Updated: Jul 4, 2019
Though it shouldn’t be so, most Americans are now accustomed to the president of the United States having frequent, uncontrolled juvenile meltdowns via Twitter. But his nasty comments last week about three Black female journalists graphically illustrates what a bully he is and that Black women are his favorite targets.
We’re familiar with the rage that he bellows regularly at congressional Democrats, world leaders, perceived enemies and the press, which Trump consistently labels “the enemy of the people.”
So perhaps we shouldn’t have been surprised last week at the vehement verbal assaults Trump leveled at members of the media, particularly Black women reporters April D. Ryan, of American Urban Radio, Abby Phillip of CNN and Yamiche Alcindor of PBS.
Nonetheless, the mean spirited, petty and noxious comments from Trump may have caught many off guard. Though they shouldn’t have, because what many Black women know for sure is that the president of the United States is a bully and Black woman are his favorite target.
Who’s Caping for Him?
It’s no secret that Black women aren’t caping for Trump. What's "caping?" Urban Dictionary defines “caping” as blindly defending someone, no matter how wrong they are.
No, Black women aren’t doing that. We know this president’s wrongs and the narcissist in Trump likely knows how much or how little support he has among this demographic in America.
Black women who support Trump will be as tough to find as a hamburger at an ovo-lacto vegetarian convention. In fact, 94 percent of Black women voted for Hillary Clinton. Trump’s weak support, particularly among Black women is well documented, but so is his history of racist statements and actions in the past (see his position on the Central Park Five, lawsuits for racial discriminationin the ‘70s and comments about African and poor developing countries, which he’s referred to as “shithole” countries).
Even against this backdrop of mutual side eye, there should still be some civility – a basic level of respect, particularly when it comes to public interactions and statements from the President of the United States.
But, Trump’s remarks about Black women have been vicious, vile and threatening. He referred to former White House staffer Omarasa Manigault Newman as a dog, called Congresswoman Frederica Wilson a “wacky” liar and has repeatedly issued veiled threats against Congresswoman Maxine Waters, one of his most vocal critics.
So perhaps we shouldn’t have been shocked that he chose to publicly berate and demoralize three Black women reporters last week.
He called Ryan a “loser.” He insisted that Alcindor’s question about whether his self-identification as a nationalist would embolden white nationalists was racist. He berated Phillip by saying “’what a stupid question, I watch you and you ask a lot of stupid questions.”
In those moments, we witnessed the president of the United States do what he’s done consistently in public: berate, demean and belittle Black women. Given this consistent history of disrespect against them, it’s no wonder Black women aren’t caping for him and it’s no doubt that the president is aware of this.
But that doesn’t give him justification to attack Black women publicly, berate or demean them or anyone else. It’s offensive, juvenile and below the dignity of the office.
All We’re Asking is For A Little Respect
It’s perhaps ironic that in this year of Trump’s widespread disrespect and berating of Black women that the good Lord saw fit to call home the Queen of Soul Aretha Franklin. It was the Queen herself who blessed us with her not iconic anthem, “Respect,” and thus delivering the most fitting line to address what Black women want from Trump:
“All I’m [We’re] asking is for a little respect.”
Stacy Fitzgerald is a Washington, DC area Gen Xer whose obsessions include politics, traveling and food and wine ventures.