People notice a clear pattern as Donald Trump continues racist assault on Black politicians

Donald Trump and Elijah Cummings
Ed Sykes

Donald Trump has sought to deflect criticism of his recent dog-whistle Twitter attacks by labelling a leading Black congressman as “racist”. But many people see right through his transparent and cynical attempt to appeal to racist voters by attacking prominent Black politicians.

Holding Trump to account

Trump insisted his weekend comments referring to Representative Elijah Cummings’ majority-black Baltimore district as a “disgusting, rat and rodent infested mess” where “no human being would want to live” were not racist. He tweeted: “If racist Elijah Cummings would focus more of his energy on helping the good people of his district, and Baltimore itself, perhaps progress could be made in fixing the mess.”

At a hearing last week, Cummings accused a top administration official of wrongly calling reports of filthy, overcrowded border facilities “unsubstantiated”. He is also leading multiple investigations of the president’s governmental dealings. He has drawn the president’s ire, for example, over investigations touching on his family members serving in the White House. His committee voted along party lines Thursday to authorise subpoenas for personal emails and texts used for official business by top White House aides, including Ivanka Trump and her husband Jared Kushner.

Trump’s tweets on Saturday also charged that Cummings’ district, which includes Johns Hopkins Hospital, the Social Security Administration and the national headquarters of the NAACP, is “considered the worst run and most dangerous anywhere in the United States”.

Cummings responded by saying:

After a weekend of attacks on Cummings, the son of former sharecroppers who rose to become the powerful chairman of the House Oversight and Reform Committee, Trump expanded his attacks to include a prominent Cummings defender, Al Sharpton, who was travelling to Baltimore to hold a press conference in condemnation of the president. “Al is a con man, a troublemaker,” Trump tweeted ahead of the press conference, adding that the civil rights activist and MSNBC host “Hates Whites & Cops!”

Sharpton responded:

He also slammed Trump in a damning speech:

“A pattern is a pattern”

Two weeks ago, Trump caused a nationwide uproar with tweets directed at four Democratic congresswomen from ethnic minorities as he looked to stoke ethnic divisions for political gain heading into the 2020 election. He called for Democratic representatives Ilhan Omar, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Ayanna Pressley and Rashida Tlaib to get out of the US “right now”.

He said that if the politicians “hate our country,” they can go back to their “broken and crime-infested” countries. Three of the four politicians were born in the US. The House later voted largely along party lines to condemn his “racist comments”.

These politicians have since defended Cummings themselves:

Journalist Joy Reid, meanwhile, highlighted Trump’s hypocrisy. She quoted on her Joy AM TV show from a 2017 article which read:

Rust, mold, parasites: Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago cited for 78 health violations in the last three years

And she tweeted:

Others have also seen a clear pattern emerge in Trump’s attacks:

Indeed, Trump is clearly trying to put ethnic polarisation at the centre of his appeal to his base of voters. Fortunately, many people see his racist tactics as the disgusting and cynical manipulation that they are.

Featured image via Wikimedia Commons and United States Congress, with additional reporting via Press Association

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  • Show Comments
    1. I think there’s a problem with labelling Trump as racist. He may well be racist – he probably is; he might also be attacking these congressmen because they are left-wingers, criticising the actions of his government.

      Calling him a racist is really just so much name-calling, and creates a distraction from the real issue – the actions and policies being pursued by him and his government. It also allows him simply to say: “No I’m not, but you are.” And, in a sense you see his argument. If we say that he is racist because he is attacking black politicians, then that suggests that that is what we have seen. He is attacking a politician; the politician is black; ergo he is racist. It smacks a little of the argument that a dog has four legs, a cat has four legs, therefore a cat is a dog.

      Read instead the riposte from The Baltimore Sun. Sublimely insulting, but all the insults based on verifiable actions, not on blanket name-calling.

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