Greg Miller, Washington Post, September 23, 2020:
In unguarded moments with senior aides, President Trump has maintained that Black Americans have mainly themselves to blame in their struggle for equality, hindered more by lack of initiative than societal impediments, according to current and former U.S. officials.After phone calls with Jewish lawmakers, Trump has muttered that Jews "are only in it for themselves" and "stick together" in an ethnic allegiance that exceeds other loyalties, officials said.Trump's private musings about Hispanics match the vitriol he has displayed in public, and his antipathy to Africa is so ingrained that when first lady Melania Trump planned a 2018 trip to that continent he railed that he "could never understand why she would want to go there."When challenged on these views by subordinates, Trump has invariably responded with indignation. "He would say, 'No one loves Black people more than me,'" a former senior White House official said. The protests rang hollow because if the president were truly guided by such sentiments he "wouldn't need to say it," the official said. "You let your actions speak." . . .Over 3½ years in office, he has presided over a sweeping U.S. government retreat from the front lines of civil rights, endangering decades of progress against voter suppression, housing discrimination and police misconduct.His immigration policies hark back to quota systems of the 1920s that were influenced by the junk science of eugenics, and have involved enforcement practices — including the separation of small children from their families — that seemed designed to maximize trauma on Hispanic migrants. . . .After rolling back regulations designed to encourage affordable housing for minorities, Trump declared himself the champion of the "Suburban Lifestyle Dream." He ordered aides to revamp racial sensitivity training at federal agencies so that it no longer refers to "White privilege." In a speech at the National Archives on Thursday, Trump vowed to overhaul what children are taught in the nation's schools — something only states have the power to do — while falsely claiming that students are being "fed lies about America being a wicked nation plagued by racism."The America envisioned by these policies and pronouncements is one dedicated to preserving a racial hierarchy . . .Carol Anderson, a professor of African American Studies at Emory University, compared Trump to Andrew Johnson, who succeeded Abraham Lincoln as president and helped Southern Whites reestablish much of the racial hegemony they had seemingly lost in the Civil War. . . .The Republican Party devoted much of its convention in August to persuading voters that Trump is not a racist, with far more Black speakers at the four-day event than have held top White House positions over the past four years. . . .Omarosa Manigault Newman, one of the few Black women to have worked at the White House, said in her 2018 memoir . . . [that Trump was] "a racist, misogynist and bigot."Mary L. Trump, the president's niece, has said that casual racism was prevalent in the Trump family [and] that she witnessed her uncle using both anti-Semitic slurs as well as the n-word . . .Michael Cohen, the president's former lawyer, has made similar allegations and calls Trump "a racist, a predator, a con man" in a newly published book. Cohen accuses Trump of routinely disparaging people of color, including former president Barack Obama. "Tell me one country run by a Black person that isn't a s---hole," Trump said, according to Cohen. . . .Trump has condemned Black Lives Matter as a "symbol of hate" while defending armed White militants who entered the Michigan Capitol, right-wing activists who waved weapons from pickup trucks in Portland and a White teen who shot and killed two protesters in Wisconsin.Trump has vowed to safeguard the legacies of Confederate generals while skipping the funeral of the late congressman John Lewis (D-Ga.), a civil rights icon, and retweeted — then deleted — video of a supporter shouting "White power" while questioning the electoral eligibility of Sen. Kamala D. Harris (D-Calif.), the nation's first Black and Asian American candidate for vice president from a major party. In so doing, Trump reanimated a version of the false "birther" claim he had used to suggest that Obama may not have been born in the United States.These add to an already voluminous record of incendiary statements, including his tweet that minority congresswomen should "go back" to their "crime infested" countries despite being U.S.-born or U.S. citizens, and his claim that there were "very fine people on both sides" after torch-carrying white nationalists staged a violent protest in Charlottesville.In a measure of Trump's standing with such organizations, the Stormfront website — the oldest and largest neo-Nazi platform on the Internet — recently issued a call to its followers to mobilize. "If Trump doesn't win this election, the police will be abolished and Blacks will come to your house and kill you and your family," the site warned. "This isn't about politics anymore, it is about basic survival." . . .[Trump's] first term has coincided with the most intense period of racial upheaval in a generation. And the country is now in the final stretch of a presidential campaign that is more explicitly focused on race — including whether the sitting president is a racist — than any election in modern American history. . . .Trump has confronted allegations of racism in nearly every decade of his adult life. In the 1970s, the Trump family real estate empire was forced to settle a Justice Department lawsuit alleging systemic discrimination against Black apartment applicants. In the 1980s, he took out full-page ads calling for the death penalty against Black teens wrongly accused of a rape in Central Park. In the 2000s, Trump parlayed his baseless "birther" claim about Obama into a fervent far-right following.As president, he has cast his record on race in grandiose terms. "I've done more for Black Americans than anybody with the possible exception of Abraham Lincoln," Trump said July 22, a refrain he has repeated at least five times in recent months.None of the administration officials interviewed for this story agreed with Trump's self-appraisals. . . .Several officials said that Trump is not a disciplined enough thinker to grasp the full dimensions of the white nationalist agenda, let alone embrace it. Others pointed out that they have observed him making far more offensive comments about women, insisting that his scorn is all-encompassing and therefore shouldn't be construed as racist. . . .When faced with allegations of racism in the 2016 campaign, Trump touted his friendship with boxing promoter Don King to argue otherwise. . . .Under Trump, the Justice Department has cut funding in its Civil Rights Division, scaled back prosecutions of hate crimes, all but abandoned efforts to combat systemic discrimination by police departments and backed state measures that deprived minorities of the right to vote. . . .After the Rodney King beating in Los Angeles in 1991, Congress gave the department new power to investigate law enforcement agencies suspected of engaging in a “pattern or practice” of systemic — including racist — misconduct. . . .The authority was put to repeated use by three consecutive presidents: 25 times under Bill Clinton, 21 under George W. Bush and 25 under Obama. Under Trump, there has been only one.The collapse has coincided with a surge in police killings captured on video . . ."I don't believe there is systemic racism in police departments," [Attorney General William] Barr said.Days after the 2016 election, David Duke, a longtime leader of the Ku Klux Klan, tweeted that Trump's win was "great for our people." Richard Spencer, another prominent white nationalist figure, was captured on video leading a "Hail Trump" salute at an alt-right conference in Washington.People with far-right views or white nationalist sympathies gravitated to the administration.Michael Anton, who published a 2016 essay comparing the country's course under Obama to that of an aircraft controlled by Islamist terrorists and called for an end to "the ceaseless importation of Third World foreigners," became deputy national security adviser for strategic communication.Ian Smith served as an immigration policy analyst at the Department of Homeland Security until email records showed connections with Spencer and other white supremacists.Darren Beattie worked as a White House speechwriter before leaving abruptly when CNN reported his involvement in a conference frequented by white nationalists.Stephen K. Bannon, who for years used Breitbart News to advance an alt-right, anti-immigrant agenda, was named White House chief strategist, only to be banished eight months later after clashing with other administration officials.Stephen Miller, by contrast . . . used his position as senior adviser to the president to push hard-line policies that aim to deport, deny and discourage non-European immigrants. . . . [I]n 2016, Miller sent a steady stream of story ideas to Breitbart drawn from white nationalist websites . . . In one exchange, Miller urged a Breitbart reporter to read "Camp of the Saints," a French novel that depicts the destruction of Western civilization by rampant immigration. The book has become a touchpoint for white supremacist groups.Miller was the principal architect of, and driving force behind, the so-called Muslim Ban issued in the early days of Trump's presidency and the separation of migrant children from their parents along the border with Mexico. . . .Trump's presidency has corresponded with a surge in activity by white nationalist groups, as well as concern about the growing danger they pose.Recent assessments by the Department of Homeland Security describe white supremacists as the country's gravest domestic threat, exceeding that of the Islamic State and other terror groups . . . FBI Director Christopher A. Wray testified Thursday that "racially motivated violent extremism" accounts for the bulk of the bureau's domestic terrorism cases, and that most of those are driven by white supremacist ideology.Major rallies staged by white nationalist organizations, which were already on the upswing just before the 2016 election, increased in size and frequency after Trump took office, according to Brian Levin, an expert on hate groups at California State University at San Bernardino. . . .
Blatant racism is Trump's strategy to win Minnesota https://t.co/aGtp7Z03pi— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) October 1, 2020