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What Is Racism and Why Trump Is Not a Racist

Updated on January 19, 2019
jackclee lm profile image

Jack is currently a volunteer at the Westchester County Archives. Before retiring, he worked at IBM for over 28 years.

Introduction

The election of President Trump in 2016 was disruptive on many levels. He was the underdog and not expected to win. He was the ultimate outsider with no previous political experience. He defy all odds and knocked out 16 other candidates in the primary and ended up winning and beating Hillary Clinton. Who would have guessed?

Well, I and a few conservative pundits did. We believed Trump was uniquely qualified and at the right place and at the right time to win.

However, it was also disruptive to many Americans. How can America vote for Trump? A racist and a misogynist to be President?

In discussion with many of my friends and colleague, this has come up again and again and I decided to write this essay to address this issue.

- Jan. 16, 2019 - first draft

Updated Jan. 18, 2019 with addition of opposing views.

Background

In my discussions, it became clear to me that not everyone has the same understanding or definition of racism or a racist. They don’t distingush racism as a personal belief vs. institutional or systemic racism in our society. Also, they don’t understand there are various degrees of racist behavior or thoughts. It is not a binary choice. In addition, they don’t acknowledge there may be racism practiced by some people other than white people. Reverse racism is alive and well.

Let me begin this discussion by defining what I understand to be racism and racist. Once I do so, then we can proceed to analyze and disect whether a person is considered a racist.

The charge of racism or being a “racist” or the R word is thrown around too often in our media. In fact, it is know to be a common tactic used by some political groups. When ever discussion of social issues get heated, invariably, the “R” word is used to stop the discussion, to silence the opposition. It works because it is such a powerful word with all kinds of negative connotations. If you remember the OJ trial, the defense team was accused of dealing the race card from the bottom of the deck. It worked and OJ was acquitted of murdering two people in cold blood. That is how powerful the race card still plays in our society.

Another observation watching TV commentary shows is how when a debate on some issues get heated, when the one party is loosing his argument, the “R” word is used as a last resort. That is usually when the audience knows the person has lost.

Definition

What is racism?

Racism is the belief that one race is superior to another race, and a racist is a person who hold that belief and tends to judge another purely based on their skin color.

A more legal term of racism goes one further. We have laws on the books that prevent people from discrimination based on race. You can’t discriminate in job hiring, in rental housing, in various government institutions...such as schools. If someone is accused of racist practices, there are legal and criminal charges that can be brought to address them.

Then their is individual racism. This is what one person practices in his own community as oppose to systemic racism where an institution such as the KKK and other white supremest groups practices as a group...such as participation in a protest rally.

Another distinction is you can have a public department such as a local police in some city or town where a cop may be a racist but the department is not. In order for systemic racism to exist, the whole department has to practice the same bias against a particular race purely based on skin color. An individual cop, who is a racist, does not automatically mean the whole department is. That cop, if caught in a crime would be prosecuted like any other individual who comits hate crimes.

Under our Constitution, we have individual rights under the Bill of Rights which include the freedom of speech... Therefore, a person can have racist belief and speak out in public, and still fall within our laws. As heinous as that is to most people, it is protected under our Constitution. Unless he speaks of riots and causing harm to others, the courts have ruled that they are protected speech, just like the burning of the Flag.

What is the Distinction?

Most people are confused about racism - the term. They confuse discrimination with racism. People discriminates. Everyone is born that way. Our survival instinct dictates we discriminate about everything around us. We discriminate about anything that does not look like us. All animmals have that same instinct. That is where the term birds of feathers flock together...

Sometimes, discrimination is good. They protect us from potential harm. When we come upon a scene, we assess the situation. We notice the people around us. We can distingush a cop from a gang member. When we drive into a new neighborhood, for example, the south Bronx. We roll our windows down. These are all self-protection mechanisms.

How does discrimination crosses over into something bad? We group people by their race. We also stereotype. You see a muslim with a turbin, your antenna goes up. The same with people riding a motorcycle wearing leather jackets. Automatically, you think of a gang member...

This kind of behavior is bad because we make assumptions based on a single or two data points. As we advance as a culture, we learn to be more accepting of differences. Just because someone looks different or speak a different language does not make that person a source of danger.

What is the distinction between racism and discrimination?

Here is my personal guide. A racist may have all his hate and bigotry...but it only crosses over to being illegal if and only if he comits a crime such as physical harm or prevent someone from getting a job, or renting an apartment.

The bottom line. There is no law that can stop a person of bigotry. If there is, that law would be on the books already. The reality is, we can only deal with systemic racism. We cannot change a person’s heart and mind in the same we we cannot legislate away murder. We can only punish someone for commiting murder as a deterrent.

Why Some Accuses Trump of Being a Racist...

In my many discussion, here is what comes out. These folks does not like Trump, or his politics and they don’t like his style and his tweets and his general persona. They do not think he is “presidential” and they are also turned off by his many statement and speeches against immigrants.

Trump may be many things, including a womennizer, a thin skinned bully, an egotist and a self promoter. However, he is not a racist.

Here are two specific points that I often come across.

1. His speech when he annouced he was running for president...how he denigraded all immigrants from the south. He called them rapists and drug smugglers and all kinds of names. The media captured this and created the impression he was talking about all of them. However that is not true. If you go back and listen to the whole speech, you will hear him praising some of them. The key work is “some”.

2. The second incident is during the statue rally at Charlottesville. They focus on his words that “both sides have good people...” the media interpretation was that he meant the KKK on the other side. That is not what he said or meant. What he meant was both sides of this issue of either taking down the statue or preserving the statue. In this particular case, there were two very different compelling views. There are some, like myself, who do not support the taking down of these statues. They are a part of our history. I am a conservationist and I believe in preserving our heritage and history. That is why I volunteer at my local archives. I wrote a whole article on this at the time. It is linked below.

3. The temporary ban on immigration from some Moslem countries. This is another policy that some points to the Trump is a racist and he is against Muslims. Except, there are numerous other moslem countries around the world that this temporary ban does not apply. So, the charge is baseless. What they don’t tell you is that the ban is temporary and it was so we can find a way to vet these people. Their host country are in turmoil and there is no good records that our INS can use to verify who is coming here.

In these three incidents, you can see how the media played a role in creating this myth that Trump is a racist. He doesn’t like brown people and he sides with white supremest groups like the KKK?...

The truth is he does not support illegal immigration and he does not support the KKK and have said so on many occasions. The media just chose to ignore it.

Here is the bottom line. Ask yourself one question.

If Trump is a racist, how did he survived and thrived in Hollywood all these years with the number one show - the Appretice?

Look what happened to Paula Dean the celebrity chef...

If Trump is a racist, then by implication, America is a racist nation. Then, Even though I didn’t personally vote for him, I support many of his policies...I am also a racist.

I don’t support that because I know in my heart I am not a racist. I an a Chrstian and I love people, all people. My God teaches that. I have faith.

Understanding Trump...

Trump is an enigma to the politically left. This includes the media, the politicians and the activists. They don’t get him. He is not from their world. He is a well known celebrity yet they don’t know him as a human being. What makes him tick? You would think after all these years, they would have learned or at least try to learn. They are so blinded by his words and tweets, they cannot be objective any more.

Here is the run down for your benefit. If you want to know who Trump really is, go read his book “The Art of The Deal”. It was a best seller back in the 1990s, long before he decided to run for president.

Here is a short summary:

1. Trump is thin skinned. When you attack him unfairly, he will counter attack twice as hard. You see this again and again and it does not matter who. He will go after Rosie O’Donnell.

2. Trump is a businessman. He thinks like a businessman. He makes deals. The best deals are the ones both side walk away with something.

3. Trump is a family man. Despite his womanizing and his treatment of women, he values his family more than anything in the world.

4. Trump has a huge ego. That is why he insist on putting his name in large letters all over. He spends a lot of his capital building up the Trump brand.

5. Trump is generous. He spread his wealth around. People you might not even know. He would do so anonymously at times. He donates to hospitals and other charities.

6. He has tremendous discipline and energy. He works hard at everything he does.

7. He is a master at media manipulation. His trick of making names such as “little Marco” to denigrade his opponents works. You might not like it, and I certainly don’t like it but it works. Even now, whenever Rubio come on TV, that is the first thing that pop into my head. His take down of the media with the charge of “fake news” struck a cord. They will never forgive him for that, evn though it is true...some news are fake.

8. Trump is a pragmatist. He is not a Conservative. He will side with whoever that will allow him to reach his goal. We Conservatives do not agree with all he does but are happy he has done somethings that we like, such as appointing conservative leaning judges. In this respect, he is more successful than some conservative politicians.

9. Trump keeps his word. He will try and deliver on what he ran on. Unlike many politicians who say one thing and do another. Trump say what he means. Sometimes they are abrasive. The raw truth usually are. It is hard to sugar coat somethings.

10. Trump wants to be consequential. In fact, he will be the most consequential president in the modern era. Like him or hate him, he has done more to change the direction of our country than Reagan. That is saying a lot.

The Wall and Immigration...

This was Trump’s key issue in 2016. He wanted to build a wall to stop the illegal crossings. This is not about race but the media and Democrats made it about race. Even though they have taken the same position back in 2005, they now changed their tune. They say the wall is ”immoral”. Is it?

How is defending our borders, and applying the rule of law that they passed immoral?

Isn’t that the primary duty of an elected official, especially the President the Commander in Chief. His main job is to protect Americans and to enforce the law. If you have any doubt, just go read the Constitution. It is not hard. It is only 8000 plus words. It is not written in legal jargon. It is written in English so that all literate citizens can read it.

Why the wall and not just drones and increased border guards and electronic sensors and high tech solution? And eVerify to punish employers...?

The simple answer is they all been tried and they haven‘t been successful.

Here is the problem the wall solves.

The wall, or any physical barrier, prevents a person from getting here to our soil. Once they made it here, a different set of rules apply. They would be entitled to a cort hearing. They would be temporarily housed and fed...and if there are children involved more complications...

That has been our problem with the borders all along. For everyone they arrested or stopped, 3 or 4 gets through undetected.

The wall is the only thing we haven’t implemented even though it was voted for by both parties in the past.

I don’t have any crystal ball to know what is going to happen with the current shut down and the impasse. I do know this about Trump. He will not back down. If he gives up on this issue, he can kiss 2020 goodbye and might as well pack up now and leave town.

An Opposing View...

Here is -
the observations and conclusions of an objective registered Independent.”

This is someone who is highly educated, successful, and a colleague I respect very much. We just disagree on this important topic. I am a conservative as you know.


Trump, may in fact be worse than a racist.

A racist is driven by the principle, however misplaced and wrong, that race is the primary determinant of human traits and capacities that produce an inherent superiority of a particular race.
Trump’s only “principle” is to do whatever helps Trump! Trump is an opportunistic huckster who is driven by narcism and megalomania. He may appear to be a white racist, but I think he may even lack the principle of a racist. He simply uses everyone and everything, as long as it benefits him. But as soon as that perceived benefit ends...witness the growing horde of former appointees and ex entourage that he has turned his back on and attacked.
The danger is that his racist comments, whether driven by true racial beliefs or just selfish interests, send the message to people that it’s okay to say and do these things. Hey, the President said that, why shouldn’t I?
He tried to gain approval in a ceremony honoring World War 2 Navajo code talkers and in the same breath decided to promote himself by calling Elizabeth Warren “Pocahontas” effectively embarrassing the Navajo and showcasing his insensitivity in one shot! As a friend noted to us, Trump recently dug this hole even deeper with his punchline using the Wounded Knee massacre.
He is divorced from reality. His comment to government workers affected by the shutdown that they should “adjust” just demonstrated how little he understands about real people. It’s recorded for all to see and hear that Trump said he would be “proud to shutdown the government.” He said then that he wouldn’t blame the Democrats for the shutdown, but now, a month later, he is doing exactly that, blaming the Democrats.

Many people live paycheck to paycheck and worry about putting food on the table. I don’t think Trump has missed a meal in his life nor understands how that feels.
He exhibited his narcissism last year when he claimed he alone was responsible for the great performance of the stock market. Come the end of 2018 with the turmoil created by his inconsistent actions, tariffs, etc. and all the gains and more were erased. Yeah, check your 401K and other investment balances; you’re lucky if you lost only 20%. So why is Trump not making a sound about the losses? If he was responsible for the gains then why isn’t he is also responsible for the losses? The fact is, he inherited a growing economy. As large and complex as the economy is, it’s like turning around an aircraft carrier. It will take more than a year or two of “tampering” to truly affect it.
The best thing to do is vote and act to prevent Trump and his cronies from doing more harm.

Summary

This is a long article but necessary. I am explaining a miss conception about Trump and racism in general.

Here is the final word. When you charge someone with being a “racist”, there is no where else to go? It is a one way street. You cannot walk it back easily. That is why you must be absolutely sure about it. It is just as if someone accuses you of being a rapist. Even if it was proven not true, your reputation is foreever tainted. The racist charge is throwing around too much by the media and it passes to the public. Especially during election cycles, these charges seems to come up frequently. In reality, most people are not racists.

I hope you had a chance to rethink this. Please let me know how I did with this essay and if you disagree, I like to hear your side. Please submit comments at the end. You can just enter your name as a guest.

A Question to Ponder...

If Trump is a racist, how do you explain the many blacks and celebrities that support him...?

- Herman Cain

- Kayne West

Here is a list...

A Simple Poll

Is President Trump a racist?

See results

Another Simple Poll

Is America a racist nation in 2019?

See results

© 2019 Jack Lee

Comments

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    • jackclee lm profile imageAUTHOR

      Jack Lee 

      7 months ago from Yorktown NY

      This hub is about Trump not being a racist, and by implication, our country is also not a racist nation...hence my posting...

      If you don’t see the connection, I can’t help you. Why are you hung up on my link?

      You called Trump an embarrassment, I countered with Obama...

      Is that so hard to understand?

    • lovemychris profile image

      Leslie McCowen 

      7 months ago from Cape Cod, USA

      Once again, what has that got to do with Trump being a racist?https://www.snopes.com/fact-check/donald-trump-rac...

      And now he says Warren's husband should dress in full indian garb at wounded knee???? Calls her Pocahantes?

      He needs his mouth washed out with soap, and his head examined.

    • jackclee lm profile imageAUTHOR

      Jack Lee 

      7 months ago from Yorktown NY

      Leslie, in case you forgot...here is a reminder.

      https://www.heritage.org/europe/report/barack-obam...

    • jackclee lm profile imageAUTHOR

      Jack Lee 

      7 months ago from Yorktown NY

      Well, that is your perogative to believe that. But unfortunately, it is not true and my hub shows that. I was merely pointing out, not all racism charges are real. Our country is not racist and we did not vote for a racist president. Period!

      You think Trump is an embarrassment, well some of us thought Obama was an embarrassment. Not because of his skin color but because of his apology tour...

    • lovemychris profile image

      Leslie McCowen 

      7 months ago from Cape Cod, USA

      Whats that got to do with Trump? Your hub is about Trump. He's a racist and the president. Its a monumental embarrassment, imo

    • jackclee lm profile imageAUTHOR

      Jack Lee 

      7 months ago from Yorktown NY

    • lovemychris profile image

      Leslie McCowen 

      7 months ago from Cape Cod, USA

    • jackclee lm profile imageAUTHOR

      Jack Lee 

      7 months ago from Yorktown NY

      Mike, you make a good point. However, there are laws on the books to address this. They can bring lawsuits and get satisfaction...

      The point I am making is, you can’t legislate away hate. You can only have laws that if broken, can have consequences for the offender.

      That is where we are at this point in time. Perhaps, in a genration, those will die off too. But, knowing human nature, I doubt it. There are always going to be some small minority that engages and traffics in hate and bigotry.

    • peoplepower73 profile image

      Mike Russo 

      7 months ago from Placentia California

    • Readmikenow profile image

      Readmikenow 

      7 months ago

      Jack, I think the word "Racist" has been used so often and in so many different situations...nobody has the slightest idea what is actually means anymore. It's the same with the word fascist, who is a name the left calls those who disagree with them. It's a shame.

    • breakfastpop profile image

      breakfastpop 

      7 months ago

      The left hates Trump, and that is the ugliness that fuels their fire. They will call him every name in the book, because they are blinded with hate. I don't believe there is a cure for what ails them.

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