Here is a bold prediction for 2018: President Donald J. Trump will continue to be called a racist. Yes, the prediction is not all that surprising. It is not that dramatic of a projection given the current atmosphere of political discourse with Trump as the impetus of much of it. Nevertheless, after last week’s supposed “sh*thole” comment, the prediction looks less and less like a prophetic word and more and more like stinging truth. As any person with eyes and ears pinned to the latest news travelling from 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue could tell you, the words “Trump is a racist!” no longer feels like some kind of partisan conjecture, but a belief many hold because of the President’s habitual (and oddly entertaining) way of putting his foot into his mouth.
As “entertaining” as Trump might be, he is not doing himself any favors. Though some of his more ardent supporters may believe that his presidency will be viewed and judged by his policies alone, the truth is his impetuous behavior could open the door for Democrats to win in a major way in the 2018 midterm elections. He should not want this scenario to play out because impeachment has been the calling card for many on the Left since his victory in November of 2016, and it will sure be on the rise if they regain power.
On the issue of whether he used a vulgar word, there is really no debate. It is about Trump appearing to have referred to other countries, where the people tend have skin color darker than his own, as places much less than respectable, appealing, or to his apparent liking. Of course, he (along with other Republicans) has denied that he ever made such a remark. But with a poll showing that many Americans consider Trump’s supposed comment racist, he is coming to the point where it may be too late to change many minds from accepting him as an actual racist person.
Posting denials on his beloved Twitter account will soon not be enough. Other politicians on the left and the right have begun to respond in their own ways. Sen. Cory Booker has given a dramatic moment in a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing about Trump’s statement, Rep. Mia Love has given a heartfelt statement on the matter, and the New York Times has given a “definitive list” on Trump’s apparent racism. Now, add these items to the reaction to Trump’s choice of words during the tragic events of Charlottesvillea few months ago, and you can begin to see how difficult it is becoming for him to turn the tide on this widespread conclusion that he is some kind of stalwart supporter of white supremacy.
There are some, including myself, that believe Trump is actually more ignorant or insensitive on racial matters, rather than a truly racist person. Recently, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s nephew, Isaac Newton Farris, Jr., stated a similar belief when he spoke about Trump to a CNN reporter that may have surprised some. Trump’s interaction with Farris came when Trump signed a proclamation to honor Dr. King. Plus, Sen. Rand Paul spoke of a time when Trump donated funds to a medical mission trip of Paul’s, where he was going to perform surgeries on Haitians. These should be examples to strike against ideas of Trump seeing other races as beneath his own color, but he still has plenty of work to do. He should learn to try things that may be completely out of character for him, but it may really be a boost to his presidency in a healthier direction.
As can be seen in a Twitter post on January 12th, Trump is right to have posted that there is “no trust”. He could be speaking to his lack of trust for the mainstream media or his fellow politicians, be they Democrat or Republican. But he should pay more attention to the fact that more people of his own country do not trust him. This alarming truth should cause him to question why that may be and what should be done to change this narrative about his person. Most of us would not allow a day to go by without having confronted an ugly falsehood about us being aired in public. He has been far too passive about meeting this possible falsehood about himself head on.
If he is not a racist and he wants to attack the allegations of racism, then he will have to do so in a grand fashion. He should know a little about this, since he has made some of his living as a reality television star. He will have to go big, or risk going home. As a matter of fact, if the Democrats make an impact in 2018, then they may try to help speed up the process. So, he will have to bigger a lot sooner than later.
Originally published on The Daily Nerv – January 23, 2018
Jerome Danner is a member of Project 21, an initiative of The National Center for Public Policy Research. Follow him on Twitter and Facebook for more of his thoughts and commentary. For more of Jerome’s writing, please check out his website.