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This weekend, President Donald Trump said he was not racist. And while the president strenuously objects to people calling him racist—including once calling the question of whether he was racist “insulting“—he has no problem lobbing the invective himself.
His preferred target? Black people.
It begins where everything with Trump does: Barack Obama.
The president has long had tremendous animosity toward America’s first Black president—running a campaign to prove Obama wasn’t an American citizen—but he has also repeatedly called him a racist on Twitter.
Obama's '07 speech which @DailyCaller just released not only shows that Obama is a racist but also how the press always covers for him.— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 3, 2012
After Obama's '07 racist speech on Katrina relief, he now won't provide any aid to victms of Hurricane Isaac— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 11, 2012
The Katrina speech Trump is referring to was a flashpoint in the 2012 campaign, which revived the debate over whether Obama supported the incendiary remarks of Rev. Jeremiah Wright, who was considered racially divisive for attacking America’s attitude toward Blacks. Obama’s disawoval wasn’t enough for Trump, who continued to rail against the then-president.
Before that, Trump even went so far as to speculate that every African-American who supported Obama was racist.
In Trump’s mind, any Black person who speaks out against the racism Black people face is the real racist. It’s the reverse-racism, white-grievance politics that have manifested themselves in the Republican Party ever since the Civil Rights movement. And Trump has embraced it full-throated.
He had harsh words for sports anchor Bryant Gumbel, who spoke out against the lack of diversity on the U.S. Winter Olympic team and who once compared former NBA Commissioner David Stern to a “plantation owner.”
"@LisaRiv76873320: @realDonaldTrump Who is Bryant Gumbel?" A racist dope with a long and deep record of failure!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 21, 2013
Trump also attacked writer Touré, who has written books like Who’s Afraid of Post-Blackness?: What it Means to be Black Now.
@Toure If you weren't such a dumb racist moron with bad ratings you would know I never filed for bankruptcy,now worth over $10 billion dummy— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 10, 2013
.@Toure, when you are fired from MSNBC for your bad ratings and racist coverage, stop by and say hello.— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 22, 2012
Not only is @Toure a racist (and boring), he's a really dumb guy!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 13, 2013
@Toure Why does a network allow a stupid racist like Toure to stay on the air when his ratings are so abysmal! Can there be only one reason— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 10, 2013
A Washington Post study, in the wake of Charlottesville, found that Trump called Black people racist on Twitter three times as much as he did white people.
But it isn’t just people. Trump also has railed against Black identity in pop culture. He touted the tired argument about how ABC’s Blackish was unfair to white people.
How is ABC Television allowed to have a show entitled "Blackish"? Can you imagine the furor of a show, "Whiteish"! Racism at highest level?— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 1, 2014
And he had a blunt assessment of Django Unchained.
Django Unchained is the most racist movie I have ever seen, it sucked!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 25, 2013
Trump sees the expression of Black identity as a threat to whites. And for someone who was so slow to condemn actual white supremacists in Charlottesville, his history speaks much louder than his denials.
David Covucci is the Layer 8 editor at the Daily Dot, covering the intersection of politics and the web. His work has appeared in Vice, the Huffington Post, Jezebel, Gothamist, and other publications. He is particularly interested in hearing any tips you have. Reach out at [email protected]