Is Donald Trump’s racism a symptom of his success or is it a bi-product of his upbringing? Or is he so mind-numbingly naïve that he fails to understand that his words motivate white nationalism? He seems to take pride in the chaos his comments cause like a toddler proud of going to the potty.
So, are his comments intentionally racist, or are they simply a cry for attention?
Trump’s past is full of racist actions. His own father, Fred Trump, was sued for discrimination when he denied access to apartments in Trump Village in NYC in 1973.
A former employee of his defunct Trump Casino recounts how, in the 1980s, Trump ordered black employees off the gambling floor.
Trump took out full-page ads in several New York newspapers, demanding the death penalty for the wrongly accused Central Park Five, and he still refuses to renounce this claim.
And then there is the birtherism conspiracy against President Obama.
All of these are stark examples of @realDonaldTrump's racist past.
It’s the attention these acts garnered that fostered further racist comments. During the 2016 presidential primaries and election, each outrageous comment, which would have doomed other candidates, became a lighting rod of free media attention. Each time, the media doomed the campaign, yet he thrived in the spotlight of his own ignorance.
How did this all happen? The answer lies in the far right. In Donald Trump the alt-right saw someone who could be easily manipulated through flattery. So, they attended his rallies in droves. The cheered wildly at his most outrageous comments, thereby causing him to repeat them, in turn drawing more alt-right supporters.
After each of the debates, Trump would cite statistics from the alt-right Drudge Report, Trump hailed each debate as a solid victory. And, when he took office, he named Breitbart founder Steve Bannon as a White House strategist.
His ratings among his base soared when he commented in support of white supremacistsin Charlottesville. They chanted “Send Her Back” in response to his racist comments about four female members of Congress, all women of color.
Yet, he refuses to accept that his behavior is responsible for the most recent spate of violence. It doesn’t appeal to his massive ego.
Make no mistake, world leaders are taking notice. They saw how the alt-right used shallow flattery and paid actors to attend his rallies. These same leaders, Putin, Jung and Xi, receive positive treatment while our long-time allies who dare to challenge him are ridiculed.
Was Trump always a racist? No one will ever know, but the facts tell us that he is now, and has been for many years.