Tag Archives: racism

Racist: It’s just a toxic term

Allow me one more comment on a quote taken from an extensive interview with a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist who takes a dim view of the president of the United States.

David Cay Johnston said this to Salon. com: He is a racist through and through. He has been found in formal judicial proceedings to discriminate against nonwhites in rentals and employment.

Read the Salon piece here.

The “he” is Donald John Trump.

I am so struck by how easy it is to believe that Trump is a racist to his core.

Think for just a moment about the body of evidence that has been built up, most by the president’s own mouth.

  • He wanted to execute five young black men who had been exonerated in the rape and savage beating of a woman in Central Park, New York City.
  • Trump continued to keep alive the bald-face lie that Barack Obama, the nation’s first black president, was born in Kenya and was, therefore, unqualified to run for the office to which he was elected twice.
  • White supremacists, neo-Nazis and Ku Klux Klansmen protested the removal of a statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee. They launched a counter protest by those who oppose their racist views; a young woman was run over by one of the racists. Trump then said there were “fine people … on both sides” of the dispute in Charlottesville, Va. Both sides? Are you serious, Mr. President?

Time and time again, the president seems intent on denigrating people of color. He referred to residents of Haiti, El Salvador and throughout Africa as coming from “sh**hole” countries, while saying he preferred more immigrants from, say, Norway and Sweden.

Huh?

Yep. What in the world are we to conclude?

My conclusion is that 62 million Americans voted in 2016 for a racist as their president.

Shameful.

Is Donald Trump as bad as some say?

I won’t spend a lot of time on this blog post.

Instead, I choose to share a Salon.com article that interviews a journalist who says he has covered Donald John Trump for the past three decades. David Cay Johnston, who’s been awarded a Pulitzer Prize for his work, claims to know the president well.

I believe that he has the chops to say some of the things he has said about Donald Trump. That the president is “anti-Christian,” that he is a racist, that he comes from a family of criminals, that he is “ignorant about almost everything.”

He also believes that investigators well might have evidence that the president is a traitor.

Here’s the article. Take a look.

It will give you the heebie-jeebies.

So help me. It will.

Illegal immigrants ‘infest’ this country? Really, Mr. POTUS?

Count me as one of those Americans who is troubled by the use of the term “infest” when referring to human beings.

Yet, that is how Donald J. Trump referred to illegal immigrants. They “infest” this country by trying to sneak across our border illegally.

Never mind their motive for seeking entry into the Land of Opportunity. Search for a better life? Escape from persecution? Reuniting with family members already here?

Nope. They are seeking to “infest” this country.

This is the individual who attached a moral equivalence between white supremacists/KKK members/neo-Nazis with those who protested against them in Charlottesville, Va., this past year. Do you remember how he said there were “fine people … on both sides” of that hideous riot?

This man, the president, once called for the death penalty for five young men who were exonerated for the crime of beating and raping that woman in Central Park, New York City.

Let us not forget how he continued to foment the lie that the nation’s first African-American president, Barack Obama, was born in Africa and was not qualified to run for he office to which he was elected twice.

The common denominator? Race.

Now he is saying that those who enter the United States illegally from Latin America are seeking to “infest” this country. What in the name of human decency is he saying here?

To my ear, he is labeling every single immigrant — yes, those who are undocumented — as coming here to commit violent crimes, to engage in rape, murder, human trafficking.

At minimum, the president is casting these individuals in starkly unfair terms. My fear is that he knows precisely what he is saying and that the term “infest” comports with his deep, dark and sadistic view of what lures these fellow human beings to the United States of America.

Here is why early voting sucks

A major Texas newspaper has just validated my reasons for hating early voting.

The Dallas Morning News has rescinded an editorial endorsement it had made because a candidate for a Dallas County Commissioners Court seat was revealed to have set up a trust fund for his children if they married white people.

The candidate is Republican Vickers Cunningham. The revelation came to light on the eve of the runoff election for the commissioners court seat. The Dallas Morning News was so incensed at the racially loaded matter that it pulled its endorsement.

This is what I’m talking about! I have said for many years that — banning my actual absence from my voting precinct on Election Day — I always choose to vote on that day. Why? Because I hate being surprised by learning something terrible about my candidate after voting for him or her.

The matter involving Vickers Cunningham falls into that category of unwelcome surprise.

The Morning News said it backed Cunningham because of his experience as a district court judge. It didn’t know about the compact he made with his children until “the final days of this campaign.”

I know that Election Day voting doesn’t prevent such surprises. I merely want to minimize to the best of my ability the impact of such a surprise by waiting until the last day of an election campaign to exercise my right as a citizen.

‘Obligation,’ no; prerogative, yes!

CNN anchor Don Lemon is not among my favorite TV journalists/talking heads.

He is the one who once asked — reportedly in all seriousness — whether the Malaysian Airlines jetliner that disappeared en route from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing had been swallowed up by a “black hole,” apparently not realizing that such an event would have consumed the entire solar system.

I got that out of the way.

Now we hear that Lemon says it is his “obligation” to refer to Donald J. Trump as a “racist.”

According to The Hill: “Critical thinking is important as a journalist. If you cannot surmise that this president — if he’s not racist, he’s certainly racist-adjacent,” Lemon told an audience as the keynote speaker at Variety’s Entertainment & Technology NYC Summit. “We have come to a consensus in our society that facts matter. I feel like it’s my obligation to say that.”

I beg to differ, young man.

It’s not your “obligation,” although it is your “prerogative” to say what you want about how you perceive the president’s point of view. His obligation as a journalist requires fairness and accuracy.

I am quick to agree that Donald Trump has provided plenty of evidence of racist tendencies. I keep turning to the lie he fomented about Barack Obama place of birth, as he kept alive the slanderous accusation that the first African-American president was born in Africa and was constitutionally ineligible to serve in the office to which he was elected twice.

And, yes, there was that hideous assertion that there were good people “on both sides” of the riot that erupted in Charlottesville, Va., between counterprotesters and Klansmen, neo-Nazis and white supremacists.

Lemon’s “obligation” only is to report what Trump has said; he should let his viewers make the determination as to whether the president is a racist.

The U.S. Constitution’s First Amendment, of course, doesn’t prevent him from hanging the “racist” label on Trump. Indeed, it allows Lemon to say it, but it damn sure doesn’t require it.

Can this school board revisit a tough issue?

I haven’t seen every scrap of social media chatter bouncing around Amarillo, Texas during the past couple of days.

What I have seen regarding an Amarillo Independent School District board non-decision has been — shall we say — less than flattering toward most of the board members.

The AISD board voted 4-3 the other night to “change” the name of Robert E.  Lee Elementary School to Lee Elementary School.

I believe Amarillo has just witnessed the unveiling of a profile in timidity, if not outright cowardice.

The school in question sits smack in the middle of a community that serves a significant population of African-Americans. Children attend a school that is named after a man — Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee — who led a military effort to defeat the United States in a war that began over whether states could allow the ownership of slaves.

Gen. Lee’s name has been in the news of late. Communities have sought to remove statues commemorating this man who I and others consider to be a traitor to the United States of America. They rioted in Virginia because white supremacists, KKK’men and neo-Nazis protested attempts to remove a Robert E. Lee statue from a public park; the riot killed a young woman and injured scores of others. Moreover, it prompted an intense national discussion about how we commemorate the Confederate States of America.

AISD board members agreed to discuss and consider changing the name of the school. Then they choked. They fumbled. They missed their chance to send a powerful statement that this community would take a proactive step that removes the name of a national enemy from one of its public buildings.

“Lee Elementary” does not do a single thing to promote that notion.

So … here’s a thought. The AISD board represents a constituency that appears to oppose the non-decision the board made on the naming of a public school.

Perhaps the AISD board members can reflect just a bit on the nutty notion they thought would eliminate a community controversy.

This so-called “name change” didn’t do anything of the kind.

There’s not a single thing wrong with acknowledging a mistake, AISD trustees. Nor is there anything wrong with taking measures to repairing it.

AISD chokes when given a chance to make a big statement

I had high hope that Amarillo’s elected school board of trustees would do the right thing when it decided to consider changing the name of one of their elementary schools.

Then a slim majority of the board dashed my hope. Sigh!

The Amarillo Independent School District board voted 4-3 to alter the name of Robert E. Lee Elementary School to, um, Lee Elementary School.

There had been considerable community chatter about a school that serves a large African-American student base carrying the name of a Confederate army general who led forces seeking to allow states to retain the enslavement of human beings.

Many of those voices came to the school board meeting Monday night to be heard. They spoke out. A large majority of the voices gathered in a packed AISD administration building meeting room spoke against “Robert E. Lee Elementary School.”

The non-decision by the AISD board is disappointing. It borders on shameful.

Trustee James Allen — the lone African-American on the board — had pitched a perfectly reasonable option: Change the name to Park Hills Elementary School, which would be consistent with AISD’s current building-naming policy of identifying schools with the community they serve.

Did the board follow Allen’s lead? Nope. They wanted to “compromise” by dropping the Confederate traitor, er, general’s first name and middle initial from the building’s name.

As if that would wipe away the connection between a local school and the darkest, bloodiest period in our nation’s history? Please.

The national discussion about these name changes had found its way to Amarillo. I hoped our community’s elected school board would take up the cudgel and declare that it, too, would stand on the right side of history.

Sadly, AISD did nothing of the sort. Its board choked.

I’m out!

What would MLK Jr. think?

The hour is late on this day of national remembrance.

The nation has recognized the 89th birthday of one of the 20th century’s greatest men. Martin Luther King Jr. left a gigantic legacy that reverberates to this very day, this very moment.

I am left to ponder: What would the great Dr. King think of the national mood today?

Others have spoken to this question already. U.S. Rep. John Lewis, one of Dr. King’s key lieutenants back in the day, said he believes MLK would be appalled at the national mood. He wouldn’t approve in any sense of the rhetoric coming from the White House these days. Rep. Lewis believes Dr. King would follow the lead of other contemporary African-American leaders and wouldn’t speak openly to the president of the United States, Donald Trump.

I believe differently. Dr. King made a point of speaking of peace with his foes. His non-violent approach to disobedience became a universal mantra for protesting what many Americans believed were injustices being brought on vast segments of our society.

I just cannot believe that King would snub those with whom he had significant differences.

Of course, we cannot know how history would be different if great leaders such as Martin Luther King Jr. had lived. We play the hand we’re dealt. The hand we got in April 1968 — I cannot quite fathom that it was 50 years ago! — came from a rifle shot in Memphis, Tenn. that felled Dr. King.

He died, but his struggle lived on. It lives on to this very day.

I want to believe we have made great strides toward achieving the kind of world that Dr. King envisioned. Sadly, I hear rhetoric that comes from certain national leaders and I worry we have regressed.

My hope springs eternal. Dr. King’s soaring message still resonates. May it continue to remind us of the hope this American titan sought to imbue on us all.

John Lewis reminded us today that Dr. King knew that “we are one family.” To that end, family members shouldn’t turn their back on each other. That is what I hope — and at some level believe — Martin Luther King Jr. would say.

‘I am not a racist’ Oh, really?

Donald J. Trump says it clearly and with seeming conviction.

“I am not a racist. I am the least racist person you’ve ever interviewed,” said the president of the United States.

OK, then. That settles it, right? Trump isn’t a racist. He didn’t actually question Barack Obama’s place of birth and his legitimacy as president; he didn’t actually call those countries in Africa, as well as Haiti and El Salvador “sh**holes”; he didn’t actually say an Indiana-born federal judge couldn’t decide a case involving Trump University because “he’s a Mexican.”

Well, I believe the president’s denial of racist leanings reminds many of us the time President Nixon told us “I am not a crook.” We know how that turned out in the 1970s, yes?

Trump has taken a tremendous amount of criticism for his sh**hole comment, which he reportedly made during a White House meeting on immigration.

This blog has used the “racist” term, too, to describe the president’s leanings. Indeed, the record that includes a large body of demonstrable evidence of racial bias can be used as a counterweight to the president’s assertion that he doesn’t harbor bias against people who don’t look like him.

The sh**hole comment about nations that produce immigrants to the United States — coupled with an assertion that the United States needs to encourage more immigration from “countries like Norway” — only fuels the fire that’s burning close the White House.

Donald Trump can tell us all he wants that he is not a racist. The lengthy record of previous pronouncements, though, tells us something quite different.

Trump cements a racist pattern

OK — and if you’ll pardon me for saying this — let’s “tell it like it is.”

Donald John Trump has exhibited a clear pattern of racist views.

The president today said the United States needs to curb immigration from “s***hole countries” such as Haiti and those in Africa. He then said we need to encourage immigrants from, oh, Norway.

We are witnessing yet another demonstration that the president of the United States has racist thoughts. He has revealed yet again what lurks in what passes for this man’s heart.

It fits a pattern.

  • He called white supremacists, Klansmen and Nazis “fine people” after the Charlottesville, Va., riot this past summer.
  • Trump insisted for years that the nation’s first African-American president was born abroad and wasn’t legally entitled to campaign for, let alone, occupy the office to which he was elected twice.
  • When he announced his campaign for president, Trump said Mexican immigrants were rapists, murderers and drug dealers.
  • The five young black men who were acquitted of raping a white woman in Central Park many years ago should be executed for a crime they never committed, Trump said; he’s never apologized for that statement.
  • The professional football players who kneeled prior to games to protest police conduct against black Americans are “sons of b******,” Trump said.
  • Trump has said Haitians “all have AIDS,” and said Nigerians live “in huts.”

This is the man elected president of the United States? This individual is supposed to represent the very best of the greatest nation on Earth?

I am tired of dancing around the issue. It’s time to call this man what he is. He’s not just a pathological liar. He is a racist.

He’s also a disgrace.