Donald Trump is undeniably a racist.
There, that was not so hard to do. Despite his racist behavior on the campaign trail and now as president, the mainstream American public, including traditional Democrat politicians, have either refused to acknowledge Trump’s racism or have simply bitten their tongue.
It took a racist, hate-filled tweet berating four Democrat congressional women of color several weeks ago to shake significant portions of the American mainstream out of its stupor. As criticism against him has swelled, Trump, in typical fashion, has continued to disparage the quartet —Representatives Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez from New York, Ilhan Omar from Minnesota, Ayanna Pressley from Massachusetts, and Rashida Tlaib from Michigan— accusing them of not loving the U.S. and other dastardly deeds and telling them to “go back to where they came from.” Never mind that three of these women were born in the U.S. and the fourth has been a U.S. citizen longer than Trump’s own wife.
Trump has sullied the American presidency and has brought denunciation and hate against the U.S. from many parts of the world due to his arrogance, nationalist fervor, and racism. In the process, he has been an extraordinary divisive force that has taken U.S. race relations to times preceding the Civil Rights era of the 1960s. Trump has had a renowned racist, Stephen Bannon, as part of his presidential inner circle as White House Chief Strategist for the first seven months of his administration, defended the actions of white supremacists’ violence in Charlottesville, Virginia, that led to the death of one woman, and has continued to separate Central American parents and children seeking political refugee status at our southern border, and has argued that the U.S. does not have an obligation to provide detained children the basics such as soap, toothpaste, and a toothbrush. These are deplorable actions stemming from the mind of an evil person who does not represent the ideals of this country.
The recent racist outburst directed at the four congresswomen comes in the heels of his mandates for massive roundups of immigrants in ten major cities and to stop immigrants from entering the country to petition for refugee status. These actions from a man who associates the countries from where many immigrants of color originate from with excrement and who proclaims a preference for immigrants from Norway.
Just a few days ago, Trump resurrected his racist trope of filth when he assailed U.S. Representative Elijah Cummings (D-MD) and accused him of failing Baltimore which he described as “a rat-infested mess.” He continues to attack Cummings, Baltimore, and the four congresswomen of color with impunity. Trump is certainly not subtle about his racism. He has not been a closeted racist, rather the mainstream American public along with his army of Republican minions have insulated him.
….As proven last week during a Congressional tour, the Border is clean, efficient & well run, just very crowded. Cumming District is a disgusting, rat and rodent infested mess. If he spent more time in Baltimore, maybe he could help clean up this very dangerous & filthy place
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 27, 2019
True to his consistent lying, Trump bellows through his tweets: “Those Tweets were NOT Racist” and “I don’t have a Racist bone in my body!”
Yes, yet another pair of lies!
As expected, Republicans, led by the likes of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, Senator Lindsey Graham, and Vice President Mike Pence, continue to shelter and defend Trump. In the recent House vote of 240-187 in support of the condemnation of Trump’s racist tweets to the four congressional women of color, only four Republicans had the spine to stand up against Trump: Reps. Susan Brooks from Indiana, Brian Fitzpatrick from Pennsylvania, Will Hurd from Texas, and Fred Upton from Michigan. Undoubtedly, this quartet will receive the ire of Trump and his cronies.
The condemnation coming out from a significant part of the American public and the House vote in favor of censuring Trump for sending racist tweets is long overdue and sheds a brighter light on him. Trump is the Racist-in-Chief, the racist that is occupying the White House.
We need to impeach this man for his unethical behavior, going way beyond being a racist, to include collusion with the Russians on his presidential election, conflicts of interest, and a long line of other offenses. Democrats, such as Nancy Pelosi and others who have stalled this process, will need to step up to the table and let their principles rather than political expediency guide them. We need to retake our country back from the Racist-in-Chief.
Rogelio Sáenz is a professor in the Department of Demography at the University of Texas at San Antonio. He is a regular contributor of op-eds to newspapers across the country.