today in black history

May 29, 2024

Tom Bradley defeats incumbent Mayor Sam Yorty and becomes the first Black mayor of Los Angeles on this date in 1973.

A Shithole of a Man

POSTED: January 13, 2018, 7:00 am

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Let’s be honest for once. Donald Trump is not the first racist to serve as America’s president. He’s not even the first to show outward disdain for black people or foreigners. What Trump is, however, is the amalgamation of our nation’s racial sludge; the putrid stew that has been simmering for centuries and is now being served hot from the Oval Office. This president is the master chef, and is dishing out hate as a regular menu item in the White House.

Donald Trump’s rhetoric comes as no surprise to me, and quite frankly, should not catch anyone off-guard. Back in 1993 when I was writing a regular column for The Record newspaper in New Jersey, Trump was ridiculing the Ramapough Indians as they attempted to secure federal tribal status. Recognized in New Jersey, the Ramapoughs faced an uphill battle in their home county as politicians lined up against the tribe, and Trump poured gasoline on the fire by questioning the Ramapoughs’ cultural authenticity. What he really feared was the possibility of the tribe seeking a gaming license and opening a casino that might challenge his Atlantic City properties. I called him on it, and the politicians as well, because it was classic Trump. He’s become a master of defining an enemy and stirring resentment to serve his own ends. He is Lonesome Rhodes, the screaming face in the crowd.

The latest flippant and racist comment uttered by Trump regarding immigrants from Haiti and Africa is not out of character for this megalomaniac. By suggesting these immigrants were from “shithole” countries as compared to those migrating from Norway, Trump simply expressed his belief in white supremacy. It’s in keeping with his attitude toward Mexicans, and Muslims; a group that adheres to a faith that he must believe is only practiced by black and brown skin people. His vile thoughts regarding immigrants of color make all the more believable earlier derogatory comments attributed to him concerning Haitians that were refuted. Trump’s latest tirade was no coincidental outburst. The words he uttered is the language of Donald Trump and has been for some time.

We must not forget his condemnation, in a newspaper advertisement, of the five young men who were accused, and years later exonerated, of the infamous rape in Central Park in New York City. At a time when racial tensions were high in the nation’s largest metropolis, one of the city’s most recognized elites exploited that tension to sow further division. It was a manipulative ploy designed to score political points on the backs of black boys. For however much Donald Trump is worth in monetary terms, he is a morally bankrupt bigot who has always used his wealth and power to demonstrate his contempt for those who are not white.

“Racism is all about self-perpetuated hate that is the result of an unwillingness to see truth and acknowledge it, while plying false narratives that confirm your own ignorance.”

Let’s stop claiming he’s crazy or mentally challenged. He’s neither. Donald Trump simply holds racist beliefs that are rooted in ignorance. He might be a wealthy man, but despite his resources, he has lived a narrow life of self-confirmation. The irony of his comments is that he confuses Africa for a country, and if you were to put a map in front of him it’s unlikely he could identify and name five countries on the continent. That’s the thing about racists. They are ignorant and lazy no matter their class status or education. Racism is all about self-perpetuated hate that is the result of an unwillingness to see truth and acknowledge it, while plying false narratives that confirm your own ignorance. That’s why he is preoccupied with his predecessor. He simply can’t accept that millions of Americans and foreigners abroad admire Barack Obama, an African-American, in a way in which he knows he will never be viewed. The false narrative that props up racists is why in the 21st century the Ku Klux Klan still exists and has not been outlawed, and the confederate flag, a treasonous symbol if there ever was one, is still manufactured and flown in many communities. It is also why there is outrage over efforts to dismantle monuments to confederate icons though most were built decades later to purposely convey support for Jim Crow laws.

Trump is certainly not the first occupant of the Oval Office who has dabbled in white supremacy. Woodrow Wilson thought so little of blacks he screened “Birth of a Nation” in the White House and entrenched Jim Crow in the federal bureaucracy in the nation’s capital. What’s more it’s the conversations we don’t hear or are made privy to that would really raise the hairs on our arms. I have no doubt his comments regarding Haitians and Africans are mild in comparison to the things said by this president that we are not able to hear.

He is a loathsome individual and he, for the time being, is the president - by title only. He is not, by virtue of his own disqualification, the leader of this nation or for that matter, a representative of the United States. He is a caricature of a man; a decrepit old man whose insecurities and ignorance lead him to see enemies in anything or anyone that does not fit his limited world-view. We just have to accept that fact and move on with the business of preparing to move him out, and holding the line, where and when we can, on efforts by Trump that will further regress our nation.

Walter Fields is Executive Editor of

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