Sunday, July 24, 2016

Recommended Sunday read: Donald Trump's history on race

Posted By on Sun, Jul 24, 2016 at 10:33 AM

"Is Donald Trump a racists?" asks Nicholas Kristof in a Sunday Review op-ed in the New York Times this morning. 

Kristof has dug into the history, beginning with the evidence that Trump and his father systematically discriminated against black people in housing rentals in the 1970s. Kristof traces Trump's history from allying "himself decisively in the 1970s housing battle against the civil rights movement" to racist comments and ongoing discrimination against black employees throughout the 1980s to his role in ginning up hysteria against the Central Park Five (Trump took out full-page newspaper ads calling for the execution of the five black and Latino teenagers accused of raping a white woman; they were exonerated after spending years in prison). 

And then there's the more recent incidents: 
Trump’s suggestions that President Obama was born in Kenya; his insinuations that Obama was admitted to Ivy League schools only because of affirmative action; his denunciations of Mexican immigrants as, “in many cases, criminals, drug dealers, rapists”; his calls for a temporary ban on Muslims entering the United States; his dismissal of an American-born judge of Mexican ancestry as a Mexican who cannot fairly hear his case; his reluctance to distance himself from the Ku Klux Klan in a television interview; his retweet of a graphic suggesting that 81 percent of white murder victims are killed by blacks (the actual figure is about 15 percent); and so on.
Kristof's conclusion: 
Here we have a man who for more than four decades has been repeatedly associated with racial discrimination or bigoted comments about minorities, some of them made on television for all to see. While any one episode may be ambiguous, what emerges over more than four decades is a narrative arc, a consistent pattern — and I don’t see what else to call it but racism.

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