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Who’s a Bigot? Who’s a Racist?

Don Rose 30 August 2016 2 Comments

As expected,  after Donald Trump’s appeal to African American voters in front of all-white audiences, race has entered the campaign big-time.

Hillary Clinton gave several hard-hitting speeches listing Trump’s long history of racist (or today’s preferred conservative term “racialist”) actions and statements, but  stopped short of calling him an outright racist because she doesn’t know  “what’s really in his heart.”

Trump just outright called her a “bigot” and doubled down on his (often true) line that Democrats take the AA vote for granted–and that cities long under Democratic mayors are segregated with most black areas suffering violence and poverty–which he says he’ll end in no time at all. Good luck with that, Donald. Does any black person believe it?

Let’s give the devil his due. Richard J. Daley’s Chicago was intentionally segregated, using every instrumentality of government (including the federal). Eventually almost every municipal department was found to be in violation of civil rights laws or the constitution itself: schools, housing, police,  fire,  parks, political remapping and on and on.

Did that make Daley a racist? Well, considering his lily-white neighborhood where blacks met violence when they tried to move in–and the possibility that he, as a young  member of the Hamburg gang might have participated in Chicago’s 1919 race riots, a case could be made. But in the long run his actions as chief executive were so clearly, systemically racist that it really didn’t matter what was in his heart.

Early in the 2008 presidential race, both Hillary and Bill made a series of comments about Barack Obama that went well beyond “dog whistles.”

I wrote here that January, “They’re not really racists—they just want to stress that Obama hasn’t really transcended race—and that a person of color may not be electable. Think about it folks…. You don’t want to ‘roll the dice’—in Bill’s quaint phrase—for a guy who might turn out to be a captive of Al Sharpton or even Jesse Jackson, do you?”

The late Ted Kennedy had to call Bill and tell him to stop.

Ironically, Bill was called the first black president and Hillary had a long history of positive work with and for blacks.  Few in politics are pure, but Hillary regained the support of the larger black communities–as Bernie Sanders learned.

Trump however goes beyond a few ugly comments. Begin with his maintenance of segregated applications for his housing units. Later he takes out a full-page ad calling for reinstatement of the death penalty to execute the alleged–but  ultimately vindicated–attackers of the Central Park jogger.

Worse, he is the most prominent promoter of the “birther” movement aimed at delegitimizing our first black president. No African American will ever forget that.

He pretended not to know that the former head of the Ku Klux Klan is on his side,  accepts the support of overtly racist, anti-Semitic organizations, retweets their poison, yet has the chutzpah to call Clinton a bigot.

I don’t care what’s in his heart–he’s making George Wallace look like James Baldwin.

Don Rose is a regular contributor to the Chicago Daily Observer


  • John Powers said:

    If the above is a list of the most racist things that Donald Trump has said or done, then he is perhaps the least racist person ever to run for President.

    Of all the silly things that Trump does, racism seems one of the least likely to be worth considering.

  • Todd Elliott Koger said:

    Donald Trump’s Outreach to the Black Community


    The black community and our “blind faith” and loyal support for the Democratic Party . . .

    There are daily reminders of decades long history of (in your face) betrayal from the Democratic Party. Gun violence epidemic, failing schools, unemployment, poverty, and the like . . .

    The democrats blame the Republican Party because it gives more than 100 percent of its effort to address “those things important to its political base.”

    Blacks don’t support the Republican Party so there has been no point for the Republican Party’s politics to represent the black community’s needs.

    In addition, as is its the Republican Party’s right, it has used any available political tool to counter the “block of votes” the black community guaranteed the Democratic Party each election.


    Donald Trump has taken steps to address the needs of the black community.

    The Democratic Party and the black political leaders who control the black community “block of votes” are upset. They realize Mr. Trump is a threat to the monopoly they have operated for decades at the expense of the lives of black boys and girls who are victims of our current precarious situation.

    But the problem for the black community is (have always been) the democrats’ extremely “race-neutral” policies that are “less threatening” to the establishment but fails to ameliorate our long-standing economic, social and political inequities.

    Those in the black community unwilling to interact with Donald Trump are making a “huge” mistake.

    The only thing important this election is the “black vote.”

    The black community has “never before” had this opportunity — to put someone in the “White House” that has “an angry man’s attitude” about our situation and (unlike President Barack Obama) is willing to enact “race specific” policy to address the black community’s needs.

    The black community is Mr. Trump’s only logical road to the White House.


    Mr. Trump made it clear to the black community that he needs our help.

    He has apologized for the Republican Party’s past mistake of accepting the democrats’ decades of influence over the black community.


    Donald Trump’s campaign represents “racial unity” for America.

    Those supporting Mr. Trump have the common bond of “poverty.”

    Like President Johnson, Mr. Trump needs to use “poverty” to overcome a preceding president’s popularity.

    Mr. Trump has as his political base “poor whites.” His effort now is focused on “winning” the support of “poor blacks.”


    Mr. Trump has “ONE JOB” at this point if he wants to be president . . .

    Mr. Trump must make the black community understand that a “VOTE” for Trump is a realistic opportunity for racial equality, school choice, jobs, and the end of gun violence.

    Mr. Trump’s political base of poor whites and the black community must now understand the importance of “moving past” those things that have separated black and white communities.


    President Lyndon B. Johnson with “race-specific” policies did more for black America than the popular president John F. Kennedy.

    President Johnson’s race-specific policies worked to change the Democratic Party to the multi-racial/multi-ethnic political coalition we “blindly” support today.

    Help Donald Trump change the Republican Party.


    Democrats with federal, state and local policy have narrowed the focus of economic development in black neighborhoods to business incentives, undermining any prospect of raising the standard of living for black families. Municipal budgets of inner-cities across the nation are tight and with new demands on revenue, diverting tax revenue to business incentives reduces investment in education, job training and other essential public services.

    “Up-front” workforce development subsidies must be replaced with annual subsidies contingent upon goal attainment. Current democratic policy has encouraged the “take the money and run” behavior that has victimized black neighborhoods for decades. Commitment to black neighborhoods require replacing the current programs with “forgivable” loan means that each year the loan payment is due it is converted to a “grant” to the extent that project goals are met that year. Tax abatement and credits should be structured the same way.

    Mr. Trump’s plan should have businesses rewarded for staying in black communities, not just showing up.

    Such a proposal will be more effective because it puts the burden on workforce development projects to prove goals have been attained. These projects should now be subjected to the same annual budget scrutiny as any other program that competes for the public dollar.

    The TRUMP PLAN needs strong mechanisms to prevent corruption and conflicts of interest. No longer should there be “overbidding” for high profile companies.

    Program effectiveness under any proposal should be measured by how much the standard of living for black families improved (job quality).

    Finally, there should be a “sunset.” Any project that is “very expensive for very little documented gain” should be allow to expire.


    Donald Trump must make it abundantly clear, as the “centerpiece” of his domestic agenda that he wants not just legal equity for blacks; not just equality as a right and theory; but equality as a fact and equality as a result.

    Mr. Trump must make a commitment to use the federal purse . . . Not in the traditional “colorblindness” approach to infrastructure rhetoric that has benefits every ethnic community but black neighborhoods. But, as leverage to correct unequal life chances that renders black life meaningless for black youth.

    The democratic “colorblindness” policies that control the majority of America’s troubled inner-cities have created a poverty trap for black boys and girls, passing from one generation to the next.

    The remedy requires overt policy measures from the White House designed specifically for black neighborhoods that will work to improve productivity characteristics and the attitudes of those who control the education and training, and hiring of black youth.

    Donald Trump’s “outreach to black America” is a direct challenge of the Democratic Party’s “colorblindness” approach to doing things, which denies the realities of structural and systemic inequality and renders the needs of the black community invisible.

    Mr. Trump must demonstrate to us that he believes the Democratic Party’s “colorblindness” approach has routinely privileged every ethnic community in America and regardless of intent has disadvantaged black neighborhoods.

    The “first step” was to illuminate the needs of black America.

    Now Mr. Trump must build a bridge between the ethnic differences of America. Mr. Trump must build a new stronger nation based on inclusion, equity, justice and respect for diversity.

    Mr. Trump has to announce proactive solutions to address job creation, revitalization of K-12 education, making college more affordable, and the like. Mr. Trump’s proposal must strengthen family bonds, economic mobility, and full engagement as a weapon against the epidemic of black homicide, gun violence, and poverty.

    Mr. Trump has to announce to the voting electorate that he wants to “build alliances to expand opportunities for unemployed blacks to enter the workforce and make an investment in their community.”

    Mr. Trump must identify a plan that will enact tax cuts for small businesses, offer incentives to hire inner-city residents, and put resources in place to support starting and sustaining “Main Street” business development in black neighborhoods.

    Mr. Trump must say that he “wants every black boy and girl who wants to work to be provided with a quality education that will enable them to work.” His proposal must be a commitment to remove blight, rebuild neighborhoods, and to ensure black families an equitable chance of home ownership.

    But, no matter what Mr. Trump says or how the Democrats interpret it . . . asserting “everything is good in black America” is dishonest.


    Todd Elliott Koger


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