The White House threw a tantrum on Saturday after The New York Times published a piece outlining some of the ways that racists have used Donald Trump’s name to discriminate or even carry out acts of violence against minorities.
“The president condemns violence, bigotry and hatred in all its forms, and finds anyone who might invoke his or any other political figure’s name for such aims to be contemptible,” the White House said in a statement to the Times.
But despite White House denials, the newspaper detailed the ways Trump’s name has become a “racial jeer” and how the spike in hate crimes corresponds with this president’s rise in U.S. politics.
“An analysis of F.B.I. crime data by the Center for the Study of Hate & Extremism at California State University, San Bernardino, found a 26 percent increase in bias incidents in the last quarter of 2016 — the heart of the election season — compared with the same period the previous year,” the New York Times reported. “The trend has continued into 2017, with the latest partial data for the nation’s five most populous cities showing a 12 percent increase.”
The report notes an especially troubling increase in anti-Muslim incidents, saying they’ve “nearly doubled since 2014.”
The Times report continued: “Peppered among these incidents is a phenomenon distinct from the routine racism so familiar in this country: the provocative use of ‘Trump,’ after the man whose comments about Mexicans, Muslims and undocumented immigrants — coupled with his muted responses to white nationalist activity — have proved so inflammatory.”
The White House can try to distance itself from the racial hatred that has exploded since Trump became a huge presence in American politics, but the president hasn’t done anything to calm racial tensions in the U.S. In fact, whenever given the chance, he makes them much worse.
From his campaign season rhetoric targeting Mexican immigrants and Muslims to his more recent suggestion this summer that there are some “very fine people” who participate in violent KKK marches, this is a president who has been more than happy to douse America’s racial divisions with gasoline because it helps him politically.
In doing so, he has caused lasting damage to the country and put the lives of millions of minority Americans at risk.
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.