Donald Trump is a Racist

Rod Van AbbemaYesterday was the anniversary of the birthday of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. This is a great week in which to celebrate his work and his words—and to talk about how to build a more inclusive society. This follows a week in which Donald Trump, the president of the United States, called several countries which have poor economies and very few white citizens “shitholes.”

I usually refrain from openly political comments in “Spirited-Thinking.” That is not because I do not have some strong views. It is because I want people from all religious, philosophical, and political views to find something enlightening here. I even have hope of discovering views that transcend them.

Sometimes a fact is so important to all of us and to our future, that it must be stated clearly—even if it is political, and even if it is ugly. Actually, I hope that most people would find this not a political statement, but a reality we would recognize because of our belief in simple human decency—which I think is transcendent.

For those of us who have not boldly spoken this truth, it is time to speak it and speak it out loud:

Donald Trump is a racist.

From his candidacy for president rooted in the lie about Barack Obama’s country of birth; through his dozens of racist words and acts toward immigrants, black Americans, Mexicans, Gold Star families and many more; to his recent vulgar complaints about Haiti and El Salvador—he has proven he is a racist. Not a subtle racist. A blatant, foul mouthed, ignorant racist.

I add the word ignorant because ignorance—of the history of others, their contributions to the world, the cruel treatment they have born, and ignorance of their deep likeness to all of us in mind and heart—allows the racist to say and do to these “others” what they would never say or do to the people they consider to be like themselves.

I appreciate all the writers, politicians and just regular people who have already publicly spoken these words. Years from now, when the ugly mark left on American history by Donald Trump is clear to the whole world, I do not want to have to say I was silent.

(I thank Rex Huppke of the Chicago Tribune for his article which clarified, for me, the need for expressing the truth about Donald Trump.)

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