A question that has to keep reoccurring to an observer of the 2016 presidential race is: Is Donald Trump a racist? In my mind the answer is not simple and clear cut; let’s explore.
Trump certainly has a history of involvement with racists and racist practices. The first real record of it dates back to the days that he worked with his father renting apartments in New York City. It is well documented and the Trumps paid substantial fines for discriminatory renting practices. The front line people were instructed to mark a very visible C on applications from people of color. That was blatantly illegal but it did keep Trump properties lily white and therefore motivated many to pay a higher rent which translated into larger profits for the wealthy Trump family.
Make no mistake, the primary reason Donald Trump is wealthy is because he was born that way. Trump’s wealth is much more a function of fortune than prowess. By the way, his accumulation of wealth was aided by nearly $1 billion in tax breaks. You paid for those tax breaks. You could even make a strong case that it was a form of corporate welfare.
Trump has a history of knowing how to profit from the fears, ignorance and prejudice of the least common denominator. He began laying the groundwork for a political run by being the front man for the birther movement. If Barack Obama were Caucasian do you think anyone would have questioned his citizenship?
It is well known that white supremacists are working for his election. In running for the Senate in Louisiana their most prominent poster boy, former Ku Klux Klan Imperial Wizard David Duke, asked voters to consider voting for him and Trump as a sort of team. The Trump campaign puts out some disclaimer of Duke and his minions every now and then. I see that as much more of a dog whistle than full throated rejection! Trump has no problem working a few lines about Hillary Clinton into every stump speech and during the primary he added lines like Lyin’ Ted and Little Marco. Have you ever heard him rally a crowd by mocking David Duke?
Yet getting back to the man’s core the question remains if he in his heart and deepest held beliefs is a racist. Therein is the problem. We actually have little if any idea of what Trump truly believes in this and many other areas. Trump is an amoral opportunist – some simply label him as a con artist.
I’m going to disappoint a lot of readers today because I simply do not know if Donald Trump is personally a racist. Here is what I do know. He has acted as one for decades when he thought he could personally profit from such actions. (That certainly exposes a huge moral fiber problem!) If elected it is difficult to imagine his ego would allow him not to seek reelection therefore we have every reason to believe he would rule as a racist in order to preserve that crucial part of his voter base.
Personally racist or not doesn’t appear to matter. Trump has a history of being at least a racist of convenience and a President Trump would be a racist President.
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