Mary Elizabeth Taylor, the Assistant Secretary of State, has resigned from her position due to disagreements over Trump’s values surrounding racial injustice. Ms. Taylor was the highest level African American woman In the Administration and a staunch conservative. Trump has argued that the media unjustly portray him as racist, but former allies in NASCAR, the NFL, and General Mattis have criticized his handling of racial issues.
Everyone except those under Trump’s autocratic spell believes Trump is a racist. That assessment of him is not based on a partisan viewpoint. Instead, it is based on his history of anti-minority rhetoric, business practices, and his presidential policies that punish and marginalize people of color. So far, the much talked about ” N” tapes have not been produced, but several former contestants on the Celebrity Apprentice report they exist.
Before becoming President, Trump was a leading figure in a relentless campaign to prove America’s first black President, Barack Obama, was not born in the United States. Known as the “birther movement,” Trump’s assault led Obama to produce his legitimate birth certificate. This did not satisfy the birther movement or Trump who claimed the birth certificate was inauthentic. Trump also questioned the validity of Obama’s college GPA, and he demanded that Obama release his transcripts, but Trump did not want to be held to the same standard. Trump has no reason to withhold his GPA after questioning Obama’s college credentials. Many have speculated that Trump is motivated by jealousy of Obama’s talents. Trump is the poster boy for an insecure imposter, but his opposition to Obama’s policies does not explain the viciousness he displayed. Racism, however, could explain it.
Trump’s first act as President was to order a ban on all Muslims from entering the United States. Racists often target whole groups of people as scapegoats for their country’s problems. Racist leaders have used lies, propaganda, and conspiracy theories to sow fear and manipulate the masses to support their ideology and actions. Trump often utilizes those tactics on twitter or at his rallies.
We see this pattern of race-based demonization in his assault on the DACA program, which protects over 700,000 undocumented young immigrants from deportation in the United States. Trump continued the pattern by demonizing asylum seekers from Central America as ”caravans of terrorists,” separating immigrant children from their parents, and referring countries populated by black and brown people as ” shitholes.” He has convinced his base that these policies are based on his commitment to enforce American Immigration laws and protect them from the dangers he professes these minority immigrants pose.
In the 1970′ s, Trump was sued for racial discrimination in his real estate practices as a landlord. He was found guilty of refusing to rent apartments to prospective black tenants. He was also viciously vocal against the Central Park Five, five black youths accused of raping a white woman in Central Park in 1989. Before the conviction by jury decisions, Trump flooded the New York media with cries of their guilt and a call for the death penalty. Years later, these men were found to have been falsely accused and coerced to confess by brutal police tactics. Their full exoneration came when the man who committed the rape confessed to being the rapist. Trump has never apologized to the Central Park Five, and he has never acknowledged any empathy for the tragedy of their false imprisonment. I believe this lack of empathy indicates he does not think Black Lives Matter.
His Administration is predominantly white with a few black appointments, which is not exceptional in American politics. However, the evidence is a lot more damning due to his previous attacks on immigrants and Black youth. Indeed, he has shown a lack of compassion in response to the George Floyd killing and the massive protests throughout the country against racial injustice. During the predominately white anti-lockdown demonstrations in Michigan, Trump encouraged Gov. Gretchen Whitmer to “give a little, and put out the fire,” but he has refused to “give a little” to the Black Lives Matter movement.
His ” “law and order” president mantra is a dog- whistle to his white base. His calls for law and order do not apply to white protests, but they do apply to Antifa and Black Lives Matter. Indeed, Trump and his Administration refuse to use the term Black Lives Matter and they have often replaced it with ” all lives matter.”
The tide is turning in the country against the white supremacy view of America. Trump’s “Make America Great Again” and “Keep America Great” slogans lack historical context and understanding. Black people, Native Americans, and Immigrants built this country. The biggest ” fake news” story by Trump and his Administration is that America’s identity can only be white and Christian.
We can hope that the tide is turning against Trump and the white supremacist movements that he often sympathizes with. The recent protests throughout the nation should energize the nation to reflect on its systemic racism, and oust a President that has emboldened racist organizations.
Hopefully, Mary Elizabeth Taylor’s courage to prioritize her morals and conviction over party loyalty will inspire Republican leadership to redeem their character and stand up for morality, ethics, and democracy.