Donald Trump’s long history of racism, from the 1970s to 2020

Ask President Donald Trump, he isn’t racist. To the contrary, he’s repeatedly said that he’s “the least racist person that you’ve ever encountered.”

Trump’sHowever, the actual record tells a different story.

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On theTrump made explicit racist and other bigoted comments on the campaign trail fromMexican immigrants should be branded criminals or rapists. toProposing a ban on all Muslims entering theUSA toSuggestions for a Judge to Resign fromA case is not a matter of principle. of the judge’s Mexican heritage.

This trend continued throughout his presidency. Stereotyping a Black reporter toPandering toAfter they staged a violent rally at Charlottesville, Virginia, white supremacists. toJoking about theTrail of Tears, Trump hasn’t stopped with racist acts after his 2016 election.

Trump called most recently theSARS-CoV-2 coronavirus the “Chinese virus” and “kung flu” — racist terms that tap into theKind ofXenophobia he embraced during his 2016 presidential campaign. Trump’s own adviser, Kellyanne Conway, previously called “kung flu” a “highly offensive” term. And Trump insinuated that Sen. Kamala Harris, who’s Black, “doesn’t meet the requirements” to run for vice president — a repeat of theHe propagated a conspiracy theory about the birther that was linked to former President Barack Obama.

Trump knows this well. Trump is not the only one who does this. theFirst time Trump has appeared in thePages of theNew York Times, back the 1970sWhen? theUS Department ofJustice sued him for racial disparity. Since then, he has appeared repeatedly in newspaper pages throughout the United States. theworld and he inspired many similar controversies.

This long historyIt is vital. It wouldn’t be a problem if Trump swore wrongly one or two times. It’s not the same if Trump misspoke once or twice. of his actions and comments together, a clear pattern emerges — one that suggests that bigotry is not just political opportunism on Trump’sPart but a real element ofHis personality, his character, and his career.

Trump has an long history of racist controversies

Here’s a breakdown of Trump’s history, taken largely from Dara Lind’s list for Vox and an op-ed by Nicholas Kristof in theNew York Times

  • 1973The US Department of Justice — under theNixon administration of all administrations — sued theTrump Management Corporation for Violations the Fair Housing Act. Federal officials discovered evidence that Trump had rejected the Fair Housing Act. to rent toBlack tenants and lied toBlack applicants were asked whether there was an apartment available. Trump stated theFederal government tried to to get him to rent toSocial welfare recipients In theIn 1975, he signed an agreement agreeing to not toBe selective to renters ofWithout admitting color to previous discrimination.
  • 1980sKip Brown, an ex-employee at Trump’sCastle is accused of another offense of Trump’sBusinesses ofDiscrimination “When DonaldIvana and Ivana arrived to theCasino theAll orders would be placed by bosses theOffense to black people the floor,” Brown said. “It was theEighties. I was a teenager. But I still remember the moment: They brought us all in. the back.”
  • 1989 In a controversial case that’s been characterized as a modern-day lynching, four Black teenagers and one Latino teenager — the “Central Park Five” — were accused ofNew York City jogger attacked and raped Trump immediately took over the case, running an ad in local papers demanding, “BRING BACK THE DEATH PENALTY. BRING BACK OUR POLICE!” The teens’ convictions were later vacated after they spent seven to13 years in prison theSettlement paid by city for $41 million to the teens. But Trump in October 2016 said he still believes they’re guilty, despite theDNA evidence to theContrary.
  • 1991 A book by John O’Donnell, former president ofTrump Plaza Hotel and casino in Atlantic City, quoted Trump’s criticism of a Black accountant: “Black guys counting my money! I hate it. It’s the worst kind. ofPeople I want to count my money are people who are short and wear yarmulkes all day. … I think that theThis guy is lazy. And it’s probably not his fault, because laziness is a trait in blacks. It really is, I think that. It’s not anything they can control.” Trump later said in a 1997 Playboy interview that “the stuff O’Donnell wrote about me is probably true.”
  • 1992The Trump Plaza Hotel & Casino toIt transferred Black and Women dealers off tables and was fined $200,000 to accommodate a big-time gambler’s prejudices.
  • 1993 In congressional testimony, Trump said that some Native American reservations operating casinos shouldn’t be allowed because “they don’t look like Indians to me.”
  • 2000 In opposition toProposed casino by theThe St. Regis Mohawk tribe was a financial threat to him. toTrump secretly managed a series of casinos in Atlantic City. of ads suggesting the tribe had a “record ofCriminal activity [that] is well documented.”
  • 2004Season two ofTrump fired Kevin Allen (a Black contestant) for being too educated on The Apprentice. “You’re an unbelievably talented guy in terms of education, and you haven’t done anything,” Trump said on theShow. “At some point you have to say, ‘That’s enough.’”
  • 2005Trump made public his version of The Apprentice: White People and Black People. He said he “wasn’t particularly happy” with theThe most recent season of his show, so he was considering “an idea that is fairly controversial — creating a team ofSuccessful African Americans versus a Team ofSuccessful whites. It is a reflective idea, regardless of whether people like it or not. of our very vicious world.”
  • 2010There was a national debate about the 2010 election. the “Ground Zero Mosque” — a proposal toIn Lower Manhattan, close to Manhattan, build a Muslim community hub theSite of the 9/11 attacks. Trump opposed the project, calling it “insensitive,” and offered toPurchase one of theInvestors theproject. Trump stated, “referring” on The Late Show With David Letterman to Muslims, “Well, somebody’s blowing us up. Somebody’s blowing up buildings, and somebody’s doing lots of bad stuff.”
  • 2011 Trump played a big role in pushing false rumors that Obama — the country’s first Black president — was not born in theUS He claimed toYou can send investigators toHawaii to look into Obama’s birth certificate. Obama later released his birth certificate, calling Trump a “carnival barker.” The research has found a strong correlation between birtherism, as theThe conspiracy theory is often called racism. Trump is believed to have continued spreading this conspiracy theory privately.
  • 2011 While Trump suggested that Obama wasn’t born in the US, he also argued that maybe Obama wasn’t a good enough student toObama was asked to release his university transcripts after he got into Harvard Law School and Columbia Law School. Trump claimed, “I heard he was a terrible student. Terrible. How can a bad student get along? toColumbia and then to Harvard?”
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For many people, none ofThese incidents may all be damning. of these alone might suggest that Trump is simply a bad speaker and perhaps racially insensitive (“politically incorrect,” as he would put it), but not overtly racist.

When you add all of these events together, there is a clear pattern. At theTrump has at the very minimum, a history of playing into people’s racism to bolster himself — and that likely says something about him, too.

And. of course, there’s everything that’s happened through and since his presidential campaign.

Trump made more racist remarks as a candidate for president and as a candidate.

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At the top ofAll of it history, Trump has repeatedly made racist — often explicitly so — remarks on theCampaign trail and as president

  • Trump launched his campaign in 2015 by calling Mexican immigrants “rapists” who are “bringing crime” and “bringing drugs” to theUS. His campaign was largely based on the construction of a wall toKeep these immigrants out of theUSA
  • Trump, as a candidate for the 2015 election, called for an end to all Muslims entering the United States. theUS. His administration finally implemented a much more watered down version. of thePolicy
  • At a 2016 Republican debate, I was asked if all 1.6 million Muslims are hateful. the US, Trump said, “I mean a lot ofThey are. I mean a lot of them.”
  • He argued in 2016 that Judge Gonzalo Curiel — who was overseeing the Trump University lawsuit — should recuse himself from theBecause ofHis Mexican heritage and his membership in a Latino attorneys association. House Speaker Paul Ryan, who endorsed Trump, later called such comments “the textbook definition of a racist comment.”
  • Trump is a slow man. toHe condemns white supremacists that he endorses, and he frequently retweets messages fromDuring his presidential campaign, white supremacists were allied with neo-Nazis.
  • He later deleted and tweeted an image showing Hillary Clinton in front ofA pile ofMoney and by the Jewish Star of David that said, “Most Corrupt Candidate Ever!” The tweet had some very obvious anti-Semitic imagery, but Trump insisted that the star was a sheriff’s badge, and said his campaign shouldn’t have deleted it.
  • Trump repeatedly refers to to Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) as “Pocahontas,” using her controversial — and later walked-back — claims toNative American heritage as a punchline
  • At theTrump officially seizes control of the 2016 Republican convention the mantle of the “law and order” candidate — an obvious dog whistle playing toWhite Fears ofBlack crime is possible even though it is not considered a crime. theThe US has a historically low level of population. This trend has been continued by his speeches, comments and executive actions following his election. ofMessages
  • In a pitch to Black voters in 2016, Trump said, “You’re living in poverty, your schools are no good, you have no jobs, 58 percent ofYour youth isn’t working. What is the solution? theYou are in hell to lose?”
  • Trump stereotyped a Black reporter during a February 2017 press conference. April Ryan asked Trump if he had any plans. toMeet and work together theCongressional Black Caucus. He repeatedly asked her questions. toInstall the meeting — even as she insisted that she’s “just a reporter.”
  • In the week after white supremacist protests in Charlottesville, Virginia, in August 2017, Trump repeatedly said that “many sides” and “both sides” were toBlame the violence and chaos that ensued — suggesting that theMorally, white supremacist protesters are morally equivalent toAnti-racism counterprotesters He also said that there were “some very fine people” among thewhite supremacists. All ofThis was almost like a dog whistle to white supremacists — and many of them took it as one, with white nationalist Richard Spencer praising Trump for “defending the truth.”
  • Trump attacked NFL players repeatedly throughout 2017, by repeatedly shaming them for kneeling or protesting silently during the 2017 NFL season theThe national anthem was sung in protest against America’s systemic racism.
  • Trump said that in 2017, people who came would be rewarded. to theUSA from Haiti “all have AIDS,” and he lamented that people who came to theUSA from Nigeria would never “go back to their huts” once they saw America. The White House denied Trump made these remarks.
  • Trump, in reference to a January 2018 bipartisan meeting about immigration, reportedly asked for information regarding the topic. to Haiti and African countries, “Why are we having all these people from shithole countries come here?” He then reportedly suggested that theThe US should hire more people from countries like Norway. The implications: Immigrants fromPeople from predominantly white countries tend to be more successful than immigrants. fromThese countries tend to be predominantly Black.
  • Trump denied making the “shithole” comments, although some senators present at theThey said that they had met. The White House suggested, however, that theComments, like Trump’sComments about theNFL protests. Will play well toHis base. The only link between Trump’sComments about the NFL protests and his “shithole” comments is race.
  • Trump mocked Elizabeth Warren’s presidential campaign, again calling her “Pocahontas” in a 2019 tweet before adding, “See you on the campaign TRAIL, Liz!” The capitalized “TRAIL” is seemingly a reference to theTrail of Tears — a horrific act ofEthnic cleansing the19th century: Native Americans were forcibly removed from their homes, causing thousands of deaths. of deaths.
  • Later in the year, Trump tweeted that many Black and Brown members were being included of Congress — Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY), Ayanna Pressley (D-MA), Ilhan Omar (D-MN), and Rashida Tlaib (D-MI) — are “from countries whose governments are a complete and total catastrophe” and that they should “go back” toThese are the countries. It’s a common racist trope toBlack and brown people, especially immigrants, need to be returned toTheir countries ofOrigin. Three of theFour members ofTrump targeted Congress who were born in theUSA
  • Trump has called theSARS-CoV-2 coronavirus the “Chinese virus” and “kung flu.” The World Health Organization advises against linking a virus toEach region is unique because it can lead to other regions. to stigma. Trump’sKellyanne Conway was previously described as an adviser the term “kung flu” as “highly offensive.” Meanwhile, Asian Americans have reported hateful incidents targeting them due to the spread of thecoronavirus
  • Trump suggested that Kamala Harris, who’s Black and South Asian, “doesn’t meet the requirements” to be former Vice President and Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden’s running mate — yet another example ofBirtherism.
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This list isn’t complete, but it does contain some useful information. of theThere have been many major developments since Trump’s announcement of his candidacy. But once again, there’s a pattern of racism and bigotry here that suggests Trump isn’t just misspeaking; it is who he is.

Are you Trump’s actions and comments “racist”? Or are they “bigoted”?

One of the common defenses for Trump is that he’s not necessarily racist, because the Muslim and Mexican people he often targets don’t actually comprise a race.

Mark Halperin, a disgraced journalist, stated the same thing when Trump claimed Judge Curiel should resign from theTrump University case ofHis Mexican heritage is what made him unique. the astute observation that “Mexico isn’t a race.”

Kristof made the same point in the New York Times: “My view is that ‘racist’ can be a loaded word, a conversation stopper more than a clarifier, and that we should be careful not toUse it as an epithet. Latinos, Muslims, and Latinos may also use it. ofAny race, so many ofTechnically, these statements do not reflect racism but bigotry. It’s also true that with any single statement, it is possible that Trump misspoke or was misconstrued.”

This critique misses thePoint on two levels.

One theArgument is extremely semantic. It’s essentially probing theQuestion: Not really. Neither is a trait that anyone should want in a president — and either label essentially communicates the same criticism.

Another problem is that race can be socially malleable. Over theFor years Americans considered Germans and Greeks, Irish, Italians, Spanish, and other non-whites to be non-white. ofDifferent races. That’s changed. In the same way, Americans now consider Latinos to be, toA lesser extent, there are people who have Jewish and Muslim backgrounds. ofIt is also possible to be a member of a non-white ethnicity. (As Latin man, I consider myself to be a Latin man. toBe ofA different race and the treatment I’ve received in theCourse ofMy life proves it. According to current definitions, comments made against these groups are indeed racist.

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This is all possible because, as Jenée Desmond-Harris explained for Vox, race is entirely a social construct with no biological basis. This doesn’t mean race and people’s views of race don’t have real effects on many people — of course they do — but it means that people’s definitions ofRace can change over time.

You can do whatever you like. toTrump has made racist, bigoted statements in all of his comments the past. This should be evident in the longSee the following lists.

Trump’sBigotry was an integral part of the Holocaust. ofHis campaign

All rights reserved ofIt is how it is labeled Trump’sRacism and bigotry were a major part of the Holocaust. of his campaign — by giving a candidate to theMany white Americans harbor racial hatred.

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One paper, published in January 2017 by political scientists Brian Schaffner, Matthew MacWilliams, and Tatishe Nteta, found that voters’ measures ofAfter adjusting for factors such as partisanship, racism and sexism, the correlation between support for Trump and sexism was much stronger than that of economic dissatisfaction.

Brian Schaffner and Matthew MacWilliams. Tatishe Nteta

Another study was done by Alison Blodorn, Brenda Major and Gregory Major Blascovich, shortly before. the2016 election. It was found that people who identify as white strongly were more likely to believe that non-white people will outnumber whites in 2042 if they were told. toSupport Donald Trump

A study by Matthew Luttig and Christopher Federico published November 2017 found that Trump supporters are much more likely to vote for him. toChanges in their opinions on housing policy due to race. In this study, respondents were randomly assigned “a subtle image of either a black or a white man.” Then they were asked about views on housing policy.

Researchers discovered that Trump supporters were more likely to support him. toBe impacted by theImage of a Black man. After theExposure was not only less supportive, ofHousing assistance programs were also offered at higher levels. ofSome people get government assistance and it is more common for them to be angry toSay that people who are eligible for assistance are toThey are to blame.

In contrast, favorability toward Hillary Clinton did not significantly change respondents’ views on any ofThese issues can be exacerbated by racial cues.

“These findings indicate that responses to theRacial cues can vary depending on their function ofFeelings about Donald Trump — but not feelings about Hillary Clinton — during the 2016 presidential election,” theResearchers concluded.

There are many other options. of other research showing that people’s racial attitudes can change their views on politics and policy, as Dylan Matthews and researchers Sean McElwee and Jason McDaniel previously explained for Vox.

Simply put, racial attitudes were a significant driver of Trump’s election — just as they longThese were general beliefs about politics, policy and the political process. (More on all the research in Vox’s explainer.)

White supremacist groups openly support Trump, while white supremacist organizations have also embraced him. According to Sarah Posner and David Neiwert, Mother Jones reported that Trump has been openly embraced by white supremacist groups. the media largely treated as gaffes — Trump retweeting white nationalists, Trump describing Mexican immigrants as “rapists” and criminals — were toReal signals from white supremacists approving ofTheir racist causes. One white supremacist wrote, “Our Glorious Leader and ULTIMATE SAVIOR has gone full-wink-wink-wink to his most aggressive supporters.”

Some ofThey even suggested that Trump has softened thePublic participation is increasing toThey used racist language. “The success of the Trump campaign just proves that our views resonate with millions,” said Rachel Pendergraft, a national organizer for the Knights Party, which succeeded David Duke’s Knights of the Ku Klux Klan. “They may not be ready for the Ku Klux Klan yet, but as anti-white hatred escalates, they will.”

At the2017 white supremacist demonstration in Charlottesville. David Duke. theFormer KKK grand wizard, stated that the rally was meant “toFulfill the promises of Donald Trump.”

Trump may not deny his racism or bigotry but at least some of his supporters do. to get it. It’s as important as his history of racism shows that he’s racist, perhaps who supported him and why is just as revealing — and it doesn’t paint a favorable picture for Trump.

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