by Fabiola Cineas | January 12, 2018 2:41 pm
Surprise: Donald Trump is racist, and probably has been for most of his life.
On Thursday evening, when news broke that Trump called El Salvador, African countries, and Haiti — the birthplace of my parents — shithole countries, news organizations and politicians, with some exceptions like Don Lemon, continued to use words and phrases like “vulgar,” “racial,” “racially tinged” and “racially charged” to describe Trump and his choice of words.
Even politicians are still holding their tongues in the face of a president who doesn’t know how to hold his. Massachusetts’s senator Elizabeth Warren said, “I could call [Donald Trump’s] comments racist, vile and disgusting because that is what they are. […] immigrants from Haiti, Africa and everywhere else are an integral part of the American fabric.”
I could call @realDonaldTrump’s comments racist, vile and disgusting because that is what they are. But I also want to tell you about Joe Freddy Francois because immigrants from Haiti, Africa and everywhere else are an integral part of the American fabric.
— Elizabeth Warren (@SenWarren) January 12, 2018
Instead of denouncing Trump as the racist president that he is, Warren, like many others, labeled only his comments as racist and quickly put the spotlight on the redeeming character of the Haitian people.
Why won’t people just admit Donald Trump is racist? His record makes this supremely clear.
Going back to the ’70s, the federal government sued Trump for not renting apartments to black people – he preferred to sell to white tenants instead. The president advocated for the death penalty for the Central Park Five even well after they had been exonerated. He launched the Obama birther movement, which he has yet to apologize for, and he even called Mexicans rapists and criminals while he was on the campaign trail.
Trump continues to advance racist narratives about people of color, like the time he said Afghanistan is safer than the inner cities, where apparently all black people live. And the president has displayed a real obsession with dropping verbal attacks on people of color – take his tirade against LaVar Ball as an example or the time he blasted a kneeling NFL player as a “son of a bitch.”
Nazis and white supremacists have enjoyed much better treatment under our great leader. He called them “very fine people” after they wreaked havoc in Charlottesville, Virginia, last year, and still pushes their agenda with not-so-subtle retweets of white nationalist ideas.
Trump’s classic brand of racism is even more apparent when we consider the kind of immigration he’d champion. People from countries like Norway can make their way in, but “Why do we need more Haitians?” Trump said on Thursday. “Take them out.”
But still, almost no one with a national public platform will call him racist. Anderson Cooper fought back tears on his show Thursday night to convey to the country that Haitians are “strong.” “They stand tall and they have dignity,” he said in an attempt to validate our existence.
And just like that, immigrants of color are once again forced to prove their humanity, forced to provide stirring narratives about how hard they have worked to build America. We’re once again forced to prove that our countries of origin have beauty and that we too deserve to live and grow and die in America. This is not about to turn into a sob story about the eighth anniversary of Haiti’s earthquake, and I refuse to tell (and thereby mar) my family’s story in hopes of appeasing or educating the deaf ears of our commander in chief.
Donald Trump is racist. Call it from the rooftops and scream it in the headlines. This likely won’t get him out of office but at least we’ll stop lying by omission.
Source URL: https://www.phillymag.com/news/2018/01/12/donald-trump-haiti-racism/
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