Trump Triples Down on White Racial Grievance Mongering

Loren Elliott/Tampa Bay Times via ZUMA

I don’t know. I just don’t know. Trump speaks, and all the rest of are forced to talk about whatever he wants us to talk about.

This weekend’s big news (so far) is that President Trump blasted Colin Kaepernick at a rally in Alabama and disinvited the Golden State Warriors from a White House visit after Stephen Curry said he wasn’t sure he wanted to go. It escaped nobody’s attention that both of these folks are black. Meanwhile, Jimmy Kimmel—who is extremely white—has been on a multi-day rant against Trumpcare, but has entirely avoided any insults from the president.

In the non-sports world, we have this:

If there’s anyone in America who needs more help after a natural disaster, it’s hard to think of who it might be. Puerto Rico is poor, deep in debt, and has been almost destroyed by recent hurricanes. So far, though, Trump has mostly limited himself to a tweet saying that he’s totally got Puerto Rico in his thoughts.

But then, they’re just a bunch of Spanish speakers. Not real Americans like the ones in Houston and Tampa, amirite?

The fact that there’s a core of voters in America who actively support this kind of wink-wink white racial politics isn’t surprising. It’s deplorable, but not surprising. Nor is it even that surprising that we have a commander-in-chief willing to base his presidency on explicit appeals to these voters.

But how can Republicans continue to ignore this? I’m not naive about Republican history on this subject, nor about the realities of party politics. And I get that Trump’s outbursts might even be politically helpful for Republicans.¹ But there must be some point where he goes too far for at least a few of them. Right?

On the bright side, as long as Trump is insulting black athletes, at least he’s not risking nuclear war. I guess that’s a positive development.

¹As Steve Bannon said about Democrats, “the longer they talk about identity politics, I got ’em. I want them to talk about racism every day. If the left is focused on race and identity, and we go with economic nationalism, we can crush the Democrats.”

Is this true? It might be. Unfortunately, it’s hard to say.


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