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Local Voices: Is The President A Racist?

According to one written definition, a racist is “a person who shows or feels discrimination or prejudice against people of other races, or who believes that a particular race is superior to another.”

My question is based on some of President Donald Trump’s outspoken words and actions. His actions came to my attention when he started an all-out effort to prove that President Baraka Obama was not born in the United States of America and therefore was not an American citizen (the Birther movement).

He aggressively and repetitiously pursued that effort even after Obama showed his birth certificate to the public. Trump went as far as, saying he had sent people to Hawaii to investigate and to prove the birth certificate. It was never confirmed that he sent people to Hawaii for that cause. This act by Trump began soon after President Obama’s election, long before Trump’s candidacy.

After becoming a candidate for President, in almost all his campaigns, Trump’s stomp speeches gave dog whistles to his supporters that indicated he held biases against people of color. He seemed always to mention Muslims in a negative way by calling them terrorists. His comments were so discriminatory until you would think all Muslims were terrorists.

When he began his campaign, one of his first and most derogatory comments was about Mexicans. He stated that we needed to build a wall to keep Mexicans out of the country because Mexico was sending us all their murderers, rapists and drug dealers. He commented on Blacks, referring to the killings in Chicago, as thugs who needed jobs.

He incorrectly called an American Judge of Latino heritage a “Mexican.” The judge presided in a Class Action Suit against the then Trump University and ruled in favor of the complaints. The Trump University was accused of defrauding thousands of people out of money. The comment made by Trump that the judge was Mexican was intended to belittle and slander the judge.

Since becoming President, the mud-slinging from him has continued, and in some cases, his behavior has been even more aggressive. He has consistently worked to ensure that he cancels all of President’s Obama’s Executive Orders, without stated reasons. One of his first acts was to sign a Muslim Ban to bar refugees from six Muslims countries from entering the United States. His justification was “to keep America safe.” There has been no terrorist activity in the country from any of the six countries that he specified in his action.

He has supported the striking down of the Voting Rights Act which mainly negatively affects minorities.

The most astonishing thing Trump has done was to defend the actions of white nationalist groups, the Ku Klux Klan and the Nazis. In August, white nationalists marched in Charlottesville, Virginia to protest the taking down of General Robert E. Lee’s statue. Their protest turned into a riot causing the death of three people.

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In response to the protest President Trump defended the white nationalists by saying these were very fine people. He further said that the statues were beautiful and a part of heritage. Those statements farther emboldened these groups and encouraged them to continue their hateful racist activities.

Trump’s latest decision was to curtail the Deferred Action Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. That Act signed by President Obama protected young adults, who were brought to this country by illegal immigrant parents from being deported. The DACA children grew up in this country and know of no other country. Most are of Hispanics of Mexican descent.

The kind of behavior and statements the president has made must be challenged. The Republican Party has not seen fit to admonish Trump’s actions in any way. What do you think?

Shedrick Byrd is a frequent contributor to the New Journal and Guide and the Author of the book, “The Mississippi Byrd, from Rural to Urban to Suburban and Beyond.”

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