FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

The Content of Trump’s Character

by

In his acceptance speech for the Republican presidential nomination, Donald Trump declared, “My Dad, Fred Trump, was the smartest and hardest working man I ever knew. . . . It’s because of him that I learned, from my youngest age, to respect the dignity of work and the dignity of working people.”

Donald apparently forgot what his father taught him. The GOP nominee refuses to pay the people who work for him. “Among them: a dishwasher in Florida. A glass company in New Jersey. A carpet company. A plumber. Painters. Forty-eight waiters. Dozens of bartenders and other hourly workers at his resorts and clubs, coast to coast. Real estate brokers who sold his properties. And, ironically, several law firms that once represented him in these suits and others,” wrote Steve Reilly in USA Today.

Moreover, Fred Trump, “the smartest” man his son ever knew, did not respect the dignity of black people. The legendary folk singer Woody Guthrie rented an apartment in the elder Trump’s Brooklyn complex in 1950. It turned out blacks were not welcome there.

University of Central Lancashire professor Will Kaufman, a student of Guthrie’s life and songs, noted that Guthrie thought “Fred Trump was one who stirs up racial hate, and implicitly profits from it,” lamenting “the bigotry that pervaded his new, lily-white neighborhood.”

Guthrie responded to Fred Trump’s bigotry with this song:

I suppose
Old Man Trump knows
Just how much
Racial Hate
He stirred up
In the bloodpot of human hearts
When he drawed
That color line
Here at his Eighteen hundred family project

The acorn did not fall far from the tree of racial prejudice. In 1973, the Nixon Justice Department sued Fred and Donald Trump for systematic discrimination against African-Americans in housing rentals.

The New York Times’ Nicholas Kristof cited the Trumps’ former building superintendent who said he was told to code rental applications with a “C” for colored, which would flag the office to reject the application. The Trumps only rented to “Jews and executives,” not blacks, according to a rental agent.

Kip Brown, a former Trump casino owner, told the New Yorker, “When Donald and [former wife] Ivana came to the casino, the bosses would order all the black people off the floor.  . . . They put us all in the back.”

In his 1991 book, John O’Donnell, former president of the Trump Plaza Hotel and Casino in Atlantic City, quoted Donald Trump as saying “laziness is a trait in blacks. It really is, I believe that. It’s not anything they can control.”

The ‘Mexican’ Judge

Trump’s racial animus is not confined to African-Americans. He has vowed to deport 11 million undocumented immigrants, calling Mexican immigrants “in many cases, criminals, drug dealers, rapists”; build a wall on the southern U.S. border to keep people out; and temporarily forbid Muslims from entering the United States.

At one of his rallies, Trump condescendingly pointed to a black man in the crowd, saying, “Oh, look at my African-American over here – look at him.”

And Trump denounced Gonzalo Curiel, a well-respected federal judge of Mexican heritage who is presiding over a lawsuit in San Diego filed by people claiming they were scammed by Trump University. After Curiel unsealed documents, Trump declared that Curiel had “an absolute conflict” that should disqualify him from the case. Trump’s reason: “He is a Mexican,” adding, “I’m building a wall. It’s an inherent conflict of interest.”

Trump’s overriding theme, “Make America Great Again,” is a euphemism for “Make America White Again.” Indeed, Trump was a founder of the birther movement, whose aim was to discredit Barack Obama by claiming he was born in Kenya, thus stoking racist attacks throughout his presidency. That movement evolved into the Trump for president campaign, which is steeped in racial hatred.

As Sen. Elizabeth Warren said in her speech at the Democratic National Convention, Trump pits blacks against whites, reminiscent of what occurred during the era of Jim Crow. She quoted Dr. Martin Luther King’s remarks about how poor white workers in the South were told, “No matter how bad off he was, at least he was a white man, better than the black man,” noting, “Racial hatred was part of keeping the powerful on top.”

Trump is sexist as well as racist. His comments about women reveal his misogyny. He has referred to women as “dog,” “fat pig,” “slob,” “degenerate” and “disgusting animal.” And Trump disgustingly said of Megan Kelly, “You could see there was blood coming out of her eyes, blood coming out of her wherever.”

The GOP nominee has no more respect for the disabled than he does for women, workers and people of color, publicly mocking a reporter with a disability.

And although he declared in his acceptance speech that he would “protect our LGBTQ citizens from the violence and oppression of a hateful foreign ideology,” Trump said nothing about protecting them from the hateful ideology within the United States.

The next president may fill three or four seats on the Supreme Court. Trump has vowed to nominate justices like Antonin Scalia, who said during oral argument in the affirmative action case, Fisher v. University of Texas, that he was not “impressed by the fact that the University of Texas may have fewer” black students.

Scalia added, “Maybe it ought to have fewer. I don’t think it stands to reason that it’s a good thing for the University of Texas to admit as many blacks as possible.”

Scalia opposed reproductive rights, universal health care, same-sex marriage, affirmative action, voting rights, immigrants’ rights, labor rights, LGBT rights and environmental protection. Trump, who has said he will pick his judicial nominations from lists drawn up by the Heritage Foundation and the Federalist Society, could move the high court radically to the right for decades to come.

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. famously said he hoped his children would not be judged by the color of their skin, but rather “by the content of their character.” Donald Trump’s character is racist, sexist, and just downright mean. A Trump presidency would pose an unimaginable danger to the people of this country.

 

This article first appeared on Consortium News.

More articles by:

Marjorie Cohn is professor emerita at Thomas Jefferson School of Law and former president of the National Lawyers Guild. She writes, speaks and does media about human rights and U.S. foreign policy. Her most recent book is “Drones and Targeted Killing: Legal, Moral, and Geopolitical Issues.” Visit her website at http://marjoriecohn.com/ and follow her on Twitter at @marjoriecohn.

Weekend Edition
February 16, 2018
Friday - Sunday
Jeffrey St. Clair
American Carnage
Paul Street
Michael Wolff, Class Rule, and the Madness of King Don
Andrew Levine
Had Hillary Won: What Now?
David Rosen
Donald Trump’s Pathetic Sex Life
Susan Roberts
Are Modern Cities Sustainable?
Joyce Nelson
Canada vs. Venezuela: Have the Koch Brothers Captured Canada’s Left?
Geoff Dutton
America Loves Islamic Terrorists (Abroad): ISIS as Proxy US Mercenaries
Mike Whitney
The Obnoxious Pence Shows Why Korea Must End US Occupation
Joseph Natoli
In the Post-Truth Classroom
John Eskow
One More Slaughter, One More Piece of Evidence: Racism is a Terminal Mental Disease
John W. Whitehead
War Spending Will Bankrupt America
Dave Lindorff
Trump’s Latest Insulting Proposal: Converting SNAP into a Canned Goods Distribution Program
Robert Fantina
Guns, Violence and the United States
Robert Hunziker
Global Warming Zaps Oxygen
John Laforge
$1.74 Trillion for H-bomb Profiteers and “Fake” Cleanups
CJ Hopkins
The War on Dissent: the Specter of Divisiveness
Peter A. Coclanis
Chipotle Bell
Anders Sandström – Joona-Hermanni Mäkinen
Ways Forward for the Left
Wilfred Burchett
Vietnam Will Win: Winning Hearts and Minds
Tommy Raskin
Syrian Quicksand
Martha Rosenberg
Big Pharma Still Tries to Push Dangerous Drug Class
Jill Richardson
The Attorney General Thinks Aspirin Helps Severe Pain – He’s Wrong
Mike Miller
Herb March: a Legend Deserved
Ann Garrison
If the Democrats Were Decent
Renee Parsons
The Times, They are a-Changing
Howard Gregory
The Democrats Must Campaign to End Trickle-Down Economics
Sean Keller
Agriculture and Autonomy in the Middle East
Ron Jacobs
Re-Visiting Gonzo
Eileen Appelbaum
Rapid Job Growth, More Education Fail to Translate into Higher Wages for Health Care Workers
Ralph Nader
Shernoff, Bidart, and Echeverria—Wide-Ranging Lawyers for the People
Chris Zinda
The Meaning of Virginia Park
Robert Koehler
War and Poverty: A Compromise with Hell
Mike Bader – Mike Garrity
Senator Tester Must Stop Playing Politics With Public Lands
Kenneth Culton
No Time for Olympic Inspired Nationalism
Graham Peebles
Ethiopia: Final Days of the Regime
Irene Tung – Teófilo Reyes
Tips are for Servers Not CEOs
Randy Shields
Yahoomans in Paradise – This is L.A. to Me
Thomas Knapp
No Huawei! US Spy Chiefs Reverse Course on Phone Spying
Mel Gurtov
Was There Really a Breakthrough in US-North Korea Relations?
David Swanson
Witness Out of Palestine
Binoy Kampmark
George Brandis, the Rule of Law and Populism
Dean Baker
The Washington Post’s Long-Running Attack on Unions
Andrew Stewart
Providence Public School Teachers Fight Back at City Hall
Stephen Cooper
Majestic Meditations with Jesse Royal: the Interview
David Yearsley
Olympic Music
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail