to make African American civil rights a key component of his reelection campaign, he ordered the desegregation of the U.S. military, a very important step toward desegregation more generally.

In 1960, Republican Richard Nixon and Democrat John Kennedy fought for the votes of the few African Americans who had the power to vote, and the mantle of leading advocate for African American equality. When he died, Kennedy was working on a major civil rights bill. The next year, 1964, Lyndon Johnson, who became president when Kennedy died, bent his mastery of the ways of Congress, including working with moderate Republicans — this was a long time ago — to get the Civil Rights Act passed. He won election in his own right as president in 1964 and went on, in 1965, to pass the Voting Rights Act, which effected a huge change in our politics by ensuring that millions of African Americans who still lived in jurisdictions that discriminated against them could vote, dramatically increasing African American political participation.

Before the 1960s, people referred to the “solid South” to indicate that Southern states reliably voted for Democrats. The South is still solid, but now it is solidly Republican because the “white supremacists” all abandoned the Democratic Party out of pique at Johnson’s role in prohibiting segregation and allowing African Americans to vote. In 1968, Richard Nixon cemented the relationship by running on behalf of the “silent majority,” which “white supremacists” could hear as including them.

But “white supremacists” are vicious and relentless. Despite their near total control over the state government of Alabama, racist Republicans were not happy allowing so many African Americans to vote, so they pursued a case to the Supreme Court in which the racist, Republican justices struck down a key provision of the Voting Rights Act, leaving Alabama and other states that were so inclined to adopt various measures that inhibited African American voting.

Naked racism as the official policy of the Republican Party.

Recently, our most unpresidential of presidents, Donald Trump, loyal Republican, has been bogged down in the latest of his very unpresidential feuds with four Democratic members of Congress, whom observers have dubbed “the Squad.” All four are women of color. Trump has told them that they should “go back” to their home countries if they are unhappy with the United States, apparently unaware that three of them were born in the United States and the fourth is a naturalized citizen. As a lot of people have pointed out, it is obviously racist for Trump to say that to any person of color.

Ever the loyal toady, Lindsey Graham tried to defend Trump, saying that Trump would not want to send back a Somali refugee wearing a MAGA cap:

So refugees need to curry favor with the president to avoid his wrath. How that’s not racist is not at all clear. Leaving people of color to the whims of racists for their rights was the problem the Voting Rights Act, bane of Republicans, solved, until racist Republicans struck down its key provision.

Now Trump himself has pulled out the favorite trick of “conservatives,” ascribing your own worst quality to your opponent. He says the Squad are a “very racist group of troublemakers.” This tactic works far too often, but this time, it is too transparently preposterous for any but the most loyal Trump toadies to fall for.

We have mounds of evidence showing Trump’s irremediable racism. He chose the “white supremacist” Party to run for president from. His platform was explicitly racist. He was racist before and he has continued to be racist since.

Only a fool could look at Trump and four women of color in Congress and decide that the members of Congress are the racists.

Written by

Uppity gay, Buddhist, author, historian.

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