Donald Trump’s Racism: The Definitive List
Donald Trump has been obsessed with race for the entire time he has been a public figure. He had a history of making racist comments as a New York real-estate developer in the 1970s and ‘80s. More recently, his political rise was built on promulgating the lie that the nation’s first black president was born in Kenya. He then launched his campaign with a speech describing Mexicans as rapists.
The media often falls back on euphemisms when describing Trump’s comments about race: racially loaded, racially charged, racially tinged, racially sensitive. And Trump himself has claimed that he is “the least racist person.” But here’s the truth: Donald Trump is a racist. He talks about and treats people differently based on their race. He has done so for years, and he is still doing so.
Here, we have attempted to compile a definitive list of his racist comments – or at least the publicly known ones.
The New York Years
Trump’s real-estate company tried to avoid renting apartments to African-Americans in the 1970s and gave preferential treatment to whites, according to the federal government.
Trump treated black employees at his casinos differently from whites, according to multiple sources. A former hotel executive said Trump criticized a black accountant: “Black guys counting my money! I hate it. … I think that the guy is lazy. And it’s probably not his fault, because laziness is a trait in blacks.”
In 1989, Trump took out ads in New York newspapers urging the death penalty for five black and Latino teenagers accused of raping a white woman in Central Park; he argued they were guilty as late as October 2016, more than 10 years after DNA evidence had exonerated them.
In 1989, on NBC, Trump said: “I think sometimes a black may think they don’t have an advantage or this and that. I’ve said on one occasion, even about myself, if I were starting off today, I would love to be a well-educated black, because I really believe they do have an actual advantage.”
An Obsession With Dark-Skinned Immigrants
He began his 2016 presidential campaign with a speech disparaging Mexican immigrants as criminals and “rapists.”
He uses the gang MS-13 to disparage all immigrants. Among many other statements, he has suggested that Obama’s protection of the Dreamers — otherwise law-abiding immigrants who were brought to the United States illegally as children — contributed to the spread of MS-13.
In December 2015, Trump called for a “a total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States,” including refusing to readmit Muslim-American citizens who were outside of the country at the time.
Trump said a federal judge hearing a case about Trump University was biased because of the judge’s Mexican heritage.
In June 2017, Trump said 15,000 recent immigrants from Haiti “all have AIDS” and that 40,000 Nigerians, once seeing the United States, would never “go back to their huts” in Africa.
At the White House on Jan. 11, Trump vulgarly called for less immigration from Haiti and Africa and more from Norway.
Obama As Unqualified, Lazy and Un-American
An ‘extremely credible source’ has called my office and told me that @BarackObama’s birth certificate is a fraud.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 6, 2012
He spent years suggesting that the nation’s first black president was born not in the United States but in Kenya, a lie that Trump still has not acknowledged as such.
Trump called Obama (who was editor in chief of the Harvard Law Review) “a terrible student, terrible.”
Obama has admitted that he spends his mornings watching @ESPN. Then he plays golf, fundraises & grants amnesty to illegals.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 16, 2014
Trump frequently claimed that Obama did not work hard as president.
Trump falsely claimed that President Obama “issued a statement for Kwanzaa but failed to issue one for Christmas.”
Urban America As a Hellscape
He often casts heavily black American cities as dystopian war zones. In a 2016 debate with Hillary Clinton, Trump said, “Our inner cities, African Americans, Hispanics are living in hell because it’s so dangerous. You walk down the street, you get shot.” Trump also said to black voters: “You’re living in poverty; your schools are no good; you have no jobs.”
He frequently offers false crime statistics to exaggerate urban crime, including about Oakland, Philadelphia and Ferguson, Mo.
Just out report: “United Kingdom crime rises 13% annually amid spread of Radical Islamic terror.” Not good, we must keep America safe!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 20, 2017
He is quick to highlight crimes committed by dark-skinned people, sometimes exaggerating or lying about them (such as a claim about growing crime from “radical Islamic terror” in Britain). He is very slow to decry hate crimes committed by whites against dark-skinned people (such as the killing of an Indian man in Kansas last year).
Minorities As Uppity and Ungrateful
He frequently criticizes prominent African-Americans for being unpatriotic, ungrateful and disrespectful.
He called Puerto Ricans who criticized his administration’s response to Hurricane Maria “politically motivated ingrates.”
Friendliness with Proud Racists and White Nationalists
“@WhiteGenocideTM: @realDonaldTrump Poor Jeb. I could’ve sworn I saw him outside Trump Tower the other day! https://t.co/e5uLRubqla”
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 22, 2016
He has retweeted white nationalists without apology.
He called some of those who marched alongside white supremacists in Charlottesville, Va., last August “very fine people.”
After David Duke, the former leader of the Ku Klux Klan, endorsed him, Trump was reluctant to disavow Duke even when asked directly on television.
Trump hired Steve Bannon as his campaign head and later White House chief strategist. Under Bannon’s leadership, the website Breitbart made white nationalism a central theme. It featured a section, for example, on “black crime.”
Trump endorsed and campaigned for Roy Moore, the Alabama Senate candidate who spoke positively about slavery and who called for an African-American Muslim member of Congress not to be seated because of his religion.
Trump pardoned – and fulsomely praises – Joe Arpaio, the Arizona sheriff sanctioned for racially profiling Latinos and for keeping immigrants in brutal prison conditions.
Denigrating Native Americans
In the 1990s, Trump took out advertisements alleging that the “Mohawk Indian record of criminal activity is well documented.” At the time, he was fighting competition for his casino business.
In a 1993 radio interview, he suggested that Native Americans in Connecticut were faking their ancestry. “I think I might have more Indian blood than a lot of the so-called Indians that are trying to open up the reservations.”
In a November 2017 meeting with Navajo veterans of World War II, Trump mocked Senator Elizabeth Warren as “Pocahontas.”
Other Assorted Racism
Trump today: “Hillary Clinton meets in secret with international banks to plot the destruction of U.S. sovereignty.” Fascist code for “Jews”
— Ben White (@morningmoneyben) October 13, 2016
Trump has trafficked in anti-Semitic caricatures, including the tweeting of a six-pointed star alongside a pile of cash. He has also been reluctant to condemn anti-Semitic attacks on journalists from his supporters, and he echoed neo-Nazi conspiracy theories by saying that Hillary Clinton “meets in secret with international banks to plot the destruction of U.S. sovereignty in order to enrich these global financial powers, her special interest friends and her donors.”
In a White House meeting with a Korean-American intelligence analyst briefing him on Pakistan, Trump wondered aloud why she was not working on North Korea policy.
Trump once referred to a Hispanic Miss Universe as “Miss Housekeeping.”
At a June 2016 campaign rally, Trump pointed to one attendee and said: “Oh, look at my African-American over here. Look at him.”
By DAVID LEONHARDT and IAN PRASAD PHILBRICK
JAN. 15, 2018