Echoing the sentiments of Americans all across the country, especially after this weekend, a Democratic congressman obliterated Donald Trump on Monday, calling him a “racial arsonist.”
Democratic Rep. Hakeem Jeffries told CNN’s Wolf Blitzer that Trump doesn’t even pretend he isn’t catering to the most hateful and bigoted elements of society. Instead, Jeffries said the president has chosen to “pull the sheets off.”
Rep. Jeffries: After Charlottesville, many Americans concluded that the President chose to “pull the sheets off and reveal himself” pic.twitter.com/oAXyrROdk1
— The Situation Room (@CNNSitRoom) September 25, 2017
When asked about Trump’s post-Charlottesville rhetoric and the president’s recent comments/tweets about NFL players, Rep. Jeffries said:
His reaction to Charlottesville, which was clearly inadequate, unacceptable, inappropriate and for many people throughout America, led them to conclude that the President of the United States chose to pull the sheets off and reveal himself in terms of his tendency to be a racial arsonist, fan the flames of hatred, and of course in that context suggested that there was violence on all sides when we understand it was neo-Nazis, it was the KKK, who were responsible for the loss of life of one courageous American. … It’s in this atmosphere that we find it troubling, with all that’s happening in the world and in the country, that Donald Trump would choose to go after a few black athletes in the NBA and the NFL.
When Wolf Blitzer pressed the congressman on his claim that Trump chose to “pull the sheets off and reveal himself,” Jeffries didn’t back down – nor should he have.
“Let me simply just say that time and time again, he has refused to distance himself from individuals like David Duke, an avowed white supremacist, as well as others, for reasons that many of us can’t figure out,” Jeffries said. “Why in the world would anyone equivocate, particularly the leader of the free world, as it relates to individuals like the KKK and neo-Nazis?”
He added, “His behavior is deeply troubling to Americans of all races and religious background who believe in the values of tolerance, decency and diversity.”
Jeffries also weighed in on the disturbing rally in Alabama, where Trump made the infamous “son of a b*****” comment directed at NFL players who kneel during the national anthem.
“[Trump] went down to the Heart of Dixie in Alabama before an all white or mostly white crowd — the good old boys so to speak — and engaged in what many of us I think can fairly call race baiting,” the congressman said.
Jeffries’ comments come after the president spent the weekend playing racial politics to divide the country and rile up his base, but it’s more than just this weekend, isn’t it?
After all, Trump has been blowing dog whistles and stirring up minority resentment since he’s been in the political arena. He rode the racist “birther” lie into the White House, and since taking office, his reliance on the politics of bigotry has only intensified.
Nowhere was that more obvious than in the president’s behavior this weekend.
Sean Colarossi currently resides in Cleveland, Ohio. He earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism from the University of Massachusetts Amherst and was an organizing fellow for both of President Obama’s presidential campaigns. He also worked with Planned Parenthood as an Affordable Care Act Outreach Organizer in 2014, helping northeast Ohio residents obtain health insurance coverage.