How Come Trump Insults Black People So Much? That's A Real Head-Scratcher Mystery Riddle-Puzzle, That Is!
There are a few things in this crazy world that we can all depend upon: The phone call you leapt out the shower to answer isn't that job offer you're waiting on but a scuzzy telemarketer, the airline will lose your luggage only if you don't pack a change of clothes in your carry on, and whenever Donald Trump drops his latest extended-length, dance remix racist tract against a black person he's been reminded exists, so-called "reasonable" conservatives will perform some dazzling footwork to gently criticize Trump's repulsive statements while not going so far as to categorize them or the president who shares their political party as "racist."
Just hours after Trump tweeted racist garbage about LeBron James and Don Lemon, Jonah Goldberg from The National Review jumped in with a full-bodied cabbage patch on Twitter -- after first clearing up, in case there was any doubt, that a Senior Editor for the William F. Buckley-founded publication is not himself a black person.
See? Trump insults everyone. By this logic, Archie Bunker can't be a racist because he also said awful things about women, and he can't be a sexist because he frequently insulted his white male son-in-law, who was Polish ... so, now I'm kinda dizzy. The point I guess Goldberg's making is that you can't jump to conclusions and claim someone's racist just because everything they do is racist. There are permits and licenses required. Trump is lazy. He hasn't filled out all that paperwork. He's parking in racist spots but he doesn't have the rights tags. You can tow him but you can't call him a racist.
However, Trump is very specific in how he attacks people of color and women. He insults black people's intelligence. He calls black NFL players who kneel in peaceful protest "sons of bitches." He ridicules the physical appearance of women and demeans them in sexually charged terminology. For example, Trump tweeted once that New York Senator Kirsten Gillibrand "begged" him for campaign contributions and would "do anything" for them. Goldberg references "Morning Joe" cohost Mika Brzezinski in his tweet. Trump didn't just insult her but went out of his way to attack how she looked.
No offense to my fellow southerner Joe Scarborough, but he's not the most attractive guy from the Panhandle. Yet Trump never targets that obvious weak area when aiming his invective at him. It's true that Trump once said Goldberg was "dumb as a rock," and yes, referring to the stupidity of your political opponents predates Trump. Still, I can't recall a sitting president insulting a private citizen, even one critical of him, the way Trump did James. Could Barack Obama have survived calling Tim Tebow an idiot?
Aaron Blake from The Washington Post puts the matter in clearer perspective with some nifty charts and graphs.
Black people are 13 percent of the US population. Three out of 100 senators are black. There are just 51 black members of the House (under 10 percent), and that's a record number. Yes, most of them are Democrats, but there's still an imbalance in how and at whom Trump directs his grossest fury. He can't even manage to insult white women senators without being racist.
Something that also interests me is how Trump responded when Robert De Niro famously said "Fuck Trump!" at the Tony Awards this past June. Trump tweeted a couple days later that De Niro was a "low I.Q. individual" who'd received too many "shots to the head" in his films. (Trump apparently believed De Niro was really getting hit in Raging Bull instead of it being, you know, make believe.) Trump ascribes De Niro's mental deficiencies to external factors, but LeBron James is apparently just "born that way" -- despite all his many achievements. LeBron might not have a college degree from Wharton, but he's smart enough to have never "accidentally" committed treason like Trump's very white son.
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Stephen Robinson is a writer and social kibbitzer based in Portland, Oregon. He's on the board of the Portland Playhouse theater and writes for the immersive theater Cafe Nordo in Seattle. Tickets are on sale now for his latest Nordo collaboration, "Curiouser and Curiouser," an adaptation of "Alice's Adventures in Wonderland" and "Through the Looking Glass." It promises to feel like an actual evening with SER (for good or for ill).