In Crossfire Today, we tackle controversial topics by having two opposing sides argue their perspective.

Is Trump A Racist? by Richard Wagner

Trump’s a racist!  He’s racist!  He hates Mexicans!  He hates blacks!  He hates Muslims!  When Trump supporters say “Make America Great Again!”, they’re really saying “Make America White Again”. And if we say it enough times, it becomes the truth.

But to genuinely answer the question – Is Donald Trump a Racist? – we first need a working definition of “racism”.

I’ll go with Merriam Webster’s Dictionary:

  • poor treatment of or violence against people because of their race
  • the belief that some races of people are better than others

And with that, allow me to consider the common claims that Trump is a racist, and refute them accordingly.  Of course, this is not a court of law where I plan to get Trump off the heinous charge of “racism” by merely showing reasonable doubt in all of the prosecution’s circumstantial evidence.  So I should also consider whether or not Trump is willing, or perhaps eager to be racially inclusive in his political campaign.  But first, the claims of racism.

Donald Trump called for a ban on Muslims entering the country

This is the easiest to refute.  Islam is a religion, not a race.  Next!

Donald Trump called Mexicans a bunch of “rapists” and “drug dealers”…

Here are Trump’s exact words as quoted by most news sources.  “When Mexico sends its people, they’re not sending their best. They’re not sending you. They’re not sending you. They’re sending people that have lots of problems, and they’re bringing those problems with us. They’re bringing drugs. They’re bringing crime. They’re rapists. And some, I assume, are good people.”

Trump’s anger is directed at the Mexican government, not the Mexican people.  It is a conspiracy theory that the government of Mexico is purposefully dumping its worst people on America.  I don’t blame Mexicans in the US for being deeply offended by this, and I don’t expect them to overlook it.  I also have no intention of defending Trump’s claim here.  Clearly the vast majority of Mexican Americans do not fit this description, and I fail to see how the government of Mexico, that has less legitimacy than the drug cartels in many parts of Mexico, would be capable of executing such a conspiracy.

If Trump were truly racist, he wouldn’t also propose allowing immigrants, including but not limited to Mexicans, who study in the US legally, to remain legally .  A racist doesn’t care if the members of another race are educated or not.  They judge people by the color of their skin, not the content of their character.

Trump wants to build a wall, and deport 11 million undocumented residents from the US

For one thing, those undocumented workers can be of any race.  But needless to say, the majority of them are from Mexico.  There are some who won’t hesitate to call you “racist” if you say that we should secure our border with Mexico, as though it’s “racist” to enforce the law.  However, as explained above, Trump is not trying to keep the entire Mexican race out.  He’s trying to ensure that Mexicans, and anyone else, can only enter the US legally.

But wasn’t Donald Trump endorsed by the KKK?

In short, no.  He was given a half-hearted endorsement by David Duke .  Duke was once a member of the KKK, but hasn’t been for decades.  Furthermore, Duke has long since renounced the doctrine of white supremacy, as you can see in the aforementioned link.  Whether you believe Duke or not is irrelevant.  Trump has no control over who decides to support him.

Even so, Trump disavowed Duke’s endorsement .  Over , and over , and over again .  But he didn’t do it quickly enough for some.  That should be the end of the story.  That may not have been good enough for the race-bating left, but it was clearly enough for these two passionate supporters who, if my eyes to do fail me, are black .

The only claim that has any merit

In 1973, Trump Management Corporation was sued by the Department of Justice for discriminating against potential black residents .  Trump never admitted any guilt, but he did settle the lawsuit.

Donald Trump is not a racist: am I just making excuses?

I’m sure many will consider my points above and say that I’m just making excuses for Trump or trying to present these controversies in the best possible light.  This is the court of public opinion, not a court of law, and so Trump isn’t “innocent until proven guilty”.

So consider this.  Are people of color unwelcome at Trump rallies?  Many will respond with a resounding “YES!”  And they’ll likely point to #blacklivesmatter or other protestors who have shown up at Trump rallies in order to disrupt.  Were these protesters being “discriminated against because of the color of their skin”?  Or were they simply getting the same hostile treatment that anyone would get if they went to a Trump rally to call him and his supporters “racist” and try to shout them down?

Let’s instead start by considering Trump’s commercials .  He’s eager to show the diversity of his support.  Racists don’t do this.  Racists hate diversity.  Trump is clearly a “nationalist”, but he isn’t a racist.

Is Trump A Racist? by Adrian Rivera

There are few terms as damning as “racist.” In today’s politically correct culture, what is racist is almost as subjective as what food tastes good and what food tastes bad, or in the case of racism, what is appropriate and what is not. But what does racism even mean in today’s society?

According to Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary, Racism involves:

  • poor treatment of or violence against people because of their race
  • the belief that some races of people are better than others

But that’s the dictionary definition — in today’s fragmented society, words that have single dictionary definitions often have numerous meanings beyond their original usage. Take for example “Bomb.” Most would think of an explosive device; others would think of the exam they just failed; and finally, many teenagers and millennials would think of that hella “bomb” album that Yeezy just dropped.

The point I am trying to is illustrate is that Racism today involves more than discriminating or feeling superior towards a particular race — it is to be intolerant, xenophobic, bigoted, nativist, jingoistic, ethnocentric, insensitive, it is to appropriate other cultures, and generally not understand or respect the complex and increasingly connected world we live in today. It is no wonder that the word “racist” has seemingly been thrown around willy-nilly. The reason for that is because “racism” has taken on a whole new meaning in the 21st century.

That brings us to the subject of Donald Trump, and whether or not he is “Racist.” There will  be those who say “When Trump said to ban all Muslims, he wasn’t being racist because Islam is a religion and not a race.” That’s fine if we’re using the old definition — but if we look at the new definition, this claim falls under intolerance, xenophobia, bigotry, nativism, jingoism, ethnocentrism, insensitivity, and generally not understanding the world we live in today. There will be those who say “Trump just wants to enforce the law — what’s so bad about that?” At one point in American History, Slavery was the law. Voting Tests were the law. Marriage only within your race was the law. To say that American law has been, is, or will ever be completely free from prejudice is idealistic and unrealistic.

In reality, certain laws do have racial bias, including immigration laws, drug laws, and even voting laws.

According to Trump’s own website, “ A nation without borders is not a nation. There must be a wall across the southern border.” What about our Northern Border? A nation without laws is not a nation. Laws passed in accordance with our Constitutional system of government must be enforced.”

Current analysis of H1B Visa grants show that “foreign fashion models are more than twice as likely to be granted H1-B visas than foreign computer programmers” as a percentage, just like Donald Trump’s wife, Melania.

Might I add that I find it quite funny that while Trump argues that “Laws passed in accordance with our Constitutional system of government must be enforced” when he simultaneously wants to “End birthright citizenship” as guaranteed by the 14th amendment. Why is that Donald wants to enforce some laws and not others? Could it be that this selectivity translates to racism? And there will be those who say that the one time Trump may have been racist, according to the dictionary definition, was back in 1973. They will say that this was 43 years ago, and that we should forgive and forget. Just like we should forget Slavery, Jim Crow, and all the rest of our stained history. Some things can’t be left in the past because they continue to affect us to this day — discrimination is one of those things.

Furthermore, his views ethnic and racial groups as single bodies as opposed to diverse entities with varied interests and backgrounds. Note that he uses characterizations like “the Blacks,” “the Hispanics,” and “the Muslims.” But what does this tribalizing of races look like in practicality? Perhaps his most infamous expressions of supposed racism is when he said “When Mexico sends its people, they’re not sending their best. They’re not sending you…They’re sending people that have lots of problems, and they’re bringing those problems with us. They’re bringing drugs. They’re bringing crime. They’re rapists. And some, I assume, are good people.” How does this denote superiority of race? It may seem obvious that drug dealers, criminals, and rapists are not considered the Pillars of Society.

When Trump capitalizes on this feeling of both his own and Mexican Immigrants “otherness” — that is, that he is drug-free and they are not, that they are criminals and he is not, and that they are rapists and he is not (although that still may be in question,) he cultivates an air of superiority. In his mind, he is a white, shining example of what Americans should be while the people crossing the border are not only breaking the law, they are bringing a host of other maladies, chiefly among those drugs, rape, and other crime.

To be a racist is to believe the stereotypes

To be a racist is to believe the stereotypes that permeate our culture. When delivering an address to the Republican Jewish Coalition, he made sure to remind the Jewish audience that he was “a negotiator, like you folks.” He even went so far as to say that he didn’t want their money, and that they would want “to control {their} own politician.” This image of the scheming and politically influential Jew is based on stereotypes. Note that Trump yet again characterizes the Jews as single entity — in his experience, all Jews have been master negotiators, all Jews are great business people, and all Jews have sought to control the political process through their money.

At the end of the day, I acknowledge Trump does not necessarily fit into the dictionary definition of Racism. But as more historically oppressed people take greater position in American Society, our definition of what is racist and what is not is subject to change. Historically oppressed people did not create the dictionary definition for racism — but for the first time in history, that may soon change.

Is Trump A Racist?  Join the debate via the comments sections

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Crossfire Today

In Crossfire Today, we tackle controversial topics by having two opposing sides argue their perspective. Readers are encouraged to read both articles and then join in the debate via the comments sections....

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