Charles M. Blow: "Trump Is a Racist. Period." | THE POLITICUS

Charles M. Blow: "Trump Is a Racist. Period."

We have to stop thinking that we can somehow separate what racists believe from how they will behave. We must stop believing that any of Trump’s actions are clear of the venom coursing through his convictions. Everything he does is an articulation of who he is and what he believes. Therefore, all policies he supports, positions he takes and appointments he makes are suspect.

I have begun with what is a key paragraph from for Monday’s New York Times.

Start with that first sentence, which I repeat: We have to stop thinking that we can somehow separate what racists believe from how they will behave.

Or if you prefer, a few words starting with the 3rd paragraph of this powerful piece:

I know of no point during his entire life where he has apologized for, repented of, or sought absolution for any of his racist actions or comments.

Instead, he either denies, deflects or amps up the attack.

Trump is a racist. We can put that baby to bed.

Of course, Trump never apologizes for anything, and has no concept of repentence (which despite his official membership at least in the past in the Methodist Church makes it hard to describe him as in any way a Christian).

A bit further into the piece than what I have just quoted we read the following:

Racism doesn’t require hatred, constant expression, or even conscious awareness. We want racism to be fringe rather than foundational. But, wishing isn’t an effective method of eradication.

We have to face this thing, stare it down and fight it back.

The simple acknowledgment that Trump is a racist is the easy part. The harder, more substantive part is this: What are we going to do about it?

First, we have to recognize how embedded racism is not only in our history but even in our modern day culture.  Blow addresses this, and I will let you read his words.  Here are few examples that come to my mind

- disproportionate sentences between power (Whites) and crack (Blacks) cocaine

- disenfranchisement because of felony convictions (Florida originally established this along with Black Codes as a way of disenfranchising ex-Slaves and their descendants, and a higher proportion of people of color wind up with felony convictions

- requirements for picture voter id even for people who have voted for decades and do not drive (and then like Alabama closing most of the motor vehicle offices in the counties in the Black Belt)

- forcing charters into heavily minority communities where they are run on a “no excuses” basis, with harsh discipline that would not be tolerated in white suburban public schools

- concentration of payday lenders and a lack of regular banks in heavily minority communities

- lack of regular groceries in such neighborhoods, but an abundance of liquor stores

- “redlining” of neighborhoods making mortgages much more expensive, when available

….  I could keep going, but you get the idea.

Then there is this paragraph, which despite the 2nd word, is not the last in the column:

And finally, we have to stop giving a pass to the people — whether elected official or average voter — who support and defend his racism. If you defend racism you are part of the racism. It doesn’t matter how much you say that you’re an egalitarian, how much you say that you are race blind, how much you say that you are only interested in people’s policies and not their racist polemics.

If you defend racism you are part of the racism.   Absolutely.  To which I add the following words of my own:

If you remain silent in the presence of racist words or actions, you are also part of the racism.

In I made on Saturday, I wrote

We should not be afraid of saying it like this, to his face:

“You are a racist.”

Donald John Trump is a bigot in many dimensions, including on religion and gender as well,

But first and foremost he is a racist.

We should call things by the right labels.

I also quoted these words from King’s “Letter from Birmingham Jail:

We will have to repent in this generation not merely for the hateful words and actions of the bad people but for the appalling silence of the good people.

Those words are now approaching 50 years old.  We are more than a generation past. 

If we want to be considered good people, we must end the silence.

Donald Trump is a racist.

Those who support him, support racism.

Those who justify and rationalize his words and actions, support racism.

If you support racism, you are also a racist.

This requires our activism, our committed participation in the political process.  Blow makes that clear.

It will not be easy.

It will be a challenge.

But we cannot shy away from it.

Blow’s final words speak to this powerfully:

When you see it this way, you understand the enormity and the profundity of what we are facing. There were enough Americans who were willing to accept Trump’s racism to elect him. There are enough people in Washington willing to accept Trump’s racism to defend him. Not only is Trump racist, the entire architecture of his support is suffused with that racism. Racism is a fundamental component of the Trump presidency.

That is what we confront.  That is what we must honestly address.  That is what we must challenge in every dimension, lest we lose this country for good to those who still rationalize or even proudly claim the racism we see in the Trump presidency.