June 21, 2018


'A blowtorch to the tinder': Stoking racial tensions is a feature of Trump's presidency (Philip Rucker, June 20, 2018, Washington Post)

President Trump this week likened Hispanic immigrants to vermin. He warned that they would "pour into and infest our country." And he defended his administration's family separation policy by alleging that parents crossing the southern border with their children were poised to commit crime and murder.

For him, this language is not new.

Echoing the words and images of the white nationalist movement to dehumanize immigrants and inflame racial tensions has become a defining feature of Donald Trump's presidency and of the Republican Party's brand.

Trump has stirred supporters at rallies by reading "The Snake," a parable about a tenderhearted woman who takes in an ailing snake but is later killed when the revived creature bites her. It should be heard as a metaphor for immigration, he says.

The president referred to some African nations as "shithole countries." He posited that "both sides" were to blame for last summer's deadly white supremacist rally in Charlottesville. And, again and again, he has accused black football players who took a knee during the playing of the national anthem to protest police discrimination of being un-American.

Among the many ways in which Trump stands out in the lineup of modern American presidents is his aversion to using his bully pulpit to unify the diverse nation he was elected to lead. Rather, he stokes cultural divisions and cultivates tribalism under the banner of his slogan, "Make America Great Again."

What else has he got?

Posted by at June 21, 2018 4:19 AM