No More Benefits of the Doubt on Trump’s Racism

trumpSince the day Donald Trump entered the presidential race with a declaration that the Mexican government was dumping their country’s rapists across our southern border, people have been determined to brand the candidate as a racist.

Trump wants to build a wall? Racist!

Trump wants to deport illegal immigrants? Racist!

Most people haven’t bought into the narrative, especially conservatives. Having been deemed racists themselves by the American Left for having the gall to voice opposition to President Obama and his policies over the past eight years, conservatives just don’t have much tolerance for players of the race card. Nor should they.

Regardless, Trump has kept those players pretty busy over the past year. He’s demonstrated an amazing knack for putting forth careless and clumsy rhetoric on racially sensitive topics, and then laying the burden on his loyal supporters to explain what he really meant. And for the most part, they’ve been able to do it.

Though Trump’s vitriol is often hard to listen to, it has not been what most fair-minded individuals would typically consider racism. Instead, it’s fallen more into the Michael Scott (or Joe Biden) category of unwitting racial condescension, which is actually far more prevalent in liberal circles.

For example, tweeting a photo of oneself eating Mexican food with the caption “I love Hispanics!” (as Trump did) may be ridiculous, but it’s not an identifiably racist act. Neither is his habit of referring to racial groups as monoliths, like when he says he has a “great relationship with the blacks.”

Some people will certainly disagree with me on this, and think I’ve been too charitable to Trump in this area. I suppose that’s possible, but to me, these instances haven’t reflected a sense of racial superiority that would compel me to throw in with the “Trump is a racist” crowd (as satirized by Larry David on Saturday Night Live a few months back).

The stronger case, in my view, came back in February when Trump declined to reject the support of white supremacist groups. Trump clearly didn’t defend the groups or infer any support for their views, but he did (at least temporarily) decide that he didn’t want to turn away their votes in the South Carolina primary.

It was certainly an act of cowardice, and an indirect (and particularly ugly) form of racial pandering. But was it racist? Not exactly. You can’t hold someone responsible for the views of some of their fans.

I’ve made it clear that I have big problems with several things Donald Trump has said throughout this campaign, but I’d always given him the benefit of the doubt when it came to these racial controversies that kept popping up around him. I can’t read what’s in the man’s soul. I can only go by what he’s says and does. And from what I’d heard him say up until very recently, I believed the charges of racism to be unfair.

Then, Trump started taking shots at Judge Gonzalo Curiel, the federal judge presiding over two Trump University lawsuits. Trump hasn’t liked some of the Curiel’s rulings in the case, and he hasn’t been shy in voicing that discontent. Instead of targeting his criticism on Curiel’s decision-making prowess, however, he has decided to present the judge’s ethnicity as the real problem.

You see, according to Trump, Curiel has “an inherent conflict of interest” which prevents him from being fair to Trump in a court of law. What’s the conflict? Curiel is of Mexican heritage (his parents are from Mexico).

I know…it’s confusing. So let me try and explain: Trump believes that because his presidential campaign platform includes building a wall along our country’s southern border, an American judge (Curiel was born in Indiana) with Mexican blood running through his body simply can’t treat Trump impartially, and thus must recuse himself.

The accusation is ridiculous, insulting, and yes…undeniably racist.

To prop up Trump’s argument, the presumptive presidential nominee and his supporters have attempted to associate Judge Curiel with La Raza, a national activist organization known for its the radical leftism and pro-illegal-immigration stance. The problem is that Curiel is not a member of the organization. He is instead a member of “La Raza Lawyers of California,” a local networking group for Latino attorneys. It has no affiliation with the activist group, other than a similar-sounding name and a link on its website, but the false narrative continues to be pushed.

CNN’s Jack Tapper pressed Trump on his allegations toward Curiel in an interview on Friday. Below is a transcribed excerpt:

Tapper: “If you are saying he [Curiel] can’t do his job because of his race, is that not the definition of racism?”

Trump: “No. I don’t think so at all.”

Tapper: “No?”

Trump: “No. He’s proud of his heritage. I respect him for that.”

Tapper: “You’re saying he can’t do his job because of that.”

Trump: “Look. He’s proud of his heritage, okay? I’m building a wall. I think I’m going to do very well with Hispanics.”

Tapper: “He’s a legal citizen.”

Trump: “You know why I’m going to do well with Hispanics? It’s because I’m going to bring back jobs, and they’re going to get jobs right now. They’re going to get jobs. I think I’m going to do very well with Hispanics, but we’re building a wall. He’s Mexican. We’re building a wall between here and Mexico.”

So to recap, Trump has no actual knowledge of what Curiel’s personal views on a border wall are, but because he has Mexican ancestry, Curiel must be:

A) opposed to it.
B) unable to do his job fairly because of that opposition.

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I’m sorry, Trump fans, but saying that one’s race disqualifies them from being able to perform a duty is overt racism. And before you point out that “Mexican” isn’t a race, I’ll remind you that Curiel isn’t a Mexican (despite Trump’s claims). He’s a Hispanic American.

Under Trump’s bigoted logic, a judge of Chinese ancestry also couldn’t be fair to Trump, because of Trump’s tough talk on China. Neither could a judge of Iranian decent, because Trump says he’ll rescind our country’s nuclear deal with Iran. A judge of Cuban decent? Sorry, that wouldn’t work either. Remember all of those nasty things Trump said about “Lyin’ Ted” and “Little Marco”?

Yes, the presumptive Republican presidential nominee is spewing racism, and those inclined to defend it should be ashamed of themselves.

Perhaps the best thing about dropping my Republican affiliation last month is that I no longer have to share in the embarrassment routinely brought on by the GOP’s new leader. But I still can’t help but feel bad for the good people who’ve remained in the party, only to watch the ugly liberal caricatures of their brand be transformed into a reality. It’s an unenviable position to be in, and they have my sympathy.

Denzel vs. Michelle – Optimism vs. Victimhood

michelle obamaDenzel WashingtonI was driving the other day and listening to Michelle Obama’s race-obsessed commencement address at Tuskegee University founded by civil rights leader, Booker T. Washington, on Sean Hannity’s radio program.  By the time I got to my destination, I wanted to grab the closest razor and slit my wrists. When I got home, I read her entire speech and was stunned there were no reports of mass suicide by the graduates at the University over the weekend.

What I heard was a speech that was negative, depressive and bleak and painted a hopeless future for these young people which gave them no opportunity other than to declare themselves victims of a continuing oppressive and racist society.

In stark contrast, I came across Denzel Washington’s commencement speech at Dillard University over the weekend.  It was uplifting and full of optimism.  He told the graduates to put God first in everything they do and to thank Him for grace, understanding, wisdom, their parents, love, kindness and humility.  He talked about having dreams but also setting life goals, annual goals, monthly goals, and even daily goals.  He stressed that goals are met through discipline and consistency and that hard work is what successful people do.

I have no idea what Mrs. Obama’s childhood was like, how she did in college, how she got into law school, how rich or poor her parents were, or what her struggles were, but I’m sure they were not unique to her alone and certainly not unique to black people.  She may, in fact, have had advantages through affirmative action because of her race.  I don’t know.

What I do know is my mother died when I was 8.  I worked my way through college.  My father didn’t pay a dime towards my education.  I worked full-time while I went to law school at night for four years.  I’ve known people with very similar backgrounds.  I’ve known people with dyslexia who had a terrible time in school when dyslexia wasn’t even identified.  I’ve known people who were bullied and nicknamed “Bosco” because of the color of their skin.  I’ve known others who’ve taken the Bar exam numerous times.

I’m sure many others have had similar struggles but those challenges didn’t make us bitter people.  Michelle Obama, however, is one helluva bitter woman.  And I haven’t a clue why.

She is the First Lady of the greatest country in the world (although I sincerely believe she doesn’t think it is), and instead of inspiring the graduates and pointing out the great strides this country has made when it comes to race – and I’m not sure why race should even be the topic of a commencement address — she stands there and instills in these young people a “woe is me” attitude and encourages victimhood?  Shameful.

Instead of focusing on the graduates, so much of her speech was all about her.  She even took the opportunity to complain about cable news and cry-babied about the caricatures of her that were published.  Does she remember the caricatures of Barbara Bush?  Nancy Reagan?  It’s part of the job, Michelle, and had no place at that podium.  But she’d rather believe we are still living in an early 20th century America than in 2015.

And as smart as people thinks she is, she clearly doesn’t know much about the founder of Tuskegee University, Booker T. Washington, who said:

“There is another class of coloured people who make a business of keeping the troubles, the wrongs, and the hardships of the Negro race before the public. Having learned that they are able to make a living out of their troubles, they have grown into the settled habit of advertising their wrongs — partly because they want sympathy and partly because it pays. Some of these people do not want the Negro to lose his grievances, because they do not want to lose their jobs.”

The fact her bi-racial husband was elected not once, but twice, by a white-majority America doesn’t seem to matter to her.  She’s far more comfortable seeing bigotry around every corner she turns.

Mrs. Obama would rather these young people carry the crutch of racism rather than instilling in them the idea set forth by the founder of their University:


“I have begun everything with the idea that I could succeed, and I never had much patience with the multitudes of people who are always ready to explain why one cannot succeed.”


And, then, there’s Denzel Washington, born ten years earlier than Mrs. Obama and probably faced even more challenges in the 50s than she did in the 60s.  He lost an audition on Broadway not because he was black, but because he couldn’t sing.  His failure was on him.  Not on the color of his skin.  Unlike Mrs. Obama, he seems to be a very happy person, is comfortable in his skin, and would be no matter what color he was.   Never once – not even once – did he mention race in his commencement speech – because race was clearly irrelevant.  His words were encouraging and hopeful.


For all that she has accomplished – graduating Princeton University and HarvardLaw School – Mrs. Obama is an extremely bitter woman.  I’m no psychologist but I’ve read hundreds of psych evals in my work and met just as many dysfunctional people, and, as far as I’m concerned, from what I’ve heard coming out of her mouth over the past six years, she’d be a bitter person no matter what color she was.


I don’t get it, but if you do, God bless you.

Does Michelle Obama Think Short People Are Racists?

targetA few years ago, First Lady Michelle Obama was a guest on David Letterman’s show. She told a humorous story that night about a trip she had taken to a Target store. Dressed somewhat in disguise in hopes of avoiding detection and drawing a crowd, she shopped the aisles until one of the other shoppers approached her.

“Excuse me,” the female shopper said to her. “I just have to ask you something.”

At that moment, Obama feared she had been recognized. Once she heard the next comment that left the shopper’s mouth, however, she realized she hadn’t been: “Can you reach on that shelf and hand me the detergent?”

The cute story prompted a big laugh from Letterman, his audience, and Obama herself. Obama went on to describe that the woman was short and just needed a tall person’s help.

Flash-forward to this week when People Magazine released excerpts from an interview they conducted with both Michelle and President Obama:  In the interview, Mrs. Obama once again told that story of her experience at the Target store. Only this time, instead of presenting it as an endearing, humorous anecdote, she presented it as an example of racial prejudice in modern day America.

The interview, titled “The Obamas: How We Deal with Our Own Racist Experiences”, covers a few instances of how the Obamas have faced racism in their adult lives. Such examples include Barack Obama having trouble catching cabs, years ago, on the South Side of Chicago, and being mistaken for a car valet outside a restaurant. Michelle Obama’s contribution was the Target story.

She told People: “I tell this story – I mean, even as the first lady – during that wonderfully publicized trip I took to Target, not highly disguised, the only person who came up to me in the store was a woman who asked me to help her take something off a shelf. Because she didn’t see me as the first lady, she saw me as someone who could help her. Those kinds of things happen in life. So it isn’t anything new.”

You know, I’ve been writing for this website for over three years now, and in that time I don’t recall ever being critical of anything Michelle Obama has said or done… But her apparent accusation that racial prejudice was what compelled someone to ask her for help is so utterly ridiculous that it has to be called out.

Short people ask tall people to reach things for them. It happens in stores all over the world each and every day. It transcends gender, ethnicity, and religion. Most people are more than happy to fulfill the simple favor when asked, without reading ugly, prejudiced motivations or condescension in those who ask it.

Lucy McCalmont of The Politico tried to help the First Lady out a bit. In a piece she wrote on the interview, she claimed that the shopper had assumed Mrs. Obama was actually a Target employee, and thus the story was similar to her husband’s tale about being mistaken for a valet. The problem is that that couldn’t possibly have been true. Beyond the fact that Mrs. Obama has never made that claim, the photo used in this column shows what Obama was wearing that day in the store. No one would have mistaken her for an employee, being that Target workers famously wear red shirts and khaki pants.

A few others in the charitable media have suggested that the unknown shopper may have recognized Mrs. Obama as the First Lady, and wanted to take some personal pleasure in inconveniencing her. Talk about a cynical theory – one that stands at odds with Obama’s own words on Letterman’s show, as well as any logical, reasonable thought process.

I would hope, for Michelle Obama’s sake, that People Magazine somehow took her comments totally out of context, and that she was applying the story to a completely different point. That doesn’t seem to be the case, but I suppose it’s possible. If not, I think it’s safe to say that the Target incident was not at all about racism, but rather elitism – and not on the part of the other shopper.

Casting an American as being racially prejudiced for asking a simple, common favor is unbecoming of a First Lady, but it does perhaps reflect the growing racial tension we’ve seen in this country in recent years. All of us should find that very sad.


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Frustrated Journalist: Dems Should Abandon ‘Prejudice-Infested’ South

Michael TomaskyLast week, U.S. Senator Mary Landrieu from Louisiana was defeated in a runoff election by Republican candidate, Bill Cassidy. Landrieu was the last remaining Democratic senator from the Deep South – a region that the Democratic Party dominated for much of the 20th century.

The Democrats’ lack of remaining political prospects in the region has been concerning to many within the party, but one liberal journalist has a unique take on the situation: Good riddance!

Writing for The Daily Beast, Michael Tomasky went on an absolute tirade over the “reactionary, prejudice-infested” South, comparing the voters who didn’t support Landrieu to a veterinarian who takes pleasure in gassing pets.

According to Tomasky, a vote against a Democratic politician is a vote against “tolerance, compassion, civic decency, trans-racial community, and the crucial secular values on which this country was founded.”

All of that? Really?

He goes on to write that “the whole region has rejected nearly everything that’s good about this country and has become just one big nuclear waste site of choleric, and extremely racialized, resentment.”

The temper tantrum is comical in a way, considering that Louisiana – the state he singles out – has a twice-elected governor and national figure named Bob Jindal, who just happens to be of Indian descent. I guess that doesn’t count because he’s a Republican.

I guess it also doesn’t count that Mary Landrieu, who herself just a few weeks ago attributed her poor election forecast to bigoted voters, was elected three times by the people of Louisiana prior to losing her bid for a forth term last week. Apparently, her constituents didn’t become a bunch of sexist pigs until her poll numbers went down.

Logic aside (and you have to put logic aside in order to try and take the column seriously), Tomasky says it’s good that the Democratic Party now has little of a political presence in the South. He says the Democrats should abandon the region, forget about it, and let the GOP “turn it into Free-Market Jesus Paradise.” He believes the party just doesn’t need the South in order to maintain power at the national level, and says that trying to win Southern seats just isn’t worth the “ideological cost” for Democrats.

Tomasky quotes Memphis Representative Steve Cohen who said that “a lot of white Southerners vote on gays and guns and God, and we’re not going to ever be too good on gays and guns and God.”

With that in mind, Tomasky says that Democrats should concentrate on the rest of the country – you know, those of us who apparently still have enough marbles left in our brains to appreciate the infinite wisdom and greatness of liberalism.

As a right-leaning political thinker, I must admit that I’d be perfectly fine with the Democratic Party taking Tomasky’s advice and conceding the South to the Republicans; ironically it would establish the Democrats as a regional party, which is how the media has been trying to portray the GOP in recent years. But as an objective reader of political punditry, it’s impossible not to recognize that Michael Tomasky is nothing more than extremely poor loser, and an elitist buffoon.

To people like Tomasky, who are so instinctively liberal that they probably couldn’t even bring themselves to crawl out of the right side of their beds in the morning, the Democrats’ diminishing presence in the South can only mean one thing: Racist, sexist, homophobic constituents who are just too ignorant to vote the correct way anymore.

To Tomasky, the Democrats’ increasing unpopularity in the South couldn’t possibly have anything to do with things not related to race, gender, sexuality, or religion. It couldn’t possibly have anything to do with issues like healthcare, energy, jobs, the economy, over-regulation, and good old-fashioned leadership. Nope, it’s bigotry – plain and simple, despite all of the evidence showing that minorities and women have little trouble getting elected there.

But hey, if it helps Michael Tomasky sleep well at night to think that he’s one of the smart ones, and that the Southern region of the United States is hopelessly ignorant and unworthy of his party’s efforts, who am I to wake him up from his dream?


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The Presumption of Racism Has Stunted America’s Growth

presumption of racismWhen Barack Obama won the presidency in 2008, I was not a happy camper. The thought of a liberal ideologue with no leadership experience (but grand dreams of “fundamentally transforming” the country) sitting in the Oval Office wasn’t at all appealing to a right-leaning fellow like me. Still, I did see a silver lining in his victory. I thought the election of our first black president would go a long way in helping to heal the country’s racial divide that still existed – despite having made significant strides over the decades.

Boy, was I wrong.

It didn’t take long for some on the left to begin using the president’s skin color as a political weapon against those who had the gall to disagree with his agenda. Loud opposition to President Obama was not portrayed by the media as patriotic, like it was during the Bush era, but as an ugly display of racial bias put forth by people who just couldn’t accept that a black man was now the leader of the free world.

The Tea Party, who had a very clear policy message, was depicted and marginalized as a bunch of angry, old white guys, and during the 2012 presidential campaign, liberal media outlets obsessed over dissecting the political rhetoric of Republican candidates and deciding that it contained a slew of racist “dog whistles.” That sentiment trickled its way down to the public and became conventional wisdom for some.

The incessant race-baiting has harmed American culture. It has diminished the capacity of people to view accusations of racism responsibly and objectively. A reasonable level of scrutiny no longer has to be met in order for a divisive racial narrative to be put forth and bolstered by the media. In far too may cases, a presumption of racism has been applied to people and events that have provided no basis for that judgement. We’ve seen it done recently with the high-profile, unfortunate deaths of black men like Michael Brown in Ferguson.

The so-called civil rights leaders like Al Sharpton, who’ve latched onto the tragedies, seem to be pushing the theme that any scenario, that results in a black person being killed by a white person, is murder attributable to racism. The circumstances surrounding the event don’t really seem to matter. Neither do the eye-witness accounts or the physical evidence. The narrative being wielded is that it’s “open season” for killing black men in this country, and the facts and statistics just aren’t going to stand in the way of the oratory.

Many people are reasoned enough to see past the vitriol and recognize these deaths as the tragedies they are without jumping to the conclusion that institutional racism is to blame. They realize that while racism still exists, it’s not a contributing factor to the number of untimely, black deaths in this country.

Many others, however, aren’t so reasoned – especially young people. They’ve been taught through academia and media-driven, politically correct sensibilities that America is still a fundamentally bigoted country, despite a black man being elected to the highest office in the land – twice. They’ve been taught that the societal sins of several decades ago are still being practiced with impunity by the white establishment.

The dishonesty of this narrative, and society’s inability to have a mature, open discussion about race is absolutely devastating to our culture. We’ve seen it in the way the country’s economic and social discrepancies are portrayed as a products of racial oppression. We’ve seen it in the stores that were looted and set ablaze in Ferguson. In my home state of Colorado on Wednesday, we saw it in the way high school students, who were protesting against the Ferguson grand jury decision, reportedly cheered when four police officers managing traffic for their march were struck by an out of control vehicle.

Let’s examine that last example for a minute. In Denver, police officers were working on traffic control duty for the benefit of students from East High School who walked out of class to protest the decision not to indict Officer Darren Wilson. When four of those officers were struck by a runaway car – resulting in critical injuries to one of them – some of the protesters were heard cheering and chanting “hit him again.” That is beyond deplorable.

The Denver Police Protective Association released the following statement in regard to the protesters: “These actions are not only reprehensible but quite possibly the most disturbing thing this Association has ever heard.”

I don’t doubt the sincerity in that statement. I’m sure it was indeed one of the most disturbing things the DPPA has ever encountered, and its no coincidence that it happened now, in 2014, when reckless, racial rhetoric is drowning out reasoned discussion.

When people let ethnic solidarity or collective guilt blind them to the cold, hard facts surrounding a situation, we have truly lost as a society. Never did I think in 2009 that race relations would actually worsen in this country over the next six years, but that appears to be what has happened. Presumptive racism has been a major cause of it.


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