July 20, 2019

ALL RACE, ALL THE TIME (profanity alert):

Trump Employs an Old Tactic: Using Race for Gain (Peter Baker, Michael M. Grynbaum, Maggie Haberman, Annie Karni and Russ Buettner, July 20, 2019, NY Times)

Over decades in business, entertainment and now politics, Mr. Trump has approached America's racial, ethnic and religious divisions opportunistically, not as the nation's wounds to be healed but as openings to achieve his goals, whether they be ratings, fame, money or power, without regard for adverse consequences.

He was accused by government investigators in the 1970s of refusing to rent apartments to black tenants (he denied it but settled the case) and made a name for himself in the 1980s by championing the return of the death penalty when five black and Hispanic teenagers were charged with raping a jogger. They were later exonerated. He threatened to sell his Mar-a-Lago estate to the Unification Church in 1991 and unleash "thousands of Moonies" if city officials in Palm Beach, Fla., did not allow him to carve up his property.

Taking on competitors of his Atlantic City casinos, he questioned whether rival owners were really Native Americans entitled to federal recognition -- then later teamed up with another tribe when there was money to be made. With his eye on the White House, he opened a yearslong drive to convince Americans that President Barack Obama was really born in Africa.

His own campaign in 2016 was marked by slurs against Mexicans, a proposed Muslim ban and other furors. To deflect criticism, two campaign officials said they regularly positioned a supporter nicknamed "Michael the Black Man" so cameras would show him behind Mr. Trump at his rallies.

In the White House, Mr. Trump equated "both sides" of a white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Va., referred to African nations as "shithole countries" and said Nigerian visitors to the United States would never "go back to their huts."

His political calculation, which got him elected, was that 20% of America is as racist as he is and most Republicans are reactionary enough to vote for him just because Democrats oppose him.

Posted by at July 20, 2019 5:05 PM

  

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