I have resisted every knee jerk reaction people have had to conclude that Donald Trump is a racist. It’s been difficult to maintain my resistance.
The reason for my resistance is that I don’t know the man. I’ve never met the man. (I consider that a blessing these days.) I don’t like reaching conclusions like that about people I don’t know and haven’t met.
But I give up.
His tweet about Puerto Rico that “They want everything to be done for them” is either racist or so remarkably tone deaf. It may be a dog whistle to the worst of the right wing. It is reminiscent of the statements of the right with respect to those pesky brown people and poor people who just want to mooch off the government. Statements I’ve been hearing and reading for decades.
Let’s back up for a moment though.
From what I’m seeing on the news and the interwebs, Puerto Rico is an island of three million American citizens that was … well completely destroyed by the last hurricane. And destroyed may be an understatement. Almost the entire island is without power and may be for months. Half the population doesn’t have access to running water. Now, imagine if your city, town or state were to be experiencing that. No power, no water. And, oh by the way, vast swaths of massive destruction of property, including homes and business. I think it’s safe to say that Puerto Rico is facing a catastrophe we can’t even begin to understand in which it doesn’t matter how much they do themselves, they are in desperate need of outside help.
And you know what? American help isn’t outside help. Puerto Ricans are American citizens. They are us. We are them.
But not to our President. “They” are not him. They are all brown. And they just want everything done for them.
The reality is that I still don’t know if Trump is a racist. More than anything he is a classist and a narcissist. It’s not people of other races he abhors, it’s people who aren’t as “good” as him, based on his personal definition of “good.” All who haven’t conquered the world like he has are simply unworthy of him.
I’m disgusted. Whatever he is, he is a despicable human being. And he’s the President of the United States. While virtually every member of his Administration has and will resign either in disgrace or disgust, Trump just continues on. Tom Price resigned because he was wasting government money on chartered jets. But Trump and his family’s travel expenses make Price’s look like the difference between the money spent on a top of the line Mercedes and a Yugo.
I’m disgusted. This cannot continue.