Trump’s Push to Amplify Racism Unnerves Republicans who have Long Enabled HimHistorians in the News
tags: racism, Donald Trump, election 2020
White House spokeswoman Sarah Matthews rejected the suggestion that the president has amplified racism.
“Whether the media decides to acknowledge it or not, President Trump has repeatedly condemned hatred and bigotry and encouraged all of us to come together,” Matthews said in an email. “At the same time, the President stands against Democrats’ radical calls to defund our brave police officers, cave to mob rule, and promote cancel culture which seeks to erase our history.”
Leah Wright Rigueur, a professor at Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government who has studied civil rights and written about the history of black Republicans, said there is a clear pattern in Trump’s behavior and rhetoric.
“Trump is pretty predictable with his racism and his racialized take on things,” Wright Rigueur said. “Every once in a while the Trump administration and campaign have flashes of what look like sincere outreach efforts to various racial communities. . . . But that’s the part that’s insincere, and he always circles back to his core, and it renders all of this other stuff around the economy and criminal justice reform completely invalid because there’s no way of ignoring the central component of his campaign.”
Dianne Pinderhughes, a professor at the University of Notre Dame who focuses on race and politics, said Trump’s latest outbursts are the culmination of his nearly decade-long effort to remake the GOP in his own image, going back to his racist “birther” attacks on Obama’s credentials and love of country.
Trump’s racism, she said, “is not subtle at all. Every step he takes, every comment about human beings, murders or killings, he can’t hold back. Even as Mississippi and other parts of the country remove Confederate symbols, he goes in the opposite direction as hard as he can.”
Some senators and their advisers believe they must expand their vote share beyond Trump’s base to win reelection.
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